Yeah, I know. This space hasn’t been updated in a long time. I may have been distracted by something.
Some time ago, I wrote this article about the Republican party’s seemingly irrational communiques to those people we affectionally know as the American People.
You don’t have to read it again. Here’s the gist: a (non-healthy) amount of what Republicans rely on to maintain political viability and power is actually play-acting, designed to mislead, frighten, outrage, and/or “lather-up” an electorate already made vulnerable by their own unwillingness to pay attention. Acting is behaving truthfully under imaginary circumstances, and in the case of the Republicans, the circumstances are often pretty imaginary. In the preceding years, President Obama has taken the brunt of many of these fanciful scenarios, designed to “prove” that anything he’s associated with is a disaster. The facts tend to tell a different story.
From a short distance, Donald J. Trump looked on all the Republican vaudeville enviously. He’s a guy who has always truly loved to get in on the act, and soon did as one of the original “birthers.” As a young man, he inherited a lot of money. Like the fictional but likable Elmer J. Fudd, the real but obnoxious Donald J. Trump had more than enough money for a mansion and a yacht. Consequently, he got bored easily and needed something to do, so he built up an image of himself as a master businessman/deal maker. True? Nope, but if Donald J. Trump has proven anything in the course of his career, it’s that — provided you start with enough money — you can fail sideways by “leveraging” a ridiculous, gold-leafed, classy-with-a-k, brand. Trump did the book. Trump did the board game. Trump did the vodka and steaks. Trump did the Reality TV. Trump did the completely unaccredited university. Trump even did the fictional comedy chicken joint:
Last summer, a Trump run for the presidency seemed jokey. Trump came down an escalator. He hired supporters. Trump was a windy bozo, and was compared to every other windy bozo — your uncle being loud and embarrassing at the family reunion, your uncle being loud and embarrassing at Walmart, your uncle, loud and embarrassing on the back stoop drinking beer while complaining about all the foreigners ruining everything.
Now, as we head into the summer of 2016, Donald J. Trump is the (presumptive) nominee of the GOP. In the beginning, there were 16 other Republican contenders. 16! One by one, Trump dispatched them all with a witch’s brew of braggadocio, nonsensical school-yard taunts, xenophobia, and misogyny. He did it without really being a politician, and without really being a Republican. Trump crashed a party that, while managing to stay pretty old, quit being grand around 1865. It’s morning in America now — there’s a weird smell no one can identify, and red solo cups are strewn everywhere.*
*Don’t worry, though, Donald J. Trump has more than enough money to cover the cost of those red solo cups, I will tell you that.
Bonus Related Links!
All of us should hope that Mitt Romney’s shooing takes place sooner rather than later.
Today, the President of the United States will address children who attend secondary schools. Or, the POTUS will address children who attend public school if the local school bureaucrats allow him to. You see, the school bureaucrats are under a lot of pressure from “king-hell-crazy parents” who believe that President Obama is a socialist who has a secret plan to indoctrinate children. Don’t believe it? Just look at this copy from the president’s speech:
…But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.
Yes, motivated kids are a threat to democracy and the cleanliness of the school’s restrooms. There is a solution to this problem, one that should assuage the concerns of “crazy parents” and school bureaucrats alike.
The real guy. Pay no attention.
Meet animatronic Eisenhower, or A-IKE. He’s a president from a simpler time, when you knew what to count on. The communists were pure evil. Cars had fins. Eisenhower fought in the Great War, and no one questioned his military record. Even better, he looks reassuringly like someone’s granddad, if your granddad happens to be balding and caucasian.
The best thing is this: the Animatronic Eisenhower can be programmed to say whatever you want him to say. So, if you want A-IKE to tell everybody when the audio-visual club meeting is, he’s at your service. Over the closed-circuit TV at your school, A-IKE looks surprisingly lifelike.**
** A-IKE, owing to his original design, may start talking about the National Interstate Highway System. This is clearly socialism. Shut A-IKE down if this occurs. Worse, A-IKE may, without prompting from you, begin to go on at length about something called the “Military Industrial Complex.” Again, shut down A-IKE down if this occurs. A-IKE is proudly made in the Peoples Republic of China.
My message to Senators Franken and Klobuchar:
Please don’t give up on the Public Option! Until the health insurance industry gets true competition from a Public Option, that industry will continue to take unfair advantage of those who must use its services.
A well-designed Public Option will cover many who do not have health insurance today. Senator, you and I know why so many americans are not covered: it’s because the health insurance companies are not run as vehicles for keeping people well or healing the sick. Simply put, these companies are vehicles for profit.
The business of America is business, but not at any cost, and certainly not at the expense of any basic human need.