Ichabod's Kin
A place for politics, pop culture, and social issues


  [This was a column published in the Daily News just before Trump’s downfall in the polls]

          Political liberals are the worst of nervous nellies, ever fretting lest their world come to an end. This time they fret that Donald Trump will be elected in November.

          Not to say it can’t happen. Anything is possible in life, but many also improbable, and highly so, and this is one of them. Were the Democrats in the disarray that is today’s GOP, one can only imagine what would be said of them. But Republicans are adept at illogic. Add to that Fox’s Roger Ailes and his penchant for beauty queens as serious “journalists” or Sarah Palin-sorts that he deems “hotties” and keeps on TV as sexy allures. As we all know, but not from watching Fox News, this has caught up with him in the worst way.

          As for this election season, the real predictors, once we get beyond poll-panic and Carrot-Top’s hot-air, are the following:

          THE GROUND GAME. Nervous liberals were out in force in ’08 and in ’12, ready to leave our shores for Canada or Scandinavia should McCain to victory with Palin in tow, or Romney bring the Robber Barons to GOP glory. Aside from polls, Team Obama’s strategy was more than sufficient to win, and Hillary’s current battle-state tactic will produce the same result.

          POLLS ARE UNRELIABLE indicators of outcomes. Dukakis was way ahead before his electoral collapse, Reagan was behind Carter till waning days of that campaign, and Truman’s upset of Dewey is the stuff of legend. Aside from each party’s “base,” the flaky “Middle” is what causes roller-coaster polls but tends to come to its senses by November.

          PRETTY LITTLE LIARS. Electoral cycles always feature new faces, in this case, Kayleigh McEnany and Katrina Pierson, young, fresh spin-doctors, wisely drawn into CNN’s orbit of analysis where they are surrounded by wiser heads who actually know a thing or two. Were they on Fox, and uncontested, the mindless Republican cohort would think they were doing the Lord’s work and speaking His truth, and Ailes dearly wishes they were on his show.

          McEnany’s disconnect is that she weaves her web of lies with a deer-in-headlights facial expression, as if God might strike her dead any moment for her defense of Donald’s worst-and-latest gaffes—whether the “Mexican” judge or any number of others. She and Pierson are straight out of the ancient sophist tradition: to be on anybody’s payroll if willing to make a seemingly convincing case—but truth be damned.

          THE CON MAN. Donald’s unwitting role is to expose what we thought was an America emerging from adolescence and toward cultural and political adulthood. Dream on. An inordinate chunk of our populace has learned nothing, regardless of public and private educations, and the examples of older civilizations.

          The “con” in Con Man refers to the word “confidence,” a more obvious way of stealing. Pickpockets relieve you of your money by stealth; others by mis-information—best known as “figures don’t lie, but liars figure.” A confidence man looks you in the eye and asks you to trust him, ill you willingly give him what he wants. Donald routinely says, “Believe me…you can believe it…This is what I’m going to do…Make no mistake…You can count on that…” and a host of other baseless synonyms.

          TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT. The GOP has known since day one that Hillary will beat them in 2016; all they could do was attempt to criminalize her. Hence the kerfuffle the notorious emails and “servers”—of which the average American knows not a fig and would think nothing, had not Fox and the GOP said it was something. Now that Hillary is fully absolved of a felony, they will act right up to November as if she were guilty. It was their last, best chance and now they face a Convention that is smoldering ahead of time, and will burst into flame at the opening bell.

          America will give anyone a hearing, however extreme, but tends at last toward moderation. That’s why our long electoral process is wise, regardless that it gets on our nerves.

          This is not to say that results are always clear-cut. Even in America, a presidential campaign between God and the Devil would be closer than you think. After all, we’re only human. And not a little stupid. But for now, just calm down already.

          (John Burciaga of Newburyport writes on politics and social issues. His blog is www.ichabodskin.wordpress.com or email at ichabod142@gmail.com)



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