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

LA MAISON DE L'ECURIE, SALLELES D'AUDE: RESTAURANT REVIEW

(If you prefer a video review, go to my YouTube channel HERE.)

Restaurants in peaceful, out of the way locations with scenic, picture postcard views often fall into one of two categories. They tend to be only as good as they have to be or to be more expensive than they should be. Situated right beside the Canal de Jonction where it intersects with the Canal du Midi, La Maison de l'Ecurie (The Stable House) is indeed in a peaceful, scenic location. But it defies convention by serving food that's better than it needs to be at reasonable prices. We thoroughly enjoyed our luncheon on a warmish fall day and shall return. But we'll have to hurry. La Maison de l'Eclurie closes in early November and won't reopen until the first of March.

You can't drive right up to La Maison de l'Ecurie. You turn off the main road from Mirepeisset to Salleles d'Aude onto the tow path, then park and walk for 150 meters or so to the restaurant. The terrace filled rapidly after w…

KYCLOS, SAINT-GUILHEM-LE-DESERT: CONCERT REVIEW

The thirteenth season of the Festival Les Troubadours romanesque has come to a close. If you don't know about this fine series of concerts that takes place from May into October throughout Occitanie, mostly in churches and other ancient settings, take the time to find out about it. HERE'S a link to the website. You'll just have to wait until next year to plan your visits. And we do plan our visits. This year, 48 concerts were on the schedule in venues ranging from the Pyrenees to the other side of Montpellier. Artists came from all corners of the Med from Greece and Corsica, Occitanie and Catalonia, France and Spain. Their music can be classified as sacred and profane, polyphonic and simple, classical and folk, flamenco and world.

For this penultimate concert in the series, Kyclos performed in the Abbaye de Gellone in Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert, a UNESCO World Heritage village worth visiting in its own right. On a dark October night with heavy cloud cover, you miss much of t…

FRENCH VISA AND HEALTH INSURANCE FOR AMERICANS

The most expensive item in an American family's budget may be health insurance. But many Americans have no understanding of the true cost of their insurance because it's included in their employment package. Folks simply don't think about how much their employer may be reducing their salaries when factoring in insurance costs.

Before I retired, my employer paid for my health insurance but I had to pay to insure my wife. The cost, taken out of my every paycheck, came to about $6,000 annually. And even with insurance, there were co-pays and other out of pocket expenses. We were reasonably healthy (and still are, knock wood), but we each take a few common prescription medications - for blood pressure and cholesterol and the like, nothing exotic or costly. Even so, with regular visits to the doctor, periodic lab work, the drugs, and the occasional illness or injury, we normally spent an additional several thousand dollars annually in the States over and above the cost of the i…