KingMidget's Ramblings

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Words Fail Me

The one Prince Midget is away at college.  The other Prince Midget is as well.  The Queen Midget is off tonight to celebrate a friend’s birthday.  And, so, I have a quiet evening to look forward to.  At one point, I considered finding a restaurant with good food and beer and setting up shop there for a couple of hours.  Maybe I’d find inspiration.  Maybe not.  But there was an opportunity nonetheless.

During the day, however, I realized that the peace of a quiet home would give me the opportunity to get some things done.  So, I stopped at my go to “need something that is great and dependable and tasty.”  Yes, I stopped at Roma’s II.  White Pizza.

While I waited, I went to the bar.  It’s a small bar, basically long enough for about six or seven people to sit.  It was almost full tonight, with a stool at one end calling my name.  I sat down.  The waitress said, “Mark, you want a Peroni.”  How could I resist?  “Yes, please.”  She handed me a fresh pint of the nectar and I settled in.  The TV above me had the latest news of the recent terrorist attacks in Belgium.

And the two old guys sitting in the two chairs immediately to my left started talking.  Actually, all I heard was the one.

“The world is screwed up these days.  It’s really bad.  That’s why I’m voting for Trump.  He’s gonna nuke ’em.  He’ll start with small nukes and then drop the big one.”




words fail me.

As soon as he said that, I got up.  Took my beer and looked for someplace else to sit.  The bar was full.  Maria, the owner of Roma’s II was at the opposite end of the bar.  She motioned to me to sit at a table.  I thanked her and said something like, “I just can’t take it.  I can’t listen to this anymore.”  She nodded knowingly and said, “I know.”

So, here’s the thing.  I’ve been going to Roma’s for more than 30 years.  Maria and I have never, ever talked about politics.  As I settled in that the table.  She came over.  I whined about the old guys at the bar and what they had said.  She nodded her head and commiserated with me.  I told her that I would vote for Obama every four years for the rest of my life if I could.  She replied, “Really?”  I said that I would.  She said that it would be Reagan for her.  And I get that and, in comparison to this year’s crop of Republican idiots, I’m OK with that.  In the 1980’s I opposed virtually everything Reagan did, but now … I’d take him over Trump, Cruz, Rubio … pretty much anybody the current Republican Party has as a candidate for the Presidency.

It’s just really disgusting.

Nukes on terrorists?  Tell me how that’s actually going to work.  Please.  Where would you actually drop the nukes?  How many thousands, hundreds of thousands of innocent people would you kill?  And what about the Pandora’s box that would open?  I mean, seriously, use nukes on terrorists?  But this is why Trump has done what he has done.  He is playing to the fear and the hate and the intolerance of a certain segment of this country.  I just hope that segment doesn’t grow to the size needed for him to win the damn thing.  More attacks like the one in Brussels will make it more possible.  And we will have done exactly what the terrorists wanted.  It is stunning to me how much we have played into their hands ever since 9/11.  And that, folks, is why I would vote for Obama every four years for the rest of my life if I could — he has refused to play the game the way the terrorists want us to.  Sadly, most of the rest of American politicians don’t get this fundamental reality.




20 responses to “Words Fail Me

  1. sknicholls March 23, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    I don’t totally agree with everything this author is saying, but I found the post interesting and the comments even more so. The social consciousness of America is pretty scary right now.
    Part of what was interesting were the comments made by people who thought her article was in support of Trump.
    America is really, really screwed if this man becomes President.

    • kingmidget March 23, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      I agree with a LOT of this. What I don’t agree with is that the end result of this will be a good. That America will grow up and mature and put this kind of crap to the side. That’s a pipe dream. The other thing I don’t agree with is that this is about America. It’s actually not. This is a fundamental of human nature. Every country has this segment within it … the segment that gives rise to fear, to unbridled nationalism, to hate of the other. It is, unfortunately a fundamental characteristic of human nature and all of those who want to rise above it must fight that fundamental characteristic however we can. Through love, through peace, through countering the hate with better ideas. It’s a never-ending battle. And Trump has decided to play to the worst of human nature. It’s disgusting. It is good in the sense that it opens to our eyes to the fact that this still exists in America, that we haven’t overcome it, but it is bad because it raises the risk of giving power to that hate and fear.

  2. cinthiaritchie March 23, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    Oh, I would also vote for Obama for the rest of my life. I love the man. Truly!
    But, having grown up in working-class farmland, attending college in middle America, and then living in both Arizona (anti-immigration) and Alaska (anti-everything except what favors Alaska Republicans), I’m not surprised at the furor of support behind Trump. My own mother is smitten with him, says he’s exactly what this country needs to set it right. (WTF, eh?)
    I think there’s a lot of disconnect among working-class people, much of what has to do with the advance of technology, which has pretty much pushed them out of their American dream niche, and they have to blame someone, and Trump gives them reason to blame, and purpose to blame, and the opportunity to blame. It’s ugly and scary. It’s almost obscene, and yet it’s happening. It’s pretty fu*king surreal, isn’t it?
    P.S. Hope you enjoyed your pizza.

