You’re the meanest, most horrible, most disrespectful…..
Jees, what exactly did I say on the playground to that sixth grade schoolgirl back in the 1960s that her insults still ring in my ears to this day?
We didn’t have political correctness back then so it might’ve been awful. Likely, she made a remark about something I did or said that insulted my masculinity or smarts or ability to succeed at something and I couldn’t take the criticism.
Likely it was all three, but if you put a gun to my head it’d go with masculinity. For pre-pubescent boys, it’s ALWAYS about masculinity.
Well, that’s the way it was back in Queens when I was 11 years old. You say this, I say that, the insults escalate and suddenly one kid is called the meanest, the most horrible and the most disrespectful simply for fighting back.
This is the world I grew up in and, even though he’s more than a decade older than me, that’s the world our American POTUS Donald Trump grew up in.
So when he said those very school girlish words about Sen. Kamala Harris the very day she was named by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to be his running mate for vice-president each immediately tugged at my memory.
The meanest, most horrible, most disrespectful.
Grade school, playground, bully, man, camera, Queens.
Check, check, check, check, check and…checkmate!
Full disclosure: If I’m being totally honest I won’t swear that the above-mentioned 11-year-old girl actually said those words to me. More likely they were said to some jerky guy saying something awful and likely sexist to her and I simply stood by and let him.
Picture 11-year-old pre-pubescent Donnie Trump brazenly spewing insults through the space between the swings and in front of all the younger kids, loud enough for all the teachers to hear, and you might begin to understand why that little girl had nothing left to do but to call him the meanest, most horrible and most disrespectful.
Then understand this — that little girl is HIM.
You know… that senior citizen and just-filed-an-absentee-mail-in-ballot POTUS Trump. He actually opened his latest fundraising letter to potential Republican donors with it.
The first few lines literally read:
It’s soooooo 1956-1966.
Forget politics, forget red state vs. blue state and forget conservative vs. liberal. Instead, whenever you think of Trump from now through Election Day remember that desperate little girl on the playground.
Because if you get into the intellectual or political weeds trying to prove that to anyone on the other side that former California Attorney General Kamala Harris is NOT as liberal of a senator than, say, BERNIE SANDERS, you’re playing at the wrong game.
See, the real game is: I’m rubber, You’re glue, whatever bounces off me sticks to you.
Or: I know you are, but what am I….
There is no reasoning with a playground bully appropriating the words of the bullied 11 year-old girl who was bullied by him. Or his merry gang of bully supporters. Sure, you can try to tell the teacher or someone else in a position of authority but if your school was anything like mine, they were nowhere to be found at times like these.
Just like the Congress. (Note: Well, at least the Senate).
So it’s up to us to do the policing and not be side tracked by bully-speak. Even though it’s tempting. Very tempting. So much so that whenever the insults get the best of me I picture 11-year-old Donnie in pigtails and a dress, carrying a giant swirly sucker (nee lollipop), as they did back in his day, and all quickly becomes well with the world.
Sure, we’ve all got Kamala’s back even though I suspect (note: know FOR SURE) that she can take care of herself.
But we need to worry more about our absconded mailboxes, walking our mail-in ballots to our local Board of Elections office, donating money, and talking up the Biden-Harris ticket to anyone who will listen through our MASKS.
MSNBC’S Rachel Maddow, my personal oracle, wisely tells us almost daily to: Watch what they do, not what they say.
I would only add to that: VOTE – and make sure you do it in or deliver it to the place where it is most likely to be counted.