--Here’s an update on last week’s column. Yes, I went to vote. And it took a complete hour for me to register my protest vote. Boy, there were a lot of people voting! But I have to tell you that at least at my polling place, it was all well-run. They had one worker triaging entering voters into one of two lines to vote. Then when one of the lines got really long, they re-organized and set up three lines.
I was pleased to see that the usual bottle neck which slowed down progress through the line was missing this year. You know what I’m talking about, the one person who has to look your name up in the book of registered voters can’t find you and if you spell your name for them, it only slows them down more. Those people have are gone and in their place are sharp and dedicated workers who really make you feel that their main interest is getting you through and back to your life as swiftly as possible. There were problems, of course, there are bound to be. I saw one voter who waited through the lines only to learn that they were in the wrong polling place. The moderator filled out some paper work for them and told them when they got to the right polling place to find the moderator and show them the paper work and they should be processed without needing to wait an hour in line again. This is all just plain good service and I think it’s great.
--But there are things which are bothering me about the elections so far.
I know this will sound stupid, but I just can’t get this crazy thought out of my mind. When I heard that Woonsocket voted predominantly for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic preference primary and rejected the presumptive front-runner, former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, I just couldn’t help thinking that Woonsocket voters rejected her because she never followed through on her promise to make a donation to our beautiful Stadium Theater. She made that promise when she visited the Stadium as First Lady at the request of then-U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy, as I recall. Hey, I told you it was crazy. Or is it karma?
I wonder if you recall the old 1976 movie “Network”. This is the one where the character, Howard Bealle, a TV network newscast anchor reporter, would tell everyone that the world was rotten and they should all lean out their windows and yell, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore.” As the plot movie went, the newsman said nothing was going to change until everybody got mad. Does anyone see a similarity between that movie plot idea of stirring up the populace into an angry lather and the Trump for President campaign?
And has anybody but me noticed that when Darryl Hammond portrays Mr. Trump on the NBC-TV show Saturday Night Live he makes a bombastic comment and then waits for the inevitable reaction while jutting out his lower lip like Benito Mussolini did in those old World War Two newsreels? Well I did. I don’t know what it means yet, but I did see a clip of a Trump speech recently and the real Donald Trump really does it.
Anyway, a lot of people don’t like Donald Trump. But they keep voting for him because they’re mad and they dislike everybody else more. Or maybe they’re “mad as hell and they aren’t gonna take it anymore”, even if it means forcing the worst possible president down the throats of the Washington establishment for spite.
Could it be that a critical mass of American voters have finally reached the boiling point and they don’t care what the consequences are, they want things to change no matter who gets hurt doing it?
I don't know. But one thing I do know is I would not be happy to have my president visit or receive at the White House some head of state and see him insult them for the entertainment of the assembled crowd. It’s one thing to flip-off the Washington establishment, it is quite another to behave badly with the heads of other governments. And, given his recent deportment, it takes little imagination to be truly concerned about just such a thing really happening.
--That’s what I think. What do you think? Comments to: email@example.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.
Thanks for reading.