It’s been a long time since meaningless, inane news items became the target of American outrage.
Like the color of a dress.
Or Ryan Lochte doing stupid Ryan Lochte things.
I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I miss those days.
The ascendancy of Donald Trump has been so quick and so fierce that it’s completely consumed our collective attention. Every single day, he does something that makes us throw up our arms sand say, “You kidding me? This motherfu*%er did what?!”
But recently, we have witnessed some limitations to his power. With federal courts proving as a watchdog to Trump’s authority, and a rebellious Republican Party showing that it will not make things easy for his administration to get legislation passed, a lot of angry Americans have finally begun taking a step back from the ledge.
And by ledge, I specifically mean the border between the U.S. and Canada.
As a result, the door has been left open for us to return to 2015 and early 2016 form, where even the slightest, insignificant “controversy” has the ability to roil the entire American population.
As many of you have heard, two teenage girls were rejected by gate agents from entering an airplane in Denver, Colorado because their leggings did not meet the airline’s dress code requirements.
After it was tweeted by a nearby passenger, immediate outrage ensued. Suddenly, United Airlines dictating how women should dress became the national narrative. It was an incorrigible thought, especially when you consider how badly unkempt and disheveled the majority of people are when they enter an airplane.
Everyone basically looks like an extra on The Walking Dead.
Celebrities chimed in. Model Chrissy Tegan said she plans to fly on her next flight topless. Countless young men then wondered what flight that would be so they could book it too.
Before long, calls to protest United Airlines surfaced on social media.
Finally, mired in intense backlash, United Airlines issued an explanation – the girls were not regular passengers, but were “pass riders,” meaning their tickets were given to them by employees or their friends at a heavily discounted rate, and thus are held to a much more stringent dress code.
But for many, that explanation was not good enough. Even if this type of dress code restriction is not uncommon for guests of employees who are receiving free travel.
As we speak, United Airlines is still defending itself from the criticism.
You can call this what you want. To some, it’s a continuance of a larger social issue. To others, it’s inspired some angst, but not worth harping on. Many others have probably already forgotten about it.
Regardless of what you think, I see this as a healthy sign for our nation. Hear me out.
Because if we’re mad at United Airlines over this, it means we’re not mad at Donald Trump. And if we’re not mad at Donald Trump, it’s because he’s not – or he’s been prevented from – doing something stupid!
And maybe, just maybe, this is the beginning of the end of Donald Trump’s autocratic, world-harming decision making. Perhaps we can finally return to a time when the hot news item of the day would be all we cared about, until the next thing happens. Heck, let’s bring back #FML! I’d welcome it at this point!
Wait, what did you say?
Trump just undid years of climate change progress with the stroke of a pen, all but guranteeing the fact that our planet will be uninhabitable in the not-so-distant future?
United Airlines, you’re off the hook.