Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Having An Early Last Laugh on Trump

Word has just come of the terrorist bombings in Brussels. We all mourn for the victims and the bereaved.

Well, maybe not all of us. I wouldn't be surprised if Donald Trump secretly welcomes this as wonderful fuel for the fires of hatred and fear he stokes. His dismal rousing of the worst in people is almost as depressing as the bombings. But there will be no escaping that strident voice. He's the media darling. They cluck in horror at him as they waddle laughing all the way to the bank, chuckling between cluckings over the money he has earned them in higher revenues from greater audiences.

What can we do to escape the the clucking, the chuckling, the mouth machine Trumpet?

How about some irony?

None of us are ever really know for sure what irony is but we know a good hah-hah-on-you when we see one. And a good laugh, even an ephemeral one is just what we need now.

Here's a laugh on Trump—at least in my dreams—and it is delicious.

But first a little scene-setting. You probably know Donald Trump has announced that, unlike ordinary mortals, he doesn't really need a majority of delegates to lay unassailable claim to the GOP nomination in Cleveland this summer. He sees himself as being maybe 20 votes short or maybe a 100 votes short of a majority. In which case, he also envisions someone else having "maybe 500 votes". In such case he insists that, no matter the rules requiring a majority, he must be given the nomination or "There will be riots."

So here's what I envision, smiling the whole while. Trump comes up only 3 votes short of nomination by the requisite majority. (Why three, you ask? I'll get to that in a moment.) The convention then becomes an "open convention" by its one implacable rule: thou canst not have the nomination automatically at the outset unless thou hast a majority of votes but must instead endure a free-wheeling process by which ANYBODY can  be chosen by those in attendance. As historians are fond of reminding us, that's how Abe Lincoln got the GOP nomination and became president. At the 1860 GOP convention none of the three high-power, famous contenders had a majority. The resulting deadlock led the convention to turn to the obscure, gangly woodsman from a raw frontier state, so gangly and unrefined that one of the thwarted party bigshots called him a "gorilla" because of his long arms and flat-footed shuffling gait.

Abe paid him back good though for that insult. He put him in his Cabinet, along with the two other arch-rivals who had failed at the convention. They became part of his highly effective "Team of Rivals", subject of Doris Kearns Goodwin's prize-winning book:  Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by ...   The gangly frontiersman was in fact a master of politics. He had predicted to his friends that the convention would deadlock in just the fashion it did, and he prepared them to push him as a compromise choice while he stayed home in Springfield.

Shades of Lincoln and his Illinois acumen! We now can see a reverse scenario evolving for Donald Trump. By one of those nifty bits of coincidence which irony loves, the axe which may fall on Donald Trump also rises in Illinois.  In an obscure spot in Illinois the hate which he has sown toward "outsiders, "foreigners" and all Muslims has risen up to potentially snatch the nomination from him. Remember these words forever in case you ever doubt there's justice in the world:
"There’s clear evidence that Trump supporters in Illinois gave fewer votes toTrump-                   pledged delegate candidates who have minority or foreign-sounding names like 'Sadiq,' 'Fakroddin' and 'Uribe,' potentially costing him three of the state’s 69 delegates."  Trump Voters’ Aversion To Foreign-Sounding Names Cost Him Delegates

Voila! Trump goes to Cleveland and comes up 3 delegates short this summer. He loses the nomination because he sowed hatred, never envisioning that some of the Americans he was directing hatred against would be his own potential delegates, that the ignorance and bigotry he encouraged in his followers would lead his followers to unwittingly betray him.

Irony or not, you gotta love it.

And now we have a vision of potential "ironic" joy to hold on to as Donald Trump continues his rampage, betraying his country and his fellow Americans, all those good decent "foreign-sounding" folks whose names seem a bit strange to our parochial ears just as those of our grandparents once did to the parochial folks of yesteryear. 

Just as a gangly, shuffling frontiersman once seem so foreign to the elite of his era that they called him a gorilla.

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