Oh, if only I could have those wasted hours back again!
After dinner every evening, between Labor Day and the first snow, we boys would gather under the streetlight, take our usual positions on the curbstone and talk about high school football. Our cardinal curiosity was, we had a pretty good team down there in Greensboro, North Carolina, but we couldn’t quit wondering what would happen if we were to play a high school team far away from High Point, Reidsville, Burlington. What would happen if we were to go up against a team from, say, Oregon?
Our speculation ended only when one of the older boys would quit chomping on his bubble-gum and, with the certitude of a successful philosopher, end the séance by saying, “Well, that’s a whole different brand of ball!”
All of a sudden all the politicians we’re familiar with are political Xeroxes of one another. Hillary Clinton is the same brand as Mitt Romney, Barack Obama is the same brand as John McCain, George W. Bush is the same brand as Bill Clinton.
Donald Trump, however, is a whole new brand of ball.
So, here I am again, wondering how that new brand of ball will fare against Hillary.
How will Donald Trump, with his New York in-your-face “Believe me-I hate to tell you-They’re wonderful people-They all love me,” go over with that familiar, fist-in-the-air shouting of focus-group-tested slogans asking, “How dare we abandon the great work of Barack Obama?”
Will Hillary make Trump look intrusive and unfriendly? Will Trump make Hillary come across as old-fashioned boilerplate? Trump crowds love it when he repeats his promise to “Make American Great Again,” and Hillary gets her followers roaring when she talks about the successes of the past eight years. We have Trump promising grand achievements over the next eight years while Hillary praises achievements over the past eight years that don’t exist. Just what are those zombified Hillary supporters cheering? Cousin Guerney explains, empty barrels make the most noise!
Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson, who twice ran unsuccessfully against Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, said to the Republicans, “If you don’t quit lying about me, I’m going to start telling the truth about you!” Hillary and Trump are both going to tell the truth about each other, and it’s going to get ugly.
When David Brinkley retired as big dog in the news meat-house at NBC, a reporter asked him to name the biggest misjudgment of his career. Brinkley didn’t need a half-second to think. “In 1992 I thought Bill Clinton didn’t have a chance. He admitted he hated, he loathed the military, in a letter to the head of the Arkansas ROTC. I grew up in a culture that revered the military. I was sure nobody could be elected who openly scorned the military,” Brinkley explained. He admitted he failed to consider that “Things change, cultures change. People change their minds.”
Here’s why I think Trump will win big against Hillary despite the women-Hispanic-gay hostility to Trump plus the open hostility of virtually all the major media. The truths Hillary will tell about Trump will not be as devastating as the ones Trump will tell about Hillary.
Trump’s primary rivals showed us that the alleged fraud surrounding Trump University interested nobody. Nor did pip-squeaky complaints about some sleazy business deals and immigration violations that seemed to make Trump guilty of the very practices he so successfully attacked. I sense the anti-Trump forces are salivating at the prospect of revealing the “playboy” side of Trump, all the women he’s said to have bedded down with, with much confirmation and zero denials! And I further sense those forces will be just as surprised as David Brinkley was when the anti-military charges against Bill Clinton in 1992 started out weak and gradually tapered off.
Oh, I remember the power of hatred against men caught sleeping with unauthorized women! I claim you’re not really a Southerner if your hometown has never been rocked by revelations of the preacher getting caught with the sexton’s wife in the brambleberry patch behind the rectory. I may not be a conservative candidate at the moment, but I personally disfellowship men who run around and then brag about it.
As a political issue in 2016, however, such charges are more likely to fail or even backfire, particularly if those liaisons were consensual. Rather than shame him and defeat him, such accusations may actually fortify a playboy candidate’s image as a strong leader.
His political opponents thought it’d be easy to destroy Gen. Moshe Dayan of Israel when he ran for public office, because the famous general did not spend all his spare time studying deployments of Jordanian armor. At a public meeting, Dayan was confronted by an indignant constituent who criticized the general’s conquest of so many female targets.
Dayan stared his attacker head-on and said, “If a woman tells you she desires you so much she cannot proceed with her life anymore unless you accept her as a lover, who do you think you are to refuse her?”
The crowd cheered, there in the land where morality was invented.
And Dayan won the election!
When I was a boy the many truths about Hillary would have stirred tsunamis of negativity. Not everything changes!
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