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Welcome to the “Georgia Wasp…”
This blog is modeled on the Carolina Israelite. That was an old-time newspaper – more like a personal newsletter – written and published by Harry Golden. Back in the 1950s, people called Harry a “voice of sanity amid the braying of jackals.” (For his work on the Israelite.)
That’s now my goal as well. To be a “voice of sanity amid the braying of jackals.”
For more on the blog-name connection, see the notes below.
In the meantime:
In my last post I promised more posts on my September ’21 European adventure. (Including a 17-day hike over the Pyrenees section of the Camino de Santiago.) But I also noted that I’ve been working on another project, an E-book about turning 70 in 2021. (Adding that I have to finish soon, “because turning 70 is like losing your virginity: ‘You can only do it once!‘”)
On that point, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the book is almost ready to publish – in E-book and paperback formats. (Which I hope will happen this weekend; no later than November 21.*) The bad news is that I haven’t had a chance to do another post at all, since after last October 30. (Almost three weeks ago, and that was on Holden Caulfield.) So “What I’m gonna did” – as Justin Wilson would say – is review a relevant post from the past.
It didn’t take long to find one, and a troubling one at that. In a post from last January 10, 2021, I asked a rhetorical question, “You DO understand that Trump is temporary?” But after reviewing that post – and events of the last few months – I then had to add, “Or maybe not?”
That’s “maybe not,” as in Trump seeming to rise from the political ashes, not unlike the proverbial Phoenix. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say rising again, like a &^%$ Zombie. (Which the Cambridge Dictionary defines as a frightening creature, a seemingly dead person “brought back to life, but without human qualities.*” And Zombies are said to be unable to think and are often shown “as attacking and eating human beings.”) But on to that last-January post…
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I posted “You DO understand” on January 10, 2021, just four days after the events of Wednesday, January 6, 2021. That day Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) called them the “‘Banana Republic Crap’ Capitol Riots,” and asked Donald Trump to stop the chaos. “You are the only person who can call this off. Call it off. The election is over. Call it off.”
I wrote that the following days – Thursday and Friday – things started looking up. That former Trump allies were saying “enough is enough,” that 52 rioters had been arrested, and that even some staunch Republican Senators were “open to impeachment or use of the Twenty-fifth Amendment.” I also noted, “Right now I wouldn’t want to be in Donald Trump’s shoes.”
Why? Because the metaphoric “noose” is tightening around his neck ever so slowly, but surely, in an agonizing foretaste of what’s in store once he leaves the protection of his office. (See “The rope has to tighten SLOWlY,” vis-a-vis what “Deep Throat” told reporter Bob Woodward about the 1974 conspiracy investigation against then-president Richard Nixon.)
But alas, I may have been premature.
For example, I wrote almost a year ago that there might be a positive note: That the reaction to Trump’s presidency might “provide the foundation for an era of democratic renewal and vindicate our long experiment in self-rule.” Which hasn’t happened yet.
I also noted that the number-crunching on the 2016 election showed “how fragile Trump’s hold on the public is.” To which I added, “I’ve been saying the best weapon against Trump is his own big mouth.” Not to mention his hubris. (“What? You mean I can’t tell supporters to storm the Capitol, and not be held responsible?”) But so far, he’s dodged the bullet on that one too.
As far as our “long national nightmare” being over, there’s the fact that Trump’s star seems to be rising once again. See for example, Trump trounces Biden in new Iowa poll. (From November 16, 2021. But here’s a note. In the 2020 election Trump won Iowa by eight points, so in fact over the past year he’s only gained three point. I’d hardly call that a “trouncing,” given all that’s gone wrong over the past few months. And three years is a long time in politics.)
All of which raises the possibility that Trump just might get elected to a second term. Which might also have happened if the attempted January 6 coup had been successful. But once again I tried to look on the bright side. That “freed from a need to pander to his wacko base,” Trump might develop a conscience and start thinking seriously about his legacy.
[W]ho knows? If: 1) Trump did get re-elected in 2020, and 2) no longer had to worry about throwing raw meat at his wacko base, and 3) started seriously thinking about his legacy (or developed a conscience, or started appreciating that he’s “closer to the end than to the beginning”), he might actually evolve – as [P.T.] Barnum did – into a “humane, effective and ethical politician.”
On that note, on last January 7 GOP Representative Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) said Trump’s legacy was ‘wiped out’ by the Capitol riot. But again, that may not be true. “In light of the foregoing,” I had to go back and re-write the “You DO understand” post. I noted the sleepless nights I had before the election, which have since returned.
