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At Least Trump's Authentic.

              Yesterday morning I was sitting at Panera having my $3.85 cup of coffee and listening to two business guys having a discussion at the next table. They were both in their 40’s, dressed in standard business outfits – suit and tie – which told me they weren’t working on any assembly line.

              One guy was telling the other guy that he didn’t agree with a lot of what Trump said, but he liked the fact that when Trump talked, he ‘says it like it is.’ No bullshit, no phoniness, no pretending something when he really believes something else.

              “You might not like Trump,” said one guy to the other guy, “but he’s giving it to you straight.”

              This whole idea that Republic(an) politicians are straight shooters and Democrat(ic) politicians just tell you what they think you want to hear, has been a standard narrative which defines and separates the two parties since I first heard the word ‘authentic’ being used to describe Sarah Palin’s performance back in 2008.

              So, she was an idiot – so what? So, she couldn’t name a single newspaper that she ever read – so what? So, she knew how to analyze the federal budget because she put together a family budget on the kitchen table each week – so what? And she could handle the Russians because on a clear day she could see all the way across the Bereng Strait – so what?

              What counted was the fact that she was ‘authentic.’ I must have heard this word linked to her name by just about everyone I knew who went into a polling place in 2008 and voted for the GOP.

              How come I’ve never heard anyone say that any Democrat(ic) politician is authentic? Because unless I’m mistaken, the word ‘authentic’ means that you’re honest, that the voters can trust what you say.

              Now maybe what you say is completely full of shit but that’s not the point. It doesn’t matter whether you’re right or wrong. What really matters is that what you say is what you really and truly believe.

              This idea that belief has trumped (pardon the pun) facts is something I never heard in any political narrative until 2008. Is it because the GOP has become so reliant on the alt-right religious vote and the whole point of Evangelicalism is to never question belief?

              Actually, this whole marriage of politics and religion started back in 1953, when 400 people showed up for the first prayer breakfast at the Hilton in D.C., an event that was headlined by Billy Graham but also included an appearance by President Eisenhower who had to be convinced by his staff that he needed to attend.

              Now the yearly breakfast gets a crowd of more than 4,000, and while even some non-Christians like Muslims and Jews show up, the meeting is dominated by Evangelicals and has been described as a “veritable ‘Who’s who’ of the political and evangelical worlds.”

              Did Trump show up at the breakfast after he took the oath in 2017? Is New York a city? Of course, he showed up and promised his fellow-attendees that he would ‘destroy’ the law which bans religious organizations from getting involved in political campaigns. Another promise from the ‘authentic’ President which had absolutely no basis in action or truth.

              In the olden days, meaning the days before we elected a hip, young black President and then launched WOKE, there were lots of things you could say that you can’t say out loud now. You can only use the n-word if you’re a black hip-hop singer, you can’t refer to women as ‘broads’ even in the men’s locker room despite what Trump said to Billy Bush, and you can’t refer to gay men as ‘queers’ unless you’re somehow connected to LGBTQ+ and don’t forget the plus.

              And the biggest sea-change in our popular culture, which is the reason the GOP started all this loud nonsense about immigrants invading the United States from the South, is what happens when you make a mistake after listening to the electronic message when you call Amazon to complain about some screwed up delivery and you ‘toca numero dos.’

              What all this concern about authenticity really reflects is the fact that the Left supports the concept of diversity, and the Right would like to give the whole goddamn diverse nonsense the old heave-ho.

              The United States may not be the only democracy in the world today, but it’s certainly the only democracy with a national population where the diversity index is quickly approaching 50%. Which means that being considered ‘authentic’ is just another way of using the n-word as a political point of reference without mentioning the word itself.

              Know what Grandpa would say? ‘Gai gezinta hai’ (read: who gives a shit, okay?)



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