Trump, Arnold and Gingrich: running on a mantra of deceit
Between the Lines
In literally one day three events occurred that showed the continuing disengenuousness of the party of family values, personal responsibility, and country-first patriotism as three of the highest profile Republicans slipped on their party’s platform.
When the Republicans show out, they show out, but it’s always after they’ve questioned someone else’s patriotism, motives and value system. It is clear to me and most of the country why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer—because the rich get to keep theirs while everybody else gets theirs taken away, one way or another.
But the continuing rape of the free enterprise system and the holding of the capital markets captive doesn’t hide the deceit that we’ve come to know as the Republican Party. As long as you’re willing to attack the poor, minorities and the middle class for living above their means, for the breakdown of the “traditional” family, loose sexual mores, and being un-American (coming into the country illegally), regardless of the skeletons in your own closet, you can represent the Republican Party.
This week, Donald Trump gave up his running-for-president charade, new presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was outted for stiffing jewelry maker Tiffany on a half-million-dollar jewelry bill, and the govenator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, disclosed that he fathered a baby with a family housekeeper, and kept it a secret for 10 years.
I’m sure all of you said what I said upon hearing the news—“Now ain’t that something”—but, moreover, you certainly had to come to the conclusion that the Republican personal responsibility mantra is a bunch of hogwash. For the last 30 years (since Reagan), the Republicans have been lecturing the nation saying that the problems of the poor and middle class were because they didn’t have family values and didn’t accept personal responsibility for their life choices and lifestyles (depending on at whom they were directing their comments).
They put the American public on a yo-yo and pull them in when they want to receive compassion (their vote) and casts them out when they want to deny compassion (a tax break). Yet, consistently over the years, Republican leadership, has not only tripped over the bones that fell out of their closets, they wallow in ‘em. Most people have a small closet to hold their skeletons. The Republicans have a graveyard, and still the skeletons fall out. No small stuff either. An infidelity here, a tax case there. They come up with the most egregious stuff, toe-tapping in airport bathrooms, charging high-end prostitutes to government credit cards, shooting people in the face on hunting trips... Nobody does it like the Republicans do it—deceive the American public, I mean…
Let’s start with Donald Trump, who managed to alienate the whole Black community with his flirtation with running for president. He did it twice before (1988 and 1992)—faked a run, I mean. Trump is the ultimate publicity hog and saw an opportunity. We knew he was bulljiving, but the public bit the apple anyway because of the issue he chose to wave as his launch piece, the Obama birther issue.
Now Black people had connected to Trump based on his shows, “Apprentice” and “Celebrity Apprentice,” which they watch with relatively high frequency. But when he started waving the birther flag, Black folks got pissed off and stopped watching at a time when three popular Blacks (Lil Jon, Star Jones and NeNe) were in the running. Instead of gaining viewers in this publicity stunt, he lost viewers.
The Donald put money before country (“business is my passion”) on this one and was doing what Bill Cosby said he was doing—“nothing but running his mouth.” Newt Gingrich, who recently announced he was running for president, carved his career on the 1994 “Contract with America” Republican takeover of Congress, of which welfare reform (personal responsibility) was his mantra.
The Republicans have denied Main Street relief on home mortgages while the banks got a bailout.
Wall Street can get relief for selling risky loans but Main Street can’t get relief for buying them… What’s wrong with that picture? Now we know why. We have to pay the rich’s jewelry bills, the ones they themselves haven’t paid for.
Obviously, Gingrich is in confession mode, trying to clear out his closet for a presidential run, so he confessed a couple months ago that the affair he had while he was Speaker was attributed to him working long hours … Uh, huh. So, what caused the $250,000 to $500,000 Tiffany bill? Rewarding the staff that kept you working long hours?
The Republicans are something else. But it’s Arnold that takes the cake. Californians knew he was a “grab-ass” when he ran for governor, because it came out in the campaign. However, it takes a lot to hide a baby for 10 years—in the same house! I’m sure Maria did a couple of double-takes as the housekeeper’s child ran around the house. He probably looked like a little terminator, and probably had an accent, too—“Mommie, I’ll be BAACK.” In one week, the Republicans violated their whole platform.
I don’t care what you say about little Shaniqua, Donte and Pookey, they can’t come up with more bling, more street game and more household drama than the Republicans. The Republicans’ whole mantra is to tell the public what they want to hear, then do whatever the hell they want … for lies, sex, money and power.
Theirs is a mantra of deceit.
Anthony Asadullah Samad, Ph.D., is a national columnist, managing director of the Urban Issues Forum and author of the upcoming book, “Real Eyez: Race, Reality and Politics in 21st Century Popular Culture.” He can be reached at www.AnthonySamad.com or on Twitter at @dranthonysamad.
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