In 1997 my father retired, and my parents moved from New Jersey down to a condo in the Florida town of Delray Beach. The development was located on Atlantic Avenue, a commercial thoroughfare which contained the usual smattering of supermarkets, fast-food outlets, discount store and medical practices – just what the old farts all need.
The first time I went down to visit my folks we had dinner and then Dad and I settled down to watch the Weather Channel to see what I was missing by being in Florida during the Christmas – New Year’s break.
At some point I got bored and decided to take a ride down Atlantic Avenue, eventually turning into the parking lot of a Dunkin Donuts to get a coffee and a snack to eat.
I walked into the Dunkin and to my absolute astonishment found myself being waited on by a guy who was obviously from Pakistan or some other Pacific Rim place.
This was the first time I was in a retail operation obviously owned by an immigrant who wasn’t white. Think I’m kidding? I’m not. My grandfather worked in the retail food store of a ‘landsman’ when he first came to the United States in 1923. By the 1940’s or 1950’s he owned his own little store which was eventually replaced by a supermarket which I think was the A&P.
If my grandfather had kept his store into the 1970’s, maybe he would have sold it to some guy born in India, or Pakistan, or Macao, or maybe Peru. Because that’s what petty retailing is still all about – long hours, thin profit margins, marginal neighborhood locations – exactly what my grandfather experienced ninety years ago which gave him the wherewithal to send his children to college, one of whom then went to law school and became a big-shot lawyer as well.
How can the GOP be so friggin’ stupid and not understand how their demand for ‘secure borders’ is nothing more than a barely disguised demand to keep all these non-white immigrants out? How can they ever imagine the GOP as the majority political party when they position themselves as being against the population which controls at least half of the $800 billion in retail food sales that we rack up every year?
And by the way, small shopkeepers, by definition, are attracted to the idea of ‘small government,’ because to such individuals government represents nothing except a pain in the ass due to taxes and those goddamn inspectors who come around to make sure that the food you’re selling has a valid expiration date and doesn’t have to be thrown out.
Of course, the GOP’s anti-immigrant narrative is largely a function of what they believe led to Donald Trump’s unprecedented electoral victory in 2016. Except Trump won that contest because she whose-name-I-won’t-mention ran the single worst, Presidential campaign of all time.
Remember the Billy Bush tape which featured Trump bragging about how he put his hands on the tits and ass of every broad he could grab? It took Trump less than 24 hours to go on national TV and make a very modest and self-exculpatory speech in which he apologized for what he said. It took she-whose-name-won’t-be-mentioned more than four months to issue any public statement about the mail server sitting in her living room which contained classified emails.
Meanwhile, Trump spiced up every public appearance by leading the crowd in a ‘lock her up’ chant which basically destroyed her campaign.
That was then, this is now. And now the GOP is competing against a guy who not only won the last time out, but notwithstanding all the nonsense about ‘demented Joe,’ is as savvy and experienced in electoral politics as anyone in D.C.
What did this morning’s AM shock-jock talk about? Ready? He blustered on and on about how LGBTQ-whatever is a ‘threat’ to the American way of life.
But this is what you talk about when you have spent yesterday’s show demanding that the border be made ‘more secure.’
Secure against whom? The next generation of retail entrepreneurs who are willing to keep their Dunkin Donuts franchise open all night?