There’s something about that word “sedition” . . . something that stirred a memory deep in my past. If you recall the classic musical “Fiddler on the Roof” this may resonate for you. If not . . . well, you’ve missed something that might make sense of the current moment.
A fiddler with the truth
A grizzled narrator struts onto the stage. Behind him, on the roof of a capitol dome, a heavyset, blond man in a long red tie is rocking back and forth with a mobile phone.
Narrator, with a Yiddish accent: Tweeting with no proof. Sounds crazy, no? But here in our little village of America, you might say all of us are fiddling with the truth, just trying to figure out how to scrape by in a whirlwind of hate and shouting and bias. It isn’t easy. You may ask, why do we keep voting if it’s so confusing? We stay because America is our home. But where do we fit in? Each of us has a role to play, even if those roles are now stretched past recognition.
Oh look, here comes a crowd of very excited people. Are those horns on that guy? And camo? And zip-ties? Why are they wearing red hats? I can hear them rallying now . . .
The MAGAts come forward and chant:
Let’s stop the steal and
Take back the election
With an insurrection.
That’s our predilection.
Eighty million votes were
Merely an illusion.
Chorus, enthusiastically shouted:
Sedition, the MAGAts . . . the MAGAts, sedition!
Our mission, the Trumpers . . . . our mission!
Narrator, spoken: One rule we have here in our little village of America. And that rule is that for every opinion, there is someone who has the opposite view. That’s why we have Democrats. And it looks to me like they’re trying to get something done . . . as soon as they can get this little impeachment thing out of the way!
A Jewish man in glasses and an older blond woman come forward and sing:
Won fair and square so
Now it’s time to govern
Northern states and southern
All together now.
Put on our masks, then
Pass a lot of laws
Ignoring all their flaws.
Envision, the liberals . . . the liberals, envision!
Decisions, the liberals . . . the liberals, decisions!
Narrator, spoken: Not everyone in our little village lives in the sunlight. Some prefer to stay in the shadows. We’d like to ignore them, but they seem to have all the money!
Several white men in ties and expensive suits, carrying bags of money, come forward and sing with brio:
We’ll fund your ads and
Ensure your election,
Save you from ejection,
Keep your precious seat.
Just pass the laws that
Block the regulation.
Save us from taxation.
Coercion, the lobbyists . . . the lobbyists, coercion!
Extortion, the PAC men . . . the PAC men, extortion!
Narrator, spoken: Everyone has a role to play here. But who are they playing for? For us, the poor peasants who make America work. We haven’t got much, but somehow, everyone else wants to win us over. [Frowning] Especially the people on television!
A huge and motley rabble steps forward and sings:
Watched biased news from
Hannity and Maddow,
Pundits in the shadows,
Spinning slanted tales.
Sharing on Facebook
In my filter bubble
Other’s side’s the trouble,
Confusion, the voters . . . the voters, confusion!
Illusions, the voters . . . the voters, illusions!
Narrator, spoken: Somehow, it all keeps going despite the confusion. But behind it all is a figure who defies belief. There he is, up on that roof, tweeting madly like a fiddler.
The blond figure rocks back and forth and then sits bolt upright, startled. He then topples to earth with an enormous thud.
The peasants keep just keep dancing back and forth rhythmically, paying no attention, except for the narrator, who turns slowly to look at the fallen figure, then turns back to the audience.
Narrator: Maybe some things do change. We can only hope for the best. Maybe, for once, our lives won’t be as insecure and shaky as following . . . a fiddler with the truth!
If you’re interested in the original, here’s one version: