Tuesday, September 22, 2015

American Politics, Donald Trump, Gorgeous George and Al Czervik

Everyone is concerned about Donald Trump as if he is breaking some sort of gentleman's agreement in American political discourse.

If anything, Donald Trump is returning American politics to its rough-and-tumble nature that existed at its very beginnings.

American politics has never been the genteel gentlemen's sport that one might associate with English fox-hunting or cricket or tea-sipping at 3 pm in the parlor of some castle.

American politics has always been more akin to the WWE, the World Wrestling Entertainment Inc or the WWF before it. American politics 'looks' and 'sounds' vicious but there has always been a sort of understanding that beneath it all, it has very strong elements of entertainment, comedy and theater to every campaign. The more memorable they are, that candidate usually has a good chance of going a very long way to winning the White House.

The way that boorish people get eliminated from the political process is if enough people don't like them or what they are saying and they don't vote for him/her. It is Darwinism and capitalism at its purest intersection; you get the choice to decide if you are 'buying' what the candidate is selling and saying by voting for them or not. It is up to you.

If 50%+1 of the voting population agrees with you, he/she gets to serve in the White House for 4 years. This is not a debutante ball, you know, where manners and politeness are rewarded somehow.

Teddy Roosevelt was hardly considered a 'polite, shy and retiring' personality, for example. He could be as acerbic and scathing as any individual of his day, in politics, the press or anywhere in America.

If you have never seen Gorgeous George from days gone by in professional wrestling circles, then you may not ever understand Donald Trump, all the way up to his flamboyant blonde mane. Gorgeous George was the Master of Showmanship; he knew how to fill auditoriums to the rim with ticket-buying fans.

Just like Donald Trump.

(Muhammad Ali understood Gorgeous George 100%; he copied his flamboyant exhibitionist style of sports as entertainment all the way to becoming the (Greatest of All Time!'...click through the title of this post if you want to see the video of Gorgeous George below)

We thought it would be fun to see if you could match up the quotes below with any American political figure of the past or present, including Donald Trump, since he is considered by far to be the most scandalous in this campaign today.

Some are candidate-on-candidate quotes; some are elected official-on-elected official quotes and some are press quotes or scurrilous campaign jingles or comments circulated by opponents of the other candidate.

We threw in a few Rodney Dangerfield as 'Al Czervik in 'Caddyshack' quotes as well to see if you could tell the difference between modern American comedy and historical political fact, (mainly because we have been struck by how similar Donald Trump and Al's delivery and zingers really are upon deeper reflection):

1. "(He) had no more backbone than a chocolate eclair." 

2. "(He) doesn't know any more about politics than a pig knows about Sunday." 

3. (He is) a coward, “an idiot,” and “the original gorilla” 

4. "Are you prepared to see your dwellings in flames, ... female chastity violated, or children writhing on the pike?.....(T)he soil will be soaked with blood and the nation black with crimes." 

5. "In your heart you know he might" (explode an atomic bomb);  In your guts, you know he's nuts." 

6. (My opponent is a) "document-shredding, Constitution-trashing, Commander in Chief-bashing, Congress-thrashing, uniform-shaming, (foreign adversary)-loving, arms-dealing, criminal-protecting, résumé-enhancing, (foreign leader)-coddling, social security-threatening, public school-denigrating, Swiss-banking-law-breaking, letter-faking, self-serving, election-losing, snake-oil salesman who can't tell the difference between the truth and a lie." 

7. "It is said that at a year old,  he could laugh on one side of his face and cry on the other, at one and the same time." 

8. "(He's) a no good lying bastard" (and anyone who votes for him) "ought to go to Hell." 

9. "I've asked (the former) President to please not bring up the religious issue in this campaign." 

10. "He tried to choke me! You saw it. He called me a baboon, thinks I’m his wife." 

11. "(He is) unprincipled and a pander bear' 

12. "(He's) a cold-blooded, narrow-minded, prejudiced, obstinate, timid old psalm-singing Indianapolis politician." 

13.  "(T)he big newspaper, owned or controlled by Wall Street, ... which with raving fury defends all the malefactors of great wealth." 

14. "Oh, this is the worst-looking hat I ever saw. What, when you buy a hat like this I bet you get a free bowl of soup, huh?"

15. "(He has a) hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."

16. "Last time I saw a mouth like that, it had a hook in it."

17. 'Ma, Ma, where's my Pa? Gone to the White House, Ha, ha, ha!' 

18. "Oh, this your wife, huh? A lovely lady. Hey baby, you must’ve been something before electricity."

19. "(He's) a Byzantine logothete backed by flubdubs and mollycoddles." 

20. "(He is) a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw who eats hoecakes, sired by a Virginia mulatto father."

(Bonus Question for extra credit, easy) 
21. 'Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, The Continental Liar from the State of Maine!' 

(Answers below; no cheating until you have finished answering all the quotes first)

A. Rodney Dangerfield as Al Czervik in “Caddyshack” 10, 14, 16, 18
B. Virginia Senator Chuck Robb about Oliver North 6
C. Former President Truman about Dwight Eisenhower 2
D. Truman on Nixon 8
E. JFK about Truman's comments about Nixon 9 (see quote #8)
F. TR on President Benjamin Harrison 12
G. TR on President McKinley 1
H. TR on Woodrow Wilson 19
I.  Paul Tsongas about Bill Clinton 1992 11
J. Newspaper editor about Thomas Jefferson 4
K. Former Congressman Davy Crockett about President Martin Van Buren  7
L. TR about New York Times or Wall Street Journal 13
M. Democrat attacks on Barry Goldwater in 1964 5
N. Jefferson supporters on John Adams 15
O. John Adams response to Jeffersonian attacks 20
P. Opponents of Grover Cleveland who supposedly fathered an illegitimate child 17
Q. Union Commanding General George McClellan on President Abraham Lincoln 3
R. Grover Cleveland supporters jingle attack on James G. Blaine 21

(Sorry....none of the above quotes are attributable to Donald Trump...although many could be)

Bonus video: 'The Elections of 1800' Attack Ads by Jefferson and Adams

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