Saturday, January 14, 2017

Want Ad: Achilles. No Wimps Need Apply

Much as I love the "New York Times" and Timothy Eagan, I beg to differ about his assessment of our current state of affairs, in today's column he asserts:

 You know we're in trouble when the only reasonable voice in a week of capital chaos is a man whose nickname is Mad Dog.
--Timothy Eagan, "The New York Times"

I tried to not take this personally, but really, my fans in Ukraine will not be pleased. 
It is nice to know there are others out there who are seeing through Mr. Trump, with whom you can nod in silent agreement. Gives one a sense of community.

That idea of "Fahrenheit 451" keeps rising up: a group of enlightened people memorize the great books, each one reciting his or her own favorite, while walking about in the woods with other like minded people, keeping the faith alive. But the greater society, the silent majority, are just fine with the absence of books, and with firemen  rallying to the scene whenever a book or a library is discovered so the firemen can burn the books. 

The idea of a group of like minded souls, talking to each other, keeping the faith alive, is stirring, but ultimately, when those people die off, or lose their memories, the books are gone. 

No, what those woods wanderers needed was some effective strategy for opposition. They needed someone to emerge who could effectively take down the big guy or guys. When Hector is on the field, you need Achilles. 

The McCarthy era must have been similar, but worse. In the case of the Senator from Wisconsin, who did not simply accuse people of being over rated or a failure, an opponent was immediately labeled a Communist, a "fellow traveler" and job loss, ostracism or jail followed.

So the problem we have with Mr. Trump is not all that.
Ever the showman

The problem we have with Mr. Trump is not just one problem but several:
1/ The first problem is  identifying what he says.  Actually, this is not as easy as it sounds because he says so many things and there are so few ideas in his stream of consciousness obviating, you need a recorder to sort through it all.  A coworker stopped me the other day to rail about what she had heard him say but she couldn't recall exactly what it was. She was just sputtering.  People often begin with he said, "something about."

2/ Then you have to say, "No, that's not right and here's why." Actually, in the new Trump era, you really don't have to say why. Evidence is out of style. Vide Infra.

3/ Figuring out who is audience is and what you could possibly say to persuade them.  It is a bit like "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." His fans look outwardly normal. They are not straight out of a zombie movie, staggering around. They have no diagnostic physical features. So you have to put something out there which will penetrate their cell walls and cure them.
Can you convince this voter?

Bernie Sanders seemed to be able to do this. He seems to do it instinctively. He is a street fighting man.  Maybe he's just a Brooklyn boy who knows how to handle schmucks from Queens.  He is every bit as entertaining and effective as the Donald, but whatever it is he's got, he's like those woods wanderers--too old, and even if he weren't he seems to have disappeared from the national stage.  
Too bad he never got on the same stage as the Donald
Why do we not see Bernie Sanders replying, every time the Donald says something? 

We've got Meryl Streep and a legion of offended, hurt sounding spokesmen--actually they are usually women--decrying Mr. Trump as dangerous, wrong and unkind.  What we need is Bernie Sanders, or better yet, someone new, making him look ridiculous.
Who has the spear and knows how to use it?

"For Donald Trump global warming is a Chinese plot."  Stuff like that.
Here are some golden oldies from Bernie: "I don't know what his relationship with women has been, but he's recently discovered women go to the bathroom, and it's been very upsetting for him."

"Here's a billionaire who thinks wages are too high."
"Trump comes along and you're scared and you're angry and he says, it's that Black guy over there. That's the guy." 
"A few months ago we were supposed to hate Mexicans. Now it's Muslims. That kind of crap isn't going to work in the United States of America."
"If you take everything else away, what does Donald Trump have the nobody else has? Five million bucks."
"What we are saying to the American people is this: No, Donald Trump is not right. No, a Mexican worker making 8 bucks an hour is not the reason the American middle class is disappearing."
When the boys come out to play...

But, you know, Bernie said all those things on the campaign trail.  He got air time then. 
But now where is he? 
Does CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, PBS and all the rest not know his address at the Senate? Do they not have his phone number? Are no camera crews available at the Capitol?

Much as I love Al Franken, he's just not succinct enough.
Elizabeth Warren has her moments, but she is, frankly, too soft. Her voice carries too much hurt.
We don't need wounded, offended, hurting people.
We need someone who can deal in the same currency as the Donald.
That seems to be the only stuff people in the Rust Belt seem to crave.


  1. Actually Joe Biden can do it effectively - and I hope he will, beginning Jan 20th when he no longer is constrained by being the sitting Vice President. He is blue collar from Scranton and speaks the language of Trump supporters. If he had run, he would have won.

  2. Anon,
    You think Biden would have beaten Trump. Many others claim Bernie would have won.
    All we know for sure is none of that nauseating Republican field could beat him and Hillary could not.
    Reading the reports of who voted for him and listening to what they say, I'm not convinced anyone other than Trump or some similar American Mussolini could have satisfied the appetite of the 60 million who voted for him.
    Mad Dog