By Scott Sullivan
What It Is
I’m convinced there are rational Republicans. At one time I may have been one. When parties poop on me I don’t take it as personal nor fate; it’s an opportunity.
Take the Republican National Committee as latest example of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s 1888 admonition, “liberal institutions cease to be liberal as soon as they are attained.” Conservative, liberal, what’s the difference? Once attained, he went on, “there are no worse injurers of freedom than liberal institutions.” Nietzsche went nuts soon after.
“Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold,” wrote William Butler Yeats 31 years later in his poem “The Second Coming.” Into “mere anarchy”’s breach “the blood-dimmed tide is loosed” and so on till he ends with the question, “what rough beast … slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”
The RNC’s courage capitulating to Yeats’ prophecy, loosing demagogs to divide, conquer and get theirs before the ***house they and Democrats made blows, impresses me. Mass emails from candidates du jour — Ron DeSantis, Rand Paul … — written by flacks paid to part fools from money assures me that I can too. I assume the RNC got my email from a Big Tech search engine showing I voted Republican once. More than that given Democrats ran against them. The DNC should have my past votes on record too. “Friend …” most RNC emails start, this “from” DeSantis, “Our country is currently facing a great threat …” Cue alarm enhanced by test-marketed text in italics, boldface, yellow-highlighted or all three. Who’s to blame? Fear not, even though I already know they’ll tell me: the Washington “swamp” or “bubble” comprised entirely of siloed Democrats elected too long from “safe” east or west coast districts. Republicans from “unsafe” districts such as in West Michigan rarely grace our Capitol unless rioting. “A new enemy has emerged from the shadows (Yeats, anyone?) that seeks to destroy and intimidate …” this email goes on. “New” even though they just said the Democratic swamp has bubbled way too long. “The enemy is the radical vigilante woke mob (as opposed to sleepers Jan. 6, 2021) that will steamroll anything and anyone in their way.” This s#!’s getting old, so let’s break it into jazz rhythms: “Sinister … blatant … perverted … legacy media … brainwash our children.” Cue bridge to resolution: “We The People still have a say.” Ron, Rand or whoever to the rescue. Now my wallet’s primed come blue hotlinks to Salvation.
All parties buy and spread manure till its yield wanes and a new vendor pitches more, better, cheaper. Now the market’s steaming I devised my own pitch.
“Morons buy,” I told the RNC interviewer. “It works when we double-reverse Dems too. For example, ‘Son slain by cops? Our empathy to them and families of law-abiding heroes who put themselves in harm’s way for us.’
“As interest in empathy compounds, add new traps Dems can’t help but blunder into and dig themselves deeper, paying to get out of. End extending our sympathy to them too.”
“Sun Tzu again? Next,” the interrogator said.
“What did I do wrong?” I asked my wife post interview. “Debrief me.”
“Your wit,” she said. “Don’t blab so long laying it on with a trowel. The less sense it makes the better. They want to be sold it works.”
“It?” I asked, quoting truth salesman Bill Clinton “It depends what ‘it’ is.’”
“What Depends?” she asked. “Now you wear them, remember what I said about Alzheimer’s?”
“I remember my father …”
“Classic case,” she said.
“I want to go back to a back that was never there,” I said. “It never changes people hate time changes. Where I’m present I’m present; it’s just fewer people are left to recognize. Dad taught me ‘Don’t start fights, end them.’”
“You’re blaming him?”
“I’m advancing empathy. Cue violins for my dear, late father. He vented aggression more passively on us, his family, than himself. He taught us those values too.”
“Value? Why do you need this job?” she asked.
“The great threat of RNC repo men emerging from shadows, loosed to collect funds I pledged inadvertently clicking the blue links, is slouching towards me.”
“Desperation,” she said, “is a great premise for decisions. Sell to the DNC dunces and start a bidding war.”
“A committee of Democrats? What’s more redundant? I asked. “Let’s think forward like in chess. ‘Hope And Change,’ ‘Drain the Swamp,’ ‘Whip Inflation Now’ — are three words too many these days?”
“Long-term mixed results,” she said. “They’ll forget if you Do It Fast.”
“If forgetfulness sells,” I asked, “does that mean there’s hope for Alzheimer’s?”
“Hope,” she said, “is what’s left in Pandora’s box.”