Dick Tracy: Forgotten, soon after the voting is over
The story goes that a woman is living in a posh retirement community in Marin County, and attends a Friday afternoon “mixer” where residents enjoy wine, snacks and conversation.
She spots a newcomer. He’s a handsome, neatly dressed man who appears to be about her age, and she sidles over and strikes up a conversation.
“I haven’t seen you here before,” she says.
“I’ve been out of circulation,” he says. “In prison.”
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“Oh!” she says, “Let me guess … bank fraud?”
“No,” he says frankly, “For murdering my wife.”
“Oh,” she replies,”So … you’re single?”
Call this an example of “selective perception” practiced much like the followers of President Trump. Yes, they’re the “Deplorables,” so-named by Hillary Clinton and they then had T-shirts made saying, “I’m a Deplorable!”
In their devotion they push aside his moral failings, his (documented) thousands of misstatements, his failure to share his tax returns (is the IRS audit over, after several years?) and narrow brush with being removed from office.
Trump’s base is largely made up of people fighting to get a $15-an-hour minimum wage, who read accounts of corporate executives getting the heave-ho for various failings, but getting $60 million retirement checks.
They’re also fed up with “politics-as-usual.” They know the only time the “plight of the working class” comes into focus coincides with elections. And they’re forgotten soon after the voting is over.
Does anyone remember the, “Hope and Change” campaign promises of Barack Obama’s first term? Did any of them come to pass?
And Trump has done his best to keep his campaign promises, like the “border wall” with Mexico. Sure, the drug cartels can tunnel under or scale the wall, but to his “base” his promise has been kept.
And being “a man of his word” is all it takes to keep his people loyal.
And now we have Sen. Bernie Sanders with his own base. Just as devout.
It almost gives me goosebumps to recall the movie, “Network” in which a fanatical TV oracle — who looks like Bernie — tells his viewers to throw open their windows and shout: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.”
Did you notice Trump’s lengthy, theatrical State of the Union speech did not contain the word “I”? That’s proof that he didn’t write it. His goal is to be in the center of the spotlight. Always.
New York Times conservative columnist David Brooks recently said he would have voted to remove Trump during the impeachment trial: “But at the same time I’m glad it didn’t happen … for the division it would have created in this country.”
So now we’re faced with an election in which as many votes will be cast against someone as for someone.
The best bumper sticker I saw during the 2016 election was, “Neither one.”
I wonder where to buy one.
Dick Tracy, who lives in Grass Valley, is a member of The Union Editorial Board. His views are his own and do not represent the views of The Union or its editorial board members. Contact him at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.
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