Groucho Marx and the primary season of our discontent

by Nathaniel Smith, Politics: A View from West Chester, 2/19/16

Here are some thoughts for the season, as we all try to make sense of the American way of choosing finalists in our quadrennial elections sweepstakes. And of course, 50 states and 8 territories have their own rules.

1) The other day I saw a quote from Groucho Marx’s role in “A Night at the Opera”: “You big bully, why are you hitting that little bully?”

Groucho_MarxOn the whole, Americans don’t like bullies. We tend to prefer interacting with people who are modest and respectful. But then there’s political life. The Groucho quote seems a good test in the current rough-and-tumble Republican primary struggle. Will the biggest bully win? A small-to-moderate one? Someone too nice to be a bully? Did one big bully, C., as his last act in the play yard, take down a littler one named M. in order to give himself a better chance at being someone else’s vice-presidential pick?

The next few weeks may give answers, but in any case let’s keep our eyes on the bully/insult/aggressiveness theme. And I think Groucho would find a lot more laughs in our “system.”

Photo from Wikimedia Commons by Ralph F. Stitt, Rivoli Theatre

2) “Before Donald Trump, There Was Jan Brewer” by Josh Marro, New York Times, 2/10/16, quotes the former Republican Arizona governor as saying

“Voters want somebody that can solve the problems and can do it effectively and do it right…. They just don’t want somebody that says ‘no, no, no.’ ”

Could that be good advice for the many present and now former candidates who speak against immigrants, Social Security, Medicare, Latinos, Muslims, the economically deprived, women’s rights, gun violence prevention, climate change mitigation, diplomacy, foreign countries, the President of the United States, the Pope, and a lot more…

keep reading at Politics: A View from West Chester

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Filed under 2016 election, Nathaniel Smith, Republican party

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