Books, Pop Culture and Political Humor from J.D. Rhoades, best-selling author, attorney, and award-winning newspaper columnist.
"Like [Lee] Child, Rhoades dishes out one airtight action scene after another, mixing in just enough character-building moments and holding our interest in a full cast of nicely developed supporting players."-Booklist
So now Donald Trump, the red-faced, bellowing bully who’s taken the Republican Party by storm, has won New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — and now seems unstoppable in his quest to lead his party to the most crushing general election defeat in modern history this November.
It appears that all of us have fallen under the old curse “may you live in interesting times.” Because our nation’s political life has gotten way too interesting, and I’m thinking it’s going to get worse.
It’s already interesting that many of the same people who sniff disdainfully about liberals “calling people names” are cheering loudly for someone who’s made it the primary tactic of his campaign.
It’s already interesting that many of the same people who’ll have an attack of the vapors if someone says a swear word on TV or posts one on the Internet are supporting a man who says he’ll “bomb the [bad word] out of ISIS” and who gleefully repeats a vulgar slur over the microphone when one of this supporters uses it against one of his opponents.
It’s interesting that the people who have made Planned Parenthood their new bogeyman and who have demanded it be defunded and shut down are now lining up behind the man who said, out loud and in public, that that organization has done “some very good work.”
It’s interesting that the people who claim to honor the sanctity of marriage are so enamored of a man who left his first wife after a well-publicized affair with another woman, who then married and divorced said woman, and who is now married to a third woman 24 years his junior.
It’s interesting that the people who screech about Hillary Clinton’s “lies” are backing a man who claims that he wrote in 2000 that “we needed to take Osama bin Laden out” (he didn’t), a man who claims “our president wants to take in 250,000 from Syria” (the actual number is closer to 10,000), a man who claims the actual unemployment rate is “probably 28, 29, as high as 35. …. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent” (even the highest measure of unemployment isn’t a quarter of that, and that measure — the so-called “U6,” which counts even the people who are working part time as unemployed — is the lowest it’s been since 2008).
The fact-checking site Politifact reports that it looked at “more than 70 Trump statements and rated fully three-quarters of them as Mostly False, False or ‘Pants on Fire,’” a designation they use for “a claim that is not only inaccurate but also ridiculous.”
Frankly, I don’t know how anyone can listen to a Trump supporter talk about Hillary Clinton’s “lies” without laughing in their face. I certainly can’t.
But I suspect the interesting times have just begun.
It’s going to be interesting when the people who completely flipped out when First Lady Michelle Obama wore a dress that exposed her bare arms try to tell us that it’s no big deal when Mr. Trump’s prospective first lady’s nude and semi-nude pics from her modeling career begin popping up on the Internet. (Actually, it’s already begun. Or so I hear.)
It’ll be interesting when the people who’ve jeered at the idea that American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens died because George W. Bush lied about WMDs to get us into the Second Iraq War throw their support behind the man who got on a debate stage on Feb. 13 and said exactly the same thing.
It’s going to be interesting when the people who were outraged at the idea that the Dear Leader Dubbya didn’t “keep us safe” because 9/11 happened on his watch, people who demanded that anyone who said such a thing be silenced, start waving flags at the Republican Convention in support of someone who said exactly that.
What’ll be most interesting if and when the GOP nominates Donald J. Trump to be president will be watching that party finally reveal itself as the party its most strident detractors have always claimed it is: a party not of conservative values, but of authoritarian ones. A party of hypocrites with no principles whatsoever other than “Us Good, You Bad.” A party of bigots, racists, willfully ignorant know-nothings, war-mongering imperialists, rage-junkies, paranoids, and brutal thugs for whom Vladimir Putin’s “my way or the gulag” style of governance is something to be admired and emulated.
That’s more interesting than I’d like to see things get, actually, but it looks like those are the interesting times in which we’re living.