About twelve years ago I was in Florida, somewhere between Tampa and Orlando, watching a golf tournament. I’m walking down the street in a little town with The New York Times under my arm. A lady about fifty, probably Jewish probably New Yorker, comes up to me and demands…”where did you get that New York Times?” I tell her and she says, “Finally. Nobody down here knows anything!”
The comment startled me at first…then I thought…BINGO!…the lady knows whereof she speaks.
In that part of the world it seemed to me the major preoccupations were putting together a dependable golf foursome, securing tee times, and getting to your favorite restaurant in time for the reduced price Early Bird Dinner. Political arguments were not welcome…too upsetting…might threaten one’s place in the foursome or the regular Dinner Group. Intellectual curiosity was viewed as odd…what possible purpose could it serve…what are you some sort of kook, or what?
I haven’t been in Florida since that trip. Applying Groucho Marx’s reasoning, I couldn’t envision myself joining a Golf Club that would let someone like me in it.
I was thinking about the Florida lady over the Christmas Season when I talked with friends in Washington and New England about our Maximum Leader.
Everybody has an opinion on Trump, along with their favorite adjectives and observations…”narcissist, totally unqualified, pathological liar, etc.” But then the conversation sort of trails off…nobody (with apologies to Tom Steyer the Hedge Fund guy who has thrown serious money at some TV ads calling for Impeachment) has a plan. Nobody has the kind of fire in their belly that it takes to lead a movement and take him down.
The fact of the matter is that if you are part of the resistance to Trump, you’re stuck in a holding pattern. You’re waiting for Trump’s job approval to slip under 30% or Mueller to produce some blockbuster indictments. Then, you’re waiting for the the 2018 Mid Terms…November 6, 2018…and hoping Ds get control of both Houses.
WAITING AND HOPING EQUALS LOSING IN SLOW MOTION. It leaves Trump where he is right now… in a proactive position creating chaos, schmoozing the base, and surfing the news cycle. Democrats react with speeches on the Floor of the Senate and statements outside of hearing rooms. Then they tell Rachel Maddow what they said.
That won’t bring Trump’s job approval numbers down to the twenties where they belong.
The Country needs a Brawler. Someone who relishes political combat. Someone who would stalk Trump around the Country and the World…taking the fight to Trump on everything he says everywhere he says it. Trump goes to London to see the Queen…the Brawler should go there and speak in Hyde Park and draw a bigger crowd.
Turn it into a contest of wit, truth, and charisma…JFK did it to Nixon, Reagan did it to Carter. Are you telling me the Press wouldn’t love it? Are you telling me Trump isn’t ripe to be picked?
The Brawler has to be a happy warrior…part Al Smith, part Huey Long, part John Kennedy. The Brawler has got to be able to get votes at a biker bar in Oakland, a truck stop in Pecos, TX, and the faculty lounge at Harvard. He/she should be cool with Yo Yo Ma and Hank Williams Jr. but not cool with speaking fees from Goldman Sachs or Million Dollar gifts from Sheldon Adelson.
The Brawler, who could be from any party or no party, is out there somewhere. It’s a generational opportunity for a person and our Country.
The Brawler has to turn it into a contest in which losing is not an option. The one who answers the call and does the job will, most assuredly, be called upon to lead the Country.
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.