Dear Editor:

Give “Saturday Night Live” credit. They have a lot to work with, but how do you parody something that’s already a parody—like everyday life?

Imagine you’re talking to a seeming know-it-all in 1991. He tells you that our next U.S. president will be impeached over, of all things, a White House intern sex scandal. Furthermore, a generation later, another president, arguably as promiscuous as Clinton, will be impeached twice, including once when he’s out of office, over something not related to sex. Crazy, right?

Sex scandals, hate crimes, government gridlock and 9/11 have left us not easily shocked—or disgusted. Who’s to blame?

Understand, mine is a purely layman’s view. Feel free to take it with a grain of salt, but I’ve noticed that our elected officials’ ability to successfully deflect blame roughly parallels our willingness to let them.

We’ve had three so-called “Teflon” presidents: Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump. Reagan and Clinton were generally popular leaders and presided over steady economies. Trump enjoyed a smaller, yet more vocal following that cheered almost everything he did. Thanks to social media, especially Twitter, we’ve grown accustomed to a stream of incessant prattle that might have sidelined even Reagan or Clinton. But we shrugged it off.

My father once said that another Great Depression would end such nonsense as people re-evaluate what’s important. But could a society that pouts over wearing face masks and resists free vaccines survive a Great Depression?

Jim Newton

Andrene Lane

Itasca, Illinois

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