11:28:14 am on
Monday 17 Jun 2024

The Opposites
AJ Robinson

Years ago, I happened upon a television show aimed at children. The show was You Can’t Do that on Television. It produced at the CJOH-TV studios in Ottawa, Canada

The cast include the late Les Lye, Abby Hagyard and Ruth Buzzi, of Laugh In fame. A young Alanis Morrisette occasionally had a role on the show. You Can’t do that on Television was heavily influenced by the satire of Terry Gilliam.

My dad and I found it quite funny. It was sort of a version of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In for children. Lame jokes, skits dominated the show; Laugh In had a comedy wall. Cast members would open a window and deliver a stale joke. You Can’t do that … had kids appearing from school lockers.

A mainstay sketch involving opposites.

A mainstay sketch segment, of You Can’t do that …, was “The Opposites” and, as the name implies, these skits involved reversals. The kids loved homework; they ate their liver and lima beans and so on.

As I watch President Trump spew more lies, recently, I was remind of “The Opposites” sketch. This finally allowed me to figure out how to interpret him and his actions. It’s opposites; you just take what he says, reverse it and you’ll know what he means and what he’s going to do. Let’s review, shall we?

First, there were the silly ones. His inaugural crowd was bigger than was the crowd for the inauguration of Barak Obama. The rain stopped as he gave his speech. It’s all pure nonsense.

We can move on to the important lies. Trump promised to appoint a special prosecutor and lock up Hillary. He’s done neither. There’s no hint he ever will.

Trump said we’d build a wall and that Mexico would pay for it. Well, the latter sure isn’t going to happen. The wall is looking less and less likely as time goes by. It also appears, more and more, as if American will pay for it, when he builds it.

His secret plan was supposed to destroy ISIS in thirty days. Haven’t seen that happen. They’re still active well after day one hundred.

He said China manipulated their currency, but that changed since he chatted with them. He promised to ‘drain the swamp’ and said Hillary was in the pocket of Goldman-Sachs; his administration is full of its former employees.

Trump used to complain Obama played too much golf. He said he’d be too busy working to take a vacation. How many times has he going to his personal resort in Florida, in just the first hundred or so days? Oh, and then there are his business interests and taxes. Do I really have to review his lies on them?

Here are the forty Pinocchios.

Now, we come to the big one. What were his words concerning healthcare? Let’s see: his plan would cost less, have better coverage, and everyone and he did say coverage for everyone. The plan passed by the House covers fewer people and has worse coverage. On the issue of costing less, on its surface, it seems to do that, but not really. There’s an old saying my dad taught me that is so appropriate when it comes to healthcare. To wit,

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

By cutting coverage for preventative measures, women’s health and pre-existing conditions TrumpCare will save money in the short term. All these people are not just going to go away or no longer have their health issues. They’re going to be there and they’re going to get sick or need treatment. So, some will die, others will get worse, and all of them will be a drag on the economy.

There’s your truly big cost.

I feel sad for the Trump supporters, as they’re the ones who’ll be hurt the worst. Yet, it’s also hard to have sympathy for them. They did do it to themselves and they knew what they were getting. Trump supports can claim they believed Trump when he said his plan would be great, but here’s the thing, here’s the fly in the ointment.

He never gave the details.

Does that sound even remotely reasonable? Especially these days, when information is a simple keyword search away. Beyond that, there’s simple common sense. Ask yourself an incredibly easy question: how would that be possible? How can you cover everyone, give better coverage, cost less and give huge tax cuts to the rich? Does that make one bit of sense on the face of the statement? No, an understanding of Trump involves the opposites, which is oh-so sad.


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. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

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