Skip to main content

WHAT'S WITH DONALD TRUMP?

When we are visiting with friends here in the south of France, sipping pink and munching aperos, the question is inevitably asked. What's with you people and Donald Trump? We are, after all, the Americans in the room. As such, we are the de facto experts on the wacky world of American Presidential politics. Do you want truth, we reply? Are you ready for the truth? Can you handle the truth?

OK. Pay attention. There will be a quiz.

The Trumping of the Republican Party is primarily the result of two American political events.

The first was the election of Ronald Reagan. You remember Reagan? Trees cause more pollution than automobiles? Ketchup is a vegetable? Those may sound silly to you today but Reagan was The Great Communicator. The disconnect between rhetoric and reality became irrelevant.

I repeat in case you missed it. In American politics, the disconnect between rhetoric and reality is irrelevant.

Thus, Reagan was able to preside over a huge increase in federal spending, a huge increase in federal debt, and still claim that Big Government was the problem and that tax cuts would balance the budget. Thus, Trump could say that he would build a wall on the Mexican border, that the Mexicans would pay for it, and nobody in his audience laughed.

The second political event leading to the Trumping of the Republicans was the election of that Kenyan-born Muslim, Barack Obama. Obama's election confronted a vast swath of Americans with the shocking truth that being born with white skin, having a closet full of rifles, and holding a world view that failed to consider anything happening beyond your own little cul-de-sac was not going to cut it any more. And it was Obama's fault - Obama and everyone who looked like him.

That the next refugee allowed on our shores might grow up to be President was no longer a point of American pride. The next refugee was probably not going to be white.

Yes, folks. Trump represents the worst of America. And in a primary election in the United States, winners are decided by those voters that show up. Since only the most rabid, highly motivated voters tend to show up in the primaries, the winners are the ones willing to feed the beast.

Beware. The fringe right wing of politics with which Europe is so familiar and against which Europe is constantly on guard has invaded America with a vengeance. I have decided to leave the United States and live in France for a reason. And it's not about the wine and the cheese.

Well, not just about the wine and the cheese...








Comments

  1. I arrived in France during an election year and found myself having to explain why George W. Bush was elected when Al Gore had scored more votes. My new hosts couldn't believe how a presidential election in the powerful USA could resemble so closely one in a banana republic. Of course, this awkward phase was nothing compared to the conflict between W and Chirac about WMD and attacking Iraq! Having to explain "Freedom fries" to my smirking colleagues was not any easier ("but zey are not even French, zey are Belgian"). So what I'm saying is, get used to being embarrassed, Ira. At least our hosts are open-minded enough to realize that Americans are not all the same...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, but I'm not embarrassed at all. I'm living in a country whose politicians are criticized not for cheating on their wives but for cheating on their mistresses. The country next door elected Berlusconi. What does an American have to be embarrassed about?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nothing , to me, Trump is a direct link to The Bush catastrophe . I credit Americans with the ability to learn after that episode. We all have to vote ...burying our heads in sand wont change the Fanatics rise to power ..... 1930 an' all that . England only votes when things get totally out of hand ...Wilson, Thatcher and Blair in my lifetime ...so hang on in there and VOTE .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was quite surprised how easy it was to arrange for absentee ballots for the primary electronically. No muss, no fuss. Just about $5.50 worth of postage to mail ours to the States. We'll do the same in November.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

CHÉ OLIVE / LE ZINC, CREISSAN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

No, it's not Chez Olive. It is indeed Ché complete with red star and black beret. I have no idea why and I wasn't about to ask. The French are the French and not to be analyzed too closely when it comes to politics, especially these days. Creissan is the next town over from our village of Quarante. We pass through it often and Ché Olive is right there on the main road at the entrance to town. (One of the signs still says Le Zinc. Olive says he prefers Ché Olive though.) Olive opened it a couple of years ago after leaving the Bar 40, Quarante's basic local watering hole that's undergone a bit of a renaissance lately. We hadn't heard much about Ché Olive from our usual sources for dining recommendations. So we just kept passing by. For reasons not central to this review, we decided to stop in for lunch on a mid-week in late December. The bar is cozy, the restaurant open and bright and modern. Newly renovated and perhaps a bit sterile. We were the f

RESTAURANT TEN, UZES: RESTAURANT REVIEW

Ten sits just off the market square in Uzes, one of the prettiest villages in southern France. The newly renovated space is airy and comfortable with tables of sufficient size and sufficiently spaced to provide for a pleasant dining experience. Service was cheerful, fully bilingual, and attentive without being overbearing. The food presented well to both eye and tongue. And the rate of approximately 30 € per person for a party of five included starters, mains, a dessert or two, two bottles of local wine, and coffees at the finish. Reasonable if not cheap eats.  So why am I hesitant to give an unqualified thumbs up?  It took me a while to figure it out. Uzes is a quintessentially French village in a quintessentially French region of southern France. There are those who will say that the Languedoc is just as beautiful but less crowded and less expensive than its eastern neighbors. I know. I'm one of those people. But the fact remains that for many people, villages like Uzes are t

CHRISTMAS WALK TO VIEW OF THE PYRENEES: 2018

Cathey said that it was OK for me to take my usual Tuesday morning walk on Christmas Day. I could help set the table and perform other minor tasks necessary for a satisfactory Christmas dinner with friends after I returned. So off I went. Temperature 40℉ at the start near sunup. 50℉ at the finish a couple of hours later. No wind. Blue skies. This was the winter that I came to France for. The walk can't really be called scenic. Just through the vines until you get to the headland opposite the village. But the closer that you get to the top, you begin to see the Pyrenees peeking through. And at the top, it's a 360° panorama. As always, start at the church. There's just something about the color of the sky... For some reason, French Santa seems to prefer climbing in through the windows than down the chimneys. Like I said, through the vines. Headed for the little hilltop. Lousy camera in my cheap tablet. Thems ain't clouds. Thems the Pyrenees. And