2016 GOP ‘Dream Team’
It is tempting to write about the nut-case rhetoric spewing forth from Republican presidential candidates. For a writer, it is low-hanging fruit. I tried resisting, however…
Like many others I am past the shock level. Listening to them trying to out-demagogue each other is like watching a movie in which the f-word is used incessantly. After a while, the viewer no longer hears it, having become desensitized to its impact.
When dealing with foul-mouthed students, I would point out that using profanity is an indicator of limited intelligence and vocabulary. The result is that when flustered one reflexively resorts to cursing.
Name-calling is likewise an indicator of limited intelligence and repressed development. While it is one thing for children to engage in such antics, it is quite another for adults who want to be the face of our country and our commander-in-chief to engage in such rhetoric.
Hyperbolic politicians making over-the-top claims on topics ranging from immigrants, gays, and the Iranian nuclear weapons deal to each other is as sophisticated as nine-year-olds hurling epithets back and forth in a schoolyard exchange. In addition to such vocalizations painting a picture of the user’s character, they also end thoughtful and constructive dialogue.
With that in mind, the first forum for the Republican candidates, what is euphemistically being called a debate, will draw an audience, including yours truly, not because of the impending substantive discussion but for the potential circus atmosphere. Everyone enjoys a farce. P.T. Barnum would be proud of his protégés.
Across the globe another American engaged in if not illegal then at least unethical and boorish behavior by shooting a lion. His act has sparked outrage that, interestingly enough, also produced some crocodile tears for the way he is being lynched in the public opinion court via social media. Go figure.
Of course my heart breaks for the poor devil who essentially has committed professional suicide. After all, wasn’t it his natural right for him to address his sexual and psychological inadequacies by shooting from a safe stand a hapless majestic beast that had been lured into a trap?
There are plenty of others who do as such. They call it sport. They call it hunting but real hunters, the ones who traipse through or lie in muck and cold to get a deer or pheasant, don’t. There is no sport in taking down what is effectively a captive beast.
Imagine though if it had been Donald Trump who shot Cecil the Lion. His poll numbers would be doubling. Consider the fact he’s demeaned immigrants, called every American POW/MIA a loser, and sacrilegiously lampooned what Catholics and Orthodox believe is the Body of Christ by labeling it a “cracker.” Nonetheless, a plurality of GOP voters adore him.
Supporters often sniff they disagree with his words and even his position; they merely admire his tell-it-like-it-is persona. Nonsense. When saying that, they’re trying to provide cover for their own bigotries because in their hearts, they know he’s right. The 1964 Barry Goldwater reincarnate in 2015.
Trump says he gets results. So he has. So did Dr. Walter J. Palmer, the great white lion hunter. Big game trophy hunting is no more sport than clubbing a chained puppy to death. Getting voter support by promising wishful-thinking, fairy tale fixes for immigration, the Iranian nuclear bomb issue, or low wages is to thoughtful dialogue as booing football fans are to understanding the complexities of zone-blocking.
Trump hasn’t gotten to where he is by being nice. He’s a tycoon, pure and simple, in the John D. Rockefeller tradition. And tycoons must be ruthless to build and maintain their empires.
Palmer didn’t nail Cecil by being nice. He began by contracting an unethical guide who lured Cecil out of his sanctuary with a dead animal carcass trailing his vehicle. Next, Palmer wounded Cecil with his bow and arrow and then tracked the stricken lion for 40 hours. One wonders if he had occasion to stop at a Starbucks along the trail for refreshment during his arduous ordeal.
What a pair!
Perhaps, then, they could form the GOP’s 2016 dream team. Trump-Palmer: We Get Results. That certainly would appeal to the frustrated masses.