Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Joke

("With A Slur For Ted Cruz, Donald Trump Further Splits Voters")

We have seen this act for years. It has played to millions of Americans, come into our homes and been wildly accepted. But never before without a wink and a nod, and an innate sense that, as John McEnroe would famously intone, "You cannot be serious!"

The Donald Trump speak badly and carry a big shtick campaign was first on prominent display in the form of another Don, Rickles, who laid waste to all the taboos and treated all communities with equal disdain. There is more than a hint of Mr. Trump's most famous slur of Mexicans in Mr. Rickles'

'Italians are fantastic people, really. They can work you over in an alley while singing opera."

 or echoes of the slap to the face of Carly Fiorina in this put-down from Mr. Rickles:

"Oh my God, look at you. Anyone else hurt in the accident?'

Mr.Rickles' scatter-gun denunciations were followed by the miscalculations of Archie Bunker, a character bewildered by a world changing in front of his eyes. where "conservative" values were suddenly out of favor. We heard in his butchered words, concerns like the following: 

"When the whole neighborhood turns into a smelting pot."

He insulted blacks, Jews, "fags", women and anything remotely deemed liberal. He was cast as a voice residing deep inside many. However, he was portrayed mainly as a buffoon and someone, given the opportunity and space, who would have understood the error of his misanthropic rants.

But Mr. Trump has steadfastly maintained  there is no fiction in his message. And it is in the failure to let us see beyond the mask that the real ugliness lies. Mr. Trump is an entertainer, no different on his stage than the others we watched in the past. But we do not get to shake our heads and chuckle, don't give a knowing nod and move back to reality.

The true nightmare for the Republican party and the unfolding tragedy for the nation is that those who believe in Mr. Trump believe in Mr. Trump's words. And that, unfortunately, is no joke.

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