Maybe I’ve been watching too many news channels on television, but the message I get from our leaders in Washington is no help in facing a pandemic on one side and a failing economy on the other.

America finds itself between a rock and a hard place; who will be its Aeneas?

The message I’m getting is a double one. The truth is that reality doesn’t matter so much any more. The reality is that the truth doesn’t matter so much any more. Well, the truth does matter, and reality is very real.

Commanding his ship across uncharted waters, and faced with steering between Scylla and Charybdis, the giant whirlpool on one side and the rocky coast on the other, Virgil’s Roman hero, Aeneas, exhorts his crew with these words, “Forsitan et haec olim memminissi juvabit.” Perhaps, one day, it will be good to remember all of this.

His words accept the reality of the situation, that it is perilous, tell it truthfully, and imply, “Take your place, pick up your oar, do your job, and let’s get on with it.” And they do.

We could use some of that kind of leadership from Washington now. Realistic, truthful and positive.

Orrin Frink is a Kennebunkport resident. He can be reached at [email protected]

Comments are not available on this story.