email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Friday, October 21, 2016

US Election

Well, we are down to the final few weeks of the US Presidential election, and quite frankly, I wish it was tomorrow.  Or even yesterday.  I am SO tired of it I could scream!

At least it seems that the decision is no longer in doubt.  We will be referring to "Madame President" for the first time ever here, Democrats will have won a 3rd consecutive term controlling the White House since 1940 when Franklin Roosevelt was re-elected to a 3rd personal consecutive term, and (to steal a phrase from an previous generation) a long national nightmare will be over.

The election results will probably give nominal control of the US Senate to the Democrats by a small majority.  It is possible that the House of Representatives will become Democratic , but I'm not expecting it today (but who knows what things will look like in 3 weeks)?  Trump and the Republicans have the 3 weeks to make things better or worse.

If the Al Smith Foundation Dinner last night was any clue, it will get worse for the Republicans.  As background, the Dinner "is an annual white fundraiser in the United States for Catholic charities supporting needy children, held at theWaldorf-Astoria hotel in New York, on the third Thursday of October. It is organized by the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation in honor of Al Smith the former New York Governor and the first Catholic US Presidential candidate.  The dinner is hosted by the Archbishop of New York.

The idea is for the 2 major Presidential candidates to engage in self deprecating humor and some gentle digs at their opponent.

Trump failed at that utterly.  That's not just my opinion.  He received boos and several points when he just made his regular speech at a few points.  Commenters said afterwards that they had never heard boos at the event before.

Apparently, Trump does not understand humor at all.  He did have a few funny lines, none of which were aimed at himself, and even as delivered fell flat.  I suspect several of them would have gotten laughs if delivered by a professional.  Sarcasm can be funny, but not when delivered in anger.

Trumps best joke was when he mentioned 'Michelle Obama made a speech and everyone loved it. It was great.   My wife, Melania, made the exact same speech and everyone gets on her case.'

The audience loved it.  It is probably the best humor about plagiarism ever!  But even THEN, it wasn't aimed at himself.

The crowd stayed with Trump while he ticked down a list of what he called "corny" jokes about being a former Democrat and sarcastically calling himself "modest." And they mostly laughed along when he joked about Clinton accidentally bumping into him back stage and saying "pardon me."
"I very politely replied: Let me talk to you about that after I get into office," Trump landed the punchline. Trumps as said previously that Clinton should be in jail for various reasons.  Clinton was seen laughing.

His 20 minutes went downhill rapidly after that.

Clinton, on the other hand went straight to herself for humor.  "I took a break from my rigorous nap schedule to be here," Clinton told the audience.   And "Usually, I charge a lot for speeches like this."

She got in some rather harsh zingers, but they didn't get boos and there were definitely Trump supporters in the audience.  Rudy Giuliani was there and was the subject of one Clinton joke.  Clinton mentioned the many dignitaries in the audience positively, and then said "and then there is Rudy Giuliani".  Ouch!

“Now, many don’t know this,” Clinton continued, “but Rudy actually got his start as a prosecutor going after wealthy New Yorker's who avoided paying taxes. But, as the saying goes, ‘If you can’t beat them, go on Fox News and call them a genius".  Giuliani, a Trump surrogate speaker of increasing vicious attacks on Clinton, looked like he had a hot coal up where the sun doesn't shine...

But for the most part, Clinton was making jokes on herself and light digs at Trump, and Trump was his usual mean self.  I understand that.  People who are internally confident and happy can make jokes about themselves.

Not to say too much about myself in all of this, but I don't find self-humor threatening.  I tripped over a cat once while a friend was there, and landed on my hands and knees.  My first words were "so this is what it looks like from their point of view".

People like Trump can't laugh at themselves.  If one of his staff had written the absolutely funniest self-deprecating joke ever created, Trump would not have used it.  It would be against himself, and he can't imagine anyone against him.  Because they would simply be "wrong".

My point here, long time in coming, is that Trump can't be President because he lacks the fullness of self-awareness that allows most of us to laugh at ourselves.  I had a friend who did the almost slapstick gag of stepping onto a small boat from the pier and fell into the water as the boat moved away.

I laughed my ass off.  It was as if you actually saw someone slip on a banana peel.  He was livid, angry, enraged...  If I had done that myself, I would have keeled over in laughter at myself as I pulled myself onto the boat, and asked if anyone got a picture of it!

Narcissistic megalomaniac bullies cannot laugh at themselves.  Most of the rest of us can.  At ourselves, and at them...

But basically, all this means that the US Presidential election is decided.  Clinton will win; the question is by how much and will she carry the Senate and/or House along with her.  For the Democratic party, life looks good for 2 Presidential terms.  The interim elections are always iffy.  But the gains of the day are sufficient for the day.

I will be glad after election night Nov 8th.  No mor3e Trump for a while.

But do you know what is generally annoying?  In several places around the US, some people are starting their campaigns for the 2020 Presidential elections...

1 comment:

Megan said...

We were able to watch the third debate live here on television, Mark. I found it fairly painful viewing. The dinner - and the jokes - were also reported upon in detail in our newspapers today, and like you, I felt that Hillary's performance reflected better on her than Trump's did on him. The most gracious thing I've ever heard Trump say was at the end of the second debate when the candidates were asked to nominate one thing that they respected about their opponent, and Trump said that he respect Hillary for her tenacity/resilience.

The analysis in our press is now all about (i) how much damage Trump can do to the Republican cause before it's all over [answer = lots!] and (ii) what steps might be open to him if he chooses not to accept Hillary's win. I suspect that after he loses, there will be several outbursts of appallingly immature comments from Trump, and then he'll be history. I just don't think he's got the patience to mount a legal challenge to a Hillary victory, but in the short term, he's bound to stir up people who are willing to believe his conspiracy theories. Yuck!

Sydney, Australia