Wits and wags are standing on their heads — hell, some of them are standing on each others’ heads — trying to make sense of the Donald Trump phenomenon. Psychologists and psychiatrists are psychoanalyzing him and his fans. Pollsters are crunching numbers. Political commentators are pontificating on jobs, the economy, immigration, and tons of other issues that normally define a candidate and his people.
I’m here to save them all the trouble. Stand on your heads no more, experts and mavens. Big Mike has the answer. Ready?
Okay, here goes. Remember as far back as February when Trump was still a joke to most observers? (Well, not to me — I’ve taken him seriously since the day he announced his intention to run for president in 2015. To have viewed Trump as a gag, you have to believe in the rationality, the good sense, and even the sanity of the American electorate. I do not, nor have I ever.)
Anyway, one night in February, after he’d won the New Hampshire primary, much to the shock and chagrin of the smart guys, Trump was giving a speech during which he referred to Ted Cruz. A woman in the audience screamed out, “He’s a pussy!”
Trump played aghast and faux-excoriated the woman. But everyone knew he agreed with her. Everyone knew she’d said precisely what he was thinking. And the beauty of it was, he didn’t have to say the words. She did the dirty work for him. He had his cake and he ate it.
The Pussy Moment
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It was at that very moment Trump became a hero to millions of Murricans. We liberals, progressives, Democrats, and other dregs of society love to kid ourselves that if everybody just realized how intelligent, thoughtful, rational, even brilliant our guy Barack Obama is, why, they’d just throw kisses at him from morning until night.
The American people have rarely if ever shown any inclination to embrace intelligence, thought, rationality, and even brilliance. In fact, tell people a guy has those qualities and they’ll smirk. He’ s probably a fag, they’ll tell each other in private. God forbid he’d be our leader.
Many, many, many people of this holy land wish to high heaven god had forbidden Barack Obama from becoming our leader. A few of them even believe the Big Daddy-o in the sky has visited tornados, floods, 9/11, and scads of other tragedies upon us simply because we did indeed vote BHO into the Oval Office.
(How, you may ask, was Obama deemed responsible for 9/11? Simple. The Big Daddy-o is all knowing and all powerful. He looked seven years into the future and saw dark skin in the White House — next thing anybody knew, jumbo jets were crashing into the twin towers and the Pentagon. You’ve got have faith, you know.)
What the American people want is a man. A he-man. A man not afraid to tell it like it is. A man who speaks the truth. A man who’ll bomb ISIS, Mexican immigrants, the Chinese, fat women, the unemployed, and anybody else who displeases him back into the Stone Age.
A man who knows how big his balls are and is eager to share that information with the world.
A man, as well, who knows when another man really isn’t a man. Trump knew Ted Cruz was a pussy.
Trump was a man we could go to war with.
Trump’s tacit endorsement of the woman calling Cruz a pussy was the switch that turned on the carnival ride. “Hehe! He thinks Cruz is a pussy. I like that guy. He speaks the truth.”
As opposed to, say, John McCain who, in 2008 when a woman said Barack Obama was a Muslim and an Arab, shook his head and told her, “No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man and citizen…. He’s not an Arab.”
The crowd booed and hissed McCain. People shouted that Obama was a terrorist and that McCain was a liar.
You can bet with that exchange, McCain essentially guaranteed that tens of thousands of likely voters for him — perhaps even hundreds of thousands — would stay home on Election Day. I don’t know if McCain would have won the election but the final count would have been a lot closer had he pretended to be aghast and faux-scolded the woman, winking all the while.
Politics comes from the gut. I like to think that my gut tells me I should be concerned over the plight of those less fortunate than I am, that the environment needs a good clean-up — quick, and that war with China would be pretty much a bummer for all 7 billion of us. But I’m an outlier. Real Murricans’ guts ache for a tough guy. A guy who isn’t afraid to call another man a pussy.
The Loved One and I watched a bald eagle soar 25 or 30 feet above the water at Paynetown yesterday. Then we kept an eye on a couple of chipmunks playing hide and seek in the rocks. At one point, a killdeer flew straight at our car, thinking we might be a threat to his brood.
This is the kind of show I like to take in just about every night at Lake Monroe.
The View From Paynetown
May 27th Birthdays
Amelia Bloomer — Weird — isn’t it? — that her name should be forever associate with a style of underpants even though she was the editor of the first American newspaper for women, she fought long and hard for women’s suffrage, and she was an early leader in the temperance movement (alcohol, many argued, was responsible for men beating women). She did urge women to wear the eventually eponymous drawers because they allowed greater comfort and freedom of movement.
Julia Ward Howe — The noted abolitionist and author, like several abolitionists of the middle 19th Century, she argued against slavery but still felt blacks inferior to whites. After the Civil War, she advocated for women’s rights, suffrage, and pacifism.
Dashiell Hammett — The “ace performer,” in Raymond Carver’s view, of the hard-boiled school of detective writers. Hammett suffered from tuberculosis and was advised to move away from his wife and their two daughters for their own health. He did so, moving across the country, and his marriage soon fell apart. An anti-Fascist and civil rights advocate, he joined the Communist Party USA before World War II. He refused to name names during the communist witch hunts and was sentenced to federal prison for his efforts.
Rachel Carson — Make no mistake, she was the mother of the environmental movement in the United States, and the world for that matter. A marine biologist, she wrote several bestselling books describing ocean life. One of them, The Sea Around Us, won the National Book Award. Her 1962 landmark book, Silent Spring, spurred chemical companies like DuPont, Velsicol, and American Cyanamid to threaten lawsuits and launch aggressive PR campaigns against her. One company chemist wrote, “If man were to follow the teachings of Miss Carson, we would return to the Dark Ages, and the insects and diseases and vermin would once again inherit the earth.”
Hubert Humphrey — LBJ’s vice president. His groundbreaking speech at the 1948 Democratic National Convention established the party as a champion for civil rights and led to the eventual abandonment of the Democrats by southern segregationists, who were welcomed with open arms by the Republicans in the late 1960s. Here’s a snippet of that speech:
My friends, to those who say that we are rushing this issue of civil rights, I say to them we are 172 years late. To those who say that this civil-rights program is an infringement on states’ rights, I say this: The time has arrived in America for the Democratic Party to get out of the shadow of states’ rights and to walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights. People — human beings — this is the issue of the 20th Century. People of all kinds — all sorts of people — and these people are looking to America for leadership, and they’re looking to America for precept and example.
Christopher Lee — There was no other Dracula.
Ramsey Lewis — Pianist and composer, Lewis brought jazz to a wide audience with his gold record versions of “The In Crowd” and others.
On this day in 1965, US Navy warships began to bombard Viet Cong targets in South Vietnam, dramatically expanding the war. Ho Chi Minh warned the United States, “If you wish to make war for twenty years, we will fight a war for twenty years. If you wish to make peace, we will make peace and invite you to tea.”