February 10, 2016

Maybe they don’t like the hit ABC sitcom, the Goldbergs, in New Hampshire.

Pity. Avid viewers know the key life lesson, often repeated by the show’s patriarch: “Don’t be a moron.”

It’s nicely succinct and encompasses a whole range of possibilities. As Murray Goldberg explains in a recent episode, at its core, it means to be honest.

I was thinking of the advice last night as I watched the returns come in from New Hampshire. I was hoping New Hampshire voters would adhere to Murray’s dictum.

They didn’t. But in the spirit of Mur, let’s be succinct and honest:

Donald Trump doesn’t belong within a 20-mile radius of the White House, let alone making decisions from the Oval Office. His campaign has been one long temper tantrum, a vulgar and debased form of electioneering that is unworthy of one of our great political parties and the American people he seeks to lead.

Let’s stipulate that people are angry and that there are justifiable reasons for their anger: structural changes in the economy that have been decades in the making, stagnating wages and underemployment, growing inequality, terrorism abroad and at home, government dysfunction in DC, racial discord and animus.

Let’s further stipulate that our political culture has grown coarse and somewhat hysterical on purpose. We live in a degenerate era of democracy where conspiracy and profit-minded demagogues can incite the mob each day and night on radio and television for ratings.

Real anxiety meets souped-up anger in the America of 2016. The mob ignores any facts that doesn’t match its rage (here’s one: 71 consecutive months of job growth).

Into this cauldron steps Donald Trump, possibly the first Twitter troll President. He speaks with the sophomoric cadence of an adult who missed the maturation process but finds in his insults and profanity the soothing balm of public adulation.

Some who attend his rallies delight in the ugliness he’s unleashed. So when a grown person, at a rally in Manchester Monday night, called a Trump competitor a vulgarity, the prospective Twitter troll in Chief exulted in the opportunity to repeat the word. Many in the crowd cheered, though not all.

There were families with children at that Trump rally. One wonders if the full horror of what they were there to celebrate finally dawned on these supporters.

Their hero scraps the bottom of the barrel in his pursuit of power he doesn’t deserve and would dangerously wield.

New Hampshire voters could have ended this nightmare for the Republican party. Instead, they chose to lengthen it. Their party, once home to Reagan’s morning in America is, under Trump, ushering in one long, dark night.

Let’s hope voters elsewhere are listening to Murray Goldberg.

New Hampshire primary, The Goldbergs, Donald Trump, 2016 Election

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