Beltway Befuddlement

There’s room at the top they are telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

If you want to be a hero well just follow me
If you want to be a hero well just follow me

—Excerpt from “Working Class Hero” by John Lennon

It’s been an entertaining summer in the world of political theater. The Donald has been crisscrossing the republic in a private 757 with his circus act, energizing the GOP base in a way we haven’t seen since Viagra first hit the market. Serving as a nativist version of Ashley Madison, his masterful manipulation of primordial instincts brings to mind the image of a teenage stripper at a Family Research Council convention (shout-out to the Duggers).
     All the while, the so-called Republican establishment (a.k.a. Oligarch Minion Group 1) is flabbergasted and can’t seem to figure out how to flank The Donald (Hint: He’s authentic). This is a tricky proposition, because if they go too far right they’ll fall off the edge of their 6,000-year-old planet. All of this leaves the super-duper rich with a migraine. One of their own has gone rogue and seems to relish thumbing his nose at them. Oh well, so much for strategic investment planning.
     Back down in the dog-eat-dog world of pandering to craziness, the rest of the GOP field is desperately checking its collective pulse. Choked for media air by the self-anointed one, opponent and self-righteous pres- idential noncontender Mike Huckabee went on record in support of the antigay marriage and exceedingly confused-by-reality-nonmarriage-license-issuing Kim Davis’ ignorance of things we should all learn in school: (a) America was not founded upon biblical law; and (b) Telling the Supreme Court to piss off can result in jail time for contempt. It’s refreshing to know that we’ve come to the point in our political discourse that a man seeking the highest office in the land snubs the very con- stitution that office vows to uphold.
     One wonders how long Davis will have to spend on a baloney-and-white bread diet before realizing that she was being used not by the Lord, but by self-seeking po- liticos who will forget about her faster than she can say “Obama.” Then again, this entire charade might be a bid for her own reality TV show. Word has it the producers of 19 Kids and Counting could use a job. Perfect. The Lord does indeed provide.
     The other side of the tent, which contains Oligarch Minion Group 2, finds Hillary wriggling around under multiple investigations into her apparent fast-and- loose-with-the-rules email usage. Whatever. She’s had Wall Street’s blessing sewn up for years, and with Trump running wild the “masters of the universe” might decide they have no choice other than bedding down with Hillary 2016.
     Not that Bernie Sanders isn’t creating quite a stir, mind you (Hint: He’s authentic). But if there’s ever been any doubt that the mainstream media is bought and paid for, a simple search through the headlines about Bernie’s “socialism” should put the debate to rest once and for all. Americans, it seems, would prefer oligarchy to socialism any day of the week, even though most are clueless when it comes to defining either. So long as one has a gun, a Bible, and a job at Walmart, one is “free” in an excep- tionally American kind of way, apparently.
     Nevertheless, what the pundits and prognosticators overlook — willfully so, because it threatens their usefulness — is that both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump possess that rarest of traits for politicians: Authenticity. It doesn’t matter if one is a billionaire with inherited wealth. With Trump people get an unedited, unscripted performance. Like Trump, Sanders takes a tell-it-like-it-is approach. One could even go so far as to say they’re working class heroes.
     Granted, they couldn’t be much more different when it comes to actual policy, but that’s not the point. Amer- icans seem to be over the clubby, measured, shall we say, “full-of-shitness” of their so-called representatives. Would a Trump or a Sanders change that? Who knows? One thing is for sure, and it’s the most refreshing part of the entire spectacle: The beltway insiders are freaking out. Enjoy the show.

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