Fredo Corleone: I'm your older brother, Mike, and I was stepped over!
Michael Corleone: That's the way Pop wanted it.
Fredo Corleone: It ain't the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody says...like dumb...I'm smart and I want respect!If you haven't seen The Godfather, Fredo is the eldest son of the "Godfather". Fredo is not the sharpest guy but he is sharp enough to realize it - and this makes him resentful. He is caught in a cycle of making bad decisions, hating everyone for noticing, which drives him to double-down on even worse decisions.
While the rest of the world is pulling itself out of the Covid pit, America is enthusiastically digging further down. We walked into this fight emaciated by the choices of our past and we further the damage presently with bad leadership and collective idiocy.
But, like Fredo, we demand respect. I watch the anti-mask crowd shake their fists in anger, resenting the world for looking on them as stupid. Talking heads like Limbaugh and Carlson fuel the Fredos of America and give them cohesion. Unlike the Godfather, in America's story, Fredo is taking over.
The American Fredo is now on the world stage making bad decisions while everyone else looks on in horror. And, like Fredo, we double down, frustrated that we are not getting the respect we believe we deserve. In our anger and desperation, we shout, "I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody says...like dumb...I'm smart and I want respect!"