One of my aunts and my grandmother both made beautiful afghans, those cozy, crocheted lap-warmers that remain popular. I don't think as many women crochet or knit as in that day, but there's more than you'd think. Like stamp collecting, afghan-making doesn't make a lot of noise in the world, but it always has it's congregation.
I remember they used to buy patterns for the afghans or swap them with other women. Mostly, they swapped, because one of the purposes of making something at home is to do it cheaply.
President Donald J. Trump is attempting to make the afghan without the pattern, something you can do only if you have a lot of talent. If you don't have a lot of talent, you're going to waste a lot of yarn.
Trump is famous for being untalented at everything besides bluster, malapropisms and running bust-out scams on his own companies. He is a self-made man who might have come out a little better if he'd have borrowed a pattern from anyone other than every tin helmet dictator who ever infested a Third World nation. Trump's only genuine political inspiration was to find the least-educated group of people in the country and then agree with them until he got elected. It worked, but not by much, and the closeness of the election will not be mentioned in history books after he becomes president for life.
What we know about the future Imperial Trumpian war in Afghanistan is that an unspecified number of women and men will be sent to unspecified parts of the country to "win."
Because that's what we do in America -- we "win."
Under past presidents, we fought to lose, failing to kill enough people at Kent State, ingloriously neglecting to beat the hell out of people we arrested, guilty or otherwise and, of course, ignominiously failing to pump enough guns into Mississippi so they could be bought by straw purchasers and sold north to Chicago. Black people used to die because they were "sold south." Now, they die when guns are "sold north." The American compass forever swings back to dead black people, though it'll take dead poor people of any color.
"Support the troops," though. They are a muddied band of under 20,000, fighting sporadically with no known purpose. If you see a soldier get slow service in Shoney's, post it on Facebook with the comment, "Our soldiers must be respected." It's the least you can do. And I mean it's the very least you can do.
Support the armless and the legless, the sightless and the dead. Support the hell out of the dead. They don't talk back.
Trump's promised again, promised that we'll "win," and he won't deliver again. It's his pattern.
To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com. Dion's latest book, "The Land of Trumpin," is a collection of his columns about the most recent national election. It is available in paperback from Amazon.com, and for Nook, Kindle, iBooks and GooglePlay.