But all might not be lost. Like I said before, three years is a long time in politics. For example, in 2019 – just before the COVID hit – “Donald Trump was riding high, and looked a shoe-in for re-election.” Just like Joe Biden nearer the beginning of this year. In turn there is the specter of Conservatives taking control of both houses of Congress, and clogging things up even more. But that in turn could sour voters on the Republican party even more. (Here’s hoping.)
And here’s hoping the idea of Trump as “only temporary” doesn’t turn out to be a pipe dream...
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The upper image is courtesy of Undead Image – Image Results. See also The Undead (film) – Wikipedia, on the 1957 horror film directed by Roger Corman and starring Pamela Duncan, Allison Hayes, and Richard Garland. The film was inspired “by an interest in reincarnation during the 1950s.”
Also a side note: There are some signs that Trump won’t run again, out of fear that he may become another “Adlai Stevenson.” See for example, The Complicated Truth About Trump 2024:
If Donald Trump tries to run for president again, one of his former campaign advisers has a plan to dissuade him. Anticipating that Trump may not know who Adlai Stevenson was or that he lost two straight presidential elections in the 1950s, this ex-adviser figures he or someone else might need to explain the man’s unhappy fate. They’ll remind Trump that if he were beaten in 2024, he would join Stevenson as one of history’s serial losers. “I think that would resonate,” said this person, who, like others, spoke on condition of anonymity to talk more freely. “Trump hates losers.”
See also Stunning 58% of AZ Voters Say Trump Should Not Run in 2024, Majority of voters overall oppose Trump running for president (71% opposed), and – from the National Review – Trump 2024 Poll: 73 Percent Of Independents Don’t Want Trump To Run For President in 2024. (According to the same poll, that includes 40 % of Republican adults. And a reminder, the National Review is the semi-monthly conservative editorial magazine with many contributing writers “affiliated with think-tanks such as The Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute. Prominent guest authors have included Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Peter Thiel, and Ted Cruz.) Then there’s Trump says he may not run in 2024 for ‘health’ reasons. Then too there’s this from Adlai Stevenson – Slate:
Today we’re quick to banish presidential losers… Yet one White House loser—a serial loser, at that—still haunts the political landscape: Adlai Stevenson. Every political season the pundits find some reason to resurrect him, invariably in a flattering light… Stevenson not only lost nobly; he made losing seem noble in and of itself.
It’s hard to imagine Trump making a second presidential-run loss seem “noble in and of itself.”
And a note about that book project. I published it on Saturday evening, November 21, 2021, and it became available the following day. Check it out by clicking on Will I REALLY live to 120?: On Turning 70 in 2021 – and Still Thinking “The Best is Yet to Come.” Under my Nom De Plume, “James B. Ford.”
Re: Zombies. Wikipedia: A “mythological undead corporeal revenant created through the reanimation of a corpse.” Which is where the title came from. Further, the undead “are beings in mythology, legend, or fiction that are deceased but behave as if they were alive.” In folklore, “a revenant is an animated corpse that is believed to have revived from death to haunt the living.” From the Old French, revenant, related to the French verb revenir, meaning ‘to come back.'”.
Re: My September 2021 adventure. In that last post, Holden Caulfield – Revisited Again, I wrote this about that: “Back on September 25, 2021, I flew back from Madrid and a month in France and Spain. As told in Hiking over the Pyrenees, in 2021 – finally, the trip centered around a 17-day hike on the Camino de Santiago. It covered the section from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and over the Pyrenees Mountains that I failed to do in 2017, when my brother Tom and I first hiked the Camino Frances. (He hiked over the Pyrenees but I met up with him in Pamplona. From there we hiked and biked the remaining 450 miles to Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain.)”
The lower image is courtesy of Pipe Dream – Image Results, which I borrowed from the “only temporary” post. The site Pipe dream – Idioms by The Free Dictionary defines the term as a “fantastic notion or vain hope.” The idiom is an allusion to the “fantasies induced by smoking an opium pipe … used more loosely since the late 1800s.”
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Re: The Israelite. Harry Golden grew up in the Jewish ghetto of New York City, but eventually moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. Thus the “Carolina Israelite.” I on the other hand am a “classic 69-year-old “WASP” – White Anglo-Saxon Protestant – and live in north Georgia. Thus the “Georgia Wasp.”
Anyway, in North Carolina Harry wrote and published the “israelite” from the 1940s through the 1960s. He was a “cigar-smoking, bourbon-loving raconteur.” (He told good stories.) That also means if he was around today, the “Israelite would be done as a blog.” But what made Harry special was his positive outlook on life. As he got older but didn’t turn sour, like many do today. He still got a kick out of life. For more on the blog-name connection, see “Wasp” and/or The blog.