    • kingmidget March 23, 2016 at 8:25 pm

      I also am not surprised by his support. I have often said that about 1/3 of the country is loon on the right and 1/3 is loony on the left. It’s the 1/3 in the middle that matters. The thing about Trump is that I think he’s pulling from both of the loony sides, but not all of each loony side. If that makes sense. He plays to something that some people need to feel and that feeling, if allowed to control the government is a scary, surreal thing indeed. I’ve lived my entire life in California and I always tell people here that we have no idea what the rest of the country is like. We live in this liberal little haven (that in some places really isn’t that liberal) and we have no idea just how conservative other areas in the country are. We look at Trump or Cruz and scoff, not realizing there are huge swaths of this country who hear their words and believe every word they say.

    • Holistic Wayfarer May 8, 2016 at 12:09 pm

      “Trump gives them reason to blame, and purpose to blame, and the opportunity to blame.” You nailed it.

      Sensitive commentators on NPR couldn’t help express concern earlier this yr that Trump’s victory would give license to the KKK to up their game. Beyond scary.

  3. Bruce Thiesen March 24, 2016 at 6:52 am

    And all you were looking for was a few pieces of your favorite pizza.

    A poll of California R’s this week showed Trump leading Cruz by 11 points with 38%. From that, let’s conclude that there were at least two more of ten of the R’s at your pizza shop ready to let the missiles fly.

  4. Kevin Brennan March 24, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Man, I’m totally with you on the flabbergastedness thing. I can’t believe how blithe people are about nuking this, nuking that, carpet bombing, invading, especially after a decade that showed how such strategies fail every time. People are looking for easy answers — that’s why Trump is doing so well — but there are no easy answers.

    I like Obama a lot too, though at times he strikes me as a little too timid. He might have been able to lead a Bernie-like revolution, but he has the soul of an incrementalist.

    Strange times …

    • kingmidget March 24, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      Yes … easy answers. That’s exactly what Trump offers. Solutions that don’t require thought or consideration. Immigration problem? Build a wall and make the other guy pay for it. Terrorism a problem? Nuke ’em. Carpet bomb ’em. Torture ’em. Kill their families. On pretty much every issue, what Trump offers in his “we just need to win again” spiel is the easy answer people so desperately crave.

    • kingmidget March 24, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      And one other thing … Obama. I’m okay with the incremental approach. That’s part of why I like him. A revolution isn’t going to work. Change is best wrought through slow progress. Revolutions are dangerous … just look at Trump.

      • Kevin Brennan March 24, 2016 at 7:25 pm

        Well, I understand that from a realpolitik point of view, but when I think back to the spring of 2009 and recall the inadequate fiscal stimulus bills, I can’t help but think an opportunity was lost. If you’re strictly an incrementalist, your baby steps wind up stalling whatever progress you might be hoping for.

        I know, I know … The votes weren’t there for more. Same as it ever was.

      • kingmidget March 24, 2016 at 7:31 pm

        One of the things I appreciated about Andrew Sullivan when he was still blogging was when he wrote about Obama’s big strength in taking the the long view on things. He was not about immediate gratification and quick solutions. I look at what he has done in foreign policy and the Middle East as an example of this. And there’s also something to be said for recognizing what you can accomplish and what you can’t. I’m not sure whether the fiscal stimulus was inadequate. What bothers be about 2009 and ever since is that those responsible for what happened were never held responsible for what they did. There should have been people sent to prison and if you see what is going on in the financial markets these days, it is clear that they believe they are immune from such things. The same mistakes continue to be made. I’d probably say that Obama’s unwillingness to prosecute the bankers for what they did is his greatest failing as President.

        When you look at the united Republican opposition and how the midterm elections in 2010 and 2014 made things even more difficult for Obama, it is amazing sometimes to think about what he did accomplish.

      • Kevin Brennan March 24, 2016 at 10:59 pm

        Agreed. It’s been one clusterf*%&k of a decade, eh?

      • kingmidget March 25, 2016 at 5:46 am

        Yep. Don’t know if you’ve seen the clip of Bill Clinton referring to the legacy of the last eight years. The right wing is giddy because they think it’s a criticism of Obama. I think if you actually listen to what he was saying in context, it’s clear he was saying something else.

  5. the father figure March 24, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Ah, yes, my son: I observe that you, at a relatively youthful age, have stumbled upon one of the truisms of life that I learned only in my recent dotage, to wit, if you’re going to hang out in saloons (or doughnut shops) then you are going to encounter a preponderance of men who have about their necks a slender chain bearing a Rush Limburger talisman, men who devoutly believe in the maxim “Change Is Bad,” men who in the past swore allegiance to the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld triumvirate and who now desire to pledge fealty to the Grand High Self-Exalted Mouth That Roared.

    Where are the fine people upon whose tee-shirts is the label “Flaming Liberal”? Not dead and buried but perhaps home and married (and we can save for a later date any discussion whether those two conditions are one and the same).

    If you must go to those joints, then wear earplugs or drink fast and pass out soon.

    • kingmidget March 24, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      Yeah, I know, but when it just slaps me in the face like it did last night, I just can’t deal with it. It’s just too stunning to me that anybody could think that dropping nukes is a solution to anything.

  6. Trent Lewin March 25, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Some people just aren’t understandable, Mark. They live in a different plane of existence and it’s tough to rescue them. Might even be impossible.

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