When it was on television over a decade ago, I was a big fan of The West Wing. The politics of the fictional Bartlet Administration aligned much with my own, but even more so, it was the writing. As an aspiring writer myself, the dialogue just popped for me – substantive, informative, yet still able to hit the right emotional notes.
There was one particular episode that has remained with me through the years. Season 2, called “The Midterms.” It takes place during the run-up to midterm election night. President Bartlet is obsessed that an old political foe in New Hampshire is going to win a school board election back home. His political director, Toby, asks him how Bartlet won the first time, and the President can’t recall. They then head to reception with broadcasters… where one doesn’t quite follow protocol. What follows is historic.
That takedown is legendary.
Flash forward to today. I’ve been frustrated with many things that have been happening, and while I have tried to maintain a sense of decorum, to try to find commonality and establish a dialogue, it seems that communication and common ground are the last things on a number of minds.
A friend, Cameron Sanders, posted a pie chart on Facebook as a satirical commentary. It showed three wedges: one each for Trump and Clinton general election vote totals, and a larger third wedge of about 75 million people who suddenly cared about what was going on. It’s a humorous take on the situation – suddenly people are waking up and going “Whoa.” And, to be frank, it’s apolitical. It doesn’t assume those newly alert people fall to one side or the other. Relatively benign observational humor.
Or so I thought until a gentleman responded. His name is Phil Collins, and he’s a DJ (pardon me, radio personality) at KLSQ-FM in Washington, Missouri, population 13,982 (as of the 2010 census), and the Corncob Pipe Capital of the world. Oh, and for an added measure of context, 96.7 percent white. Just so you have a feel for the kind of place this Make America Great Again voter was coming from.
I’ve witnessed this on a few other conversation threads. Mr. Collins decided, once again, that it was time to tell anyone listening to stop whining about losing the election, that Trump was president and everything he did was good for the country. Today, given everything else the administration had done, and the fictional Bowling Green Massacre still top of mind, I let my inner Sorkin go, and started typing…
So, Phil Collins, tell me, exactly how did your radio station cover the Bowling Green Massacre? Were you the on-scene reporter that day? How many victims were there, exactly? My liberal brain just can’t remember numbers so well. Did you interview any of the victims’ families? How about the heroic first responders who ended this reign of terror by these dreaded radical islamic terrorists? (See, I can say the words… in context).
Yes, Clinton lost the election. But for you to blindly follow everything that has happened in the first two weeks and say hey, it’s all just liberal whining misses the point.
The man just chose to trash relations with Australia. The man has members of his own cabinet contradicting him. The man has no sense of the gravitas that comes with the office – no mention of Holocaust survivors on Holocaust Remembrance Day? Using the National Prayer Breakfast to take a shot at someone? Using the meeting to mark the start of Black History Month to talk about himself, Ben Carson and Omarosa? Really?
Look I understand you voted for him. Yay you. You’re the best sore winner on here. But if you can’t learn to be critical of your own team and hold them to a standard, then I am sad to say you are doubly cursed with not only being as ugly as that profile picture is, but ignorant as well. Crying shame. I figured you had smarts as compensation. Well, as they say, face for radio.
Sometimes, that’s how you win.