I have been down here in the Southern Home now for almost three months. The weather has been middling for a Miami winter and while the natives may enjoy it and don turtlenecks and Ugg boots for the season, the snowbirds and weekly visitors are less than enamoured. Outdoor activities have been severely curtailed by rain and chill. F*** You El Niño!!
There have been far fewer Canadians in the region this year due in large part to the drastic drop in the Canadian dollar so that anybody visiting can't really shop or buy anything unless one is willing to sell the soul of their first born in order to make up for a 40% price difference. F*** You global economy!
So what is a winter resident in the United States of America to do to keep busy in the face of a shrinking tidepool of activities? Well, once I got past blogging, writing, exercising, reading, Words With Friends encounters, guitar playing, and Facebooking the only thing left was to glean entertainment from the inanity that is the presidential primary season.
Initially, it was easy to be amused by the clown car of candidates that were populating the airwaves and newspaper pages. I often felt as though each and every person running was campaigning to survive the tribal council and be the last individual left on the island. These assholes were more compelling as Bachelor candidates than they were as serious presidential material and believe me, arranging a shitach (match) for any of this women-hating bastards would be a tough sell, including Carly Fiorina! The debates made for some light titters and hefty guffaws, though. Rubio stuck in robot mode. Ted lying through his smarmy capped teeth. The Donald rolling his eyes at Jeb! We laughed. Long. Hard. Loudly. It was preposterous, outrageous, and non-sensical. But....and I can't say this strongly enough....it isn't funny any longer.
Here's the thing. This shit is real now. And it's about to get more real in the coming weeks.
Up until this week, I honestly thought that the Republican elites (translate that to the big money guys) would find any means, ethical or unethical, to derail the Trump Bump. I thought that we would see gargantuan sums flooding into the Rubio campaign and with it a shift in tone coming from Florida's junior senator. It was time to get down in the mud with the dirtiest pig in the race, and even if Marco wasn't entirely comfortable with it, he would be duly schooled in the art of character assassination by the party elders. It isn't that I am a fan of Marco Rubio, mind you. Quite the contrary, in fact. My analysis was based purely on what I saw as the primal, almost pathological need of Republicans for winning back the White House in November. Rubio seemed to be the last "non-crazy" standing.
I was wrong! Oh so very wrong.
This race is now the pompous, megalomaniac, demagogue, misogynist, racist, rampant xenophobe, birther, bullying reality star's to lose. And there doesn't seem to be a damn thing that the GOP establishment can do to stop him.
Today we were treated to the news that Trump leads Rubio down here in Florida by 16 points. 16 f***ing points....in his home state?!? Assemble the virgins, the apocalypse is upon us. It's all over but the combover.
But...and it's a big honking but....herein are two words why the jokes need to stop and the serious work needs to begin.
Yes folks! (That was a deliberate Fordism) Take it from this live just outside Torontonian. Asshole extremist, unqualified, right-wing populists can and do get elected to office and it is a disaster waiting to happen. My beloved hometown is just now recovering from the collective nightmare that we venomously refer to as "The Ford Years". (Before you think that this is some liberal bitch spouting claptrap, understand that this is consensus from both left and right.) Rob Ford took our wonderfully progressive, cosmopolitan, multicultural, liveable, forward-thinking city and stunted its growth by at least four years, if not more. Like other cities, we have serious problems that require serious attention. Poverty, homelessness, transit, infrastructure repairs....were all left on the back burner while the mayor spouted bullshit catchphrases, promised the moon with money that didn't exist, alienated everybody who wasn't like-minded, and all of this happened before the crack and public drunkenness. (Hey American friends...aside from the substance abuse, does any of this sound familiar?) Toronto became the international butt of a thousand jokes, and nothing of consequence got done during his mayoralty unless of course one counts the paperclip census done at city hall.
Late night comedians loved Rob. He was always good for a laugh, almost manna from heaven. Local TV networks followed him around like puppies searching for the teat. Rob was great for ratings. But most Torontonians tired of his antics quickly and completely. Yes, there is still a devoted following that would like to see him make a triumphant return to the mayor's chair, but thankfully that group is now the minority.
Donald Trump is Rob Ford in a better fitting suit. (And he isn't merely running for mayor. He is striving to become the most powerful man in the world.) He is a rich dude pretending that he understands the minimum wage worker. He panders to the worst instincts in society so that he can gin up great TV ratings and become the "breaking news" on every channel. He says outrageous things so that he can dominate the 24-hour news cycle. He is a master manipulator and a genius at self-promotion. And...he is the living embodiment of the "dumbing down of America." Trump is no longer a joke. He is inherently dangerous. He is now within sniffing distance of the Oval Office and that should scare the collective pants off of every American voter.
I realize that the options are limited. I realize that there is a battle raging on the Democrats' side of the ledger too. I get it. But the world can co-exist with either Bernie or Hillary. As much as we progressives might hate to admit it, the world could have also dealt with Rubio, Christie, Jeb!, or Kasich. But The Donald? HELL NO!!! Stop laughing America because the rest of the world ceased giggling a long time ago. The joke isn't on you. It IS you!
P.S...I didn't even address the lying sack of dog poo who was born in Calgary because in many ways he is even more dangerous than Trump. If he gets close, I will write about him too.