“How dare they!” I mused, watching pundits breathlessly interpret results from the Super Tuesday primaries.
Their search for some to divine meaning – or create spin –resembled a blindfolded man in a dark room groping to find a light switch. “Take off the blindfold, dummy!”
Sprinkle in reports of apoplexy in the executive washrooms on the top floors of the ivory towers where “The Establishment” cowers and you have the makings of a “Survivor” reality show spinoff, with none other than former reality personality Donald J. Trump deciding who must leave the island and who can stay. What a country!
Perhaps this year, we’ll see what all of our elections should look like; throngs of impassioned and energized voters from all walks of life and political stripe, armed with torches and pitchforks demanding accountability … and imposing punishment for decades of broken promises and lost opportunities.
Trump has tapped into the angst and anger of a sizable constituency of Americans because he is not the product of a tone-deaf political machine. He is closer to the real world than the “insiders” who devise the schemes and grease the machinery that perpetuate their grip on power.
Trump hears a voice that others either can’t hear or refuse to hear. Every so often, when people are taken for granted, they say “Enough!” and kick back.
It is the primal scream of the masses that Howard Beale exhorted his viewers to make in the movie “Network.” If ever a movie prophesied the future, this one did when it aired in 1976 (the year we elected Jimmy Carter, another “outsider,” president.)
Beale, played by Peter Finch, is a television newscaster/analyst. He delivers this screed to his audience.
“I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV’s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
“We know things are bad – worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’
“Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot –I don’t want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a human being damn it! My life has value!’ So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’”
This year, it’s the Republican Party’s turn in the mad-as-hell barrel. And it’s long overdue. Whether it’s President Trump or President Clinton come January, the high and mighty priests of the GOP, unwilling to atone for their past sins, will pay dearly for them.
How dare they! How dare who? No, not the pundits nor the political elite.
How dare the American people to be so bold as to bite their masters’ hands, to open their windows and scream “I’m not going to take this anymore!” And mean it.