It had been a while since the hopelessly foolish were reminded of the frauds they vote into office every election.

    It had been a while since the hopelessly foolish were reminded of the frauds they vote into office every election.

    Who can forget the seething discomfort we felt when, long after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush hosted Saudi Arabian royalty at his Texas ranch and, during a stroll through the ranch gardens, Bush and billionaire Saudi Prince Abdullah held hands like a loving couple, embraced, and even offered a quick peck, if you believe some internet Photoshop buffs. The United States desired cheaper Saudi oil, so Bush was willing to pull out all the schmooze, 9/11 be damned.

    Investigations had shown that Saudi Arabia had more to do with the attacks of 9/11 than any country that we continue to bomb into smithereens whenever it’s convenient. But money talks, and oil is money, so if some Saudi Arabian prince in a white robe expects you to take his hand and go for a stroll, well, even if you’re the President of the United States, you gladly take his hand.

    We wondered, what’s our president doing? What kind of people are we in bed with? Is this the first official “bromance”?

    The queasy feeling eventually eased, until last week, when the foolish voters were reminded once again with the subtlety of a brick to the side of the head that the people who run for office and get elected to office are lying liars who have no interest in representing anyone who isn’t rich enough to buy their attention, and, therefore, assure votes on legislation that makes their privileged, wonderful lives infinitely more privileged and wonderful.

    The 2017 version of the Bush/Prince Abdullah prom grand march? President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, on the day that the House narrowly approved the American Health Care Act, gazing at each other with excrement-eating grins during a press conference to announce the House’s passage of the ACHA.

    If only they were depicted in a comic strip and not in an actual photo; that way, we could see the thought bubbles drawn above their heads, as they smile at each other and think in unison: “Can you believe how dumb the American people are?”

    We’re pretty stupid. Yes, stupid is a harsh word. Hurtful. Mean, even. But even if you believe that electing Trump will result in the fundamental, even revolutionary change for which you think our country is long overdue, does that outweigh the fact that most of Trump’s most ardent yet financially-strapped supporters will be hurt most by what he does while in office? It’s one thing to break some campaign promises. Every politician is guilty of that to some degree. But with Trump, he just denies he made the promises in the first place. FAKE NEWS!

    How does any of this add up for the 99-percenters? If you aren’t super rich and dream of only being super richer, how do you fill in the circle next to the name Donald J. Trump?

    I have this particular grin that I pull out when I either want to make someone laugh, or run from the room because it looks so unseemly, forced and fake. I show no teeth, but just try to grin as wide as possible. It makes my wife cringe and beg me to stop.

    When I saw that picture of Trump and Ryan, it hit me: My run-for-cover, oh-the-humanity!, melt-your-face-like-the-guy-in-Raiders-of-the-Lost-Ark-when-he-lays-eyes-on-the Ark-of-the-Covenant toothless grin is Trump’s go-to, creepy-face, I’m-president-and-you’re-not smile.

    Unless the U.S. Senate takes a stand, our nation is staring down the barrel of a health care policy that could be whittled down to a single-page document featuring three words typed in a giant font in all caps followed by a bunch of exclamation points: DON’T GET SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If you don’t need health care, this health care bill is just for you. Be fortunate enough to have decent coverage from your employer, and you can catch a flu virus or get a nasty sinus infection from time to time and manage your reasonable co-pays and prescription medications. Maybe your kid can even break his wrist on the playground, and you won’t have to break the bank to take an x-ray and get him a cast. But you’d better not have a bunch of sickos in your family. Those costs add up, you know. You’d better not suffer any major injuries in an accident that require surgery and rehab, because there are limits, you know. Don’t even think about catching yourself some kind of catastrophic disease, either. Then again, maybe the Senate can add some kind of tax break for spaghetti feeds that raise enough money to pay for half of a single chemotherapy treatment.

    These are real people being hurt. I have a classmate married to a guy who underwent major organ surgery. He’s guilty of no poor decisions or other malfeasance that caused him to get sick. It just happened. They have kids with diabetes, and not the kind you risk getting if you don’t exercise or eat right. This is Type I, the kind you just get stuck with, and keep for life. My classmate with great reluctance and hesitancy put it out there on Facebook last week, trying to explain to people with healthy spouses and non-diabetic kids how tough it is to sleep at night when you have things like the American Health Care Act hanging over your head like an anvil. The Affordable Care Act/Obamacare wasn’t perfect, she said, but it helped her family, and it didn’t compel her to put the personal details of her family’s life on social media for the masses to see.

    Who’d she vote for in November? She didn’t say. While this cynic might under other circumstances conclude that how she filled out her ballot in 2016 really makes no difference when it comes to how voters are treated by those they anoint into positions of power, in this case, that’s not the case. Your vote mattered, it made a difference, and we’re poised to reap a whirlwind like no other.