Sunday 23 Oct 2016

Voice or Echo
AJ Robinson

I think my high school civics teacher taught me the two basic ideas of governing: the same, only better and a voice, not an echo. That teacher said that was pretty much it, if you cut away all the rhetoric and fancy speeches.

Politicians offer two choices: the same old way, only better, or change.

He defined the ideas this way. For the first, a politician tells voters she or he is going to do the same as the person currently in office, only better. The other, as you might deduce, is the exact opposite. These make sense, as there really are only two things you can do once elected: continue with governance as it has been or change.

Today, we have a candidate that is most definitely sounding like voice. not an echo. Yet, if closely examined, he turns out more an echo. Let's a look at what he's promising.

First, he's going to deport all illegal immigrants, which is what the GOP has been calling for, but can't do, by virtue of it being impossible. He's going to secure the border, without actually paying for it. Again, this is right out of the GOP playbook. He's going to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replace it with some nebulous undefined new system. I could go on; is it necessary? I think the point is obvious. So, I have to wonder, what is the nature of his appeal?

His followers, whom I refer to as “Dumpsters,” say they don't care about his lies. All politicians lie. What makes one different from the others is tone and attitude.

Trump seems to back down from nothing, including the truth.

This candidate is rough and tough, he doesn't back down from anything and he tells it like it is or does he? I don't know, sounds like the same stale Tea Bagger rhetoric of the last several years, just louder, cruder and more insulting and demeaning.

What this candidate sounds like, to me, is a twelve-year-old bully that I used to know in middle school. He picks on weaker kids, he tells bathroom jokes, he whines when he’s not the center of attention; he wimps out when confronted by something that doesn’t fit what the Dumpsters believe.

I recall seeing a rally where a Birther shouted about Obama not really being a citizen. Senator John McCain, similarly confronted regarding Obama being a Muslim, took a moment to set the person straight. Not ‘Dear’ Donald, he completely kowtowed to the Birther; gutless.

What was that about him standing up to people? What is he really saying is that all that different? What is he promising that he can actually follow through on?

How will he get Mexico to pay for the wall?

A wall along the Mexican Border, simply, is too expensive, wouldn't work. How, exactly, would he get Mexico to pay for it? Deport all illegals; not remotely feasible and would that devastate the economy.

I know the Tea Baggers find facts reprehensible, but our country is dependent on that invisible work force in a number of areas. Ban Muslims from entering the country and the death penalty for anyone who kills a cop. Ah, the president doesn’t have the authority to do either, both are a violation of the Constitution. You’d think the Tea Baggers, who claim to be all about following the Constitution, would know that.

His appeal is really quite simple. He tells these people exactly what they want to hear. He tells them they're right to feel the way they do. He stokes their fear of anyone different from them. He promises to give them what they want, without cost or sacrifice to them.

Huh, sure sounds like a standard politician to me.


Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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