There’s nothing like taking a short view on life to have fun with possibility. The pandemic, sheltering in place, Zoom fatigue, three and a half years of Trump, running out of things to watch on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, or some other obscure content provider. We’ll all look back on this time and wonder how we curbed our impulses to lash out. It’s amazing our TVs made it through unscathed given the amount of times we wanted to throw something at the screen in a fit of rage. No matter how many times you told yourself that the daily news will not get to you, not take over your soul and give passage to the Dybbuk to rise up from your haunches and give you a really bad headache, somehow you made it through another day. Brilliance in resilience.
Well, don’t despair, we can work towards a vision of the future we can all feel good about. In this post, I’m returning to politics, but in the image of my own twisted mind. To cling to some hope, I’m watching the polls and hanging on to the idea that the Democratic party actually learned from the Hillary Clinton debacle and this time they’re going to get it right, right? Hmm, that’s a tough one. I hope against hope that the party’s leadership will not screw this one up. Making donations to the party is like being in a casino. I keep putting money in the campaign’s slot machine hoping the next pull is going to hit the jackpot, meaning Biden and the campaign is doing everything I want them to do to win! Dream on. Maybe I need to take up another hobby instead of politics that will assure a predictable outcome, say alligator wrestling?
Okay, let’s step away from our anxieties and start thinking surrealistically. Here is my fever dream on the current state of politics. Before I start, I will say my fantasy could likely insult readers on both sides. I apologize for this because I know there are fine people on both sides. So now, get over it and let’s have some fun.
Recent polls have shown that the last remaining voting block that Biden needs to pull him over the top are Jewish mothers. Not having one himself, he’s no stranger to the demographic. It’s true he knows the significance of their generous $18 donations. (In Jewish numerology, the number 18 stands for the word”chai”, which means life.) For the longest time, he thought it was just a Jewish mother’s way of saying “hi!”, such as “Chai Biden!” How sweet. So he decided to meet them where they were and started the “Chai Biden” tour. He set out across Florida, a battleground state (or from a Jewish mother’s lexicon, “bettleground”), to ask for their votes. It was a tougher road than he thought. He had heard many stories from his Jewish male friends about what it means to grow up with such a mother. He finally connected the dots of why so many were in therapy. He also wondered why they also had antacids available in their pockets whenever someone asked.
On his tour, at each venue he met them, it wasn’t just over a cup of coffee. Nope, coffee is for after the meal, not as the meal. If these mothers were going to give Biden their votes, he had to earn it. Had he been a vegetarian, that would have been a non-starter. They all had children who, in their late teens, decided to defy their parents as acts of independence and declared themselves as vegetarians. (This was worse than them declaring they had become Hari Krishnas. They thought, at least, their kids would quickly get over it because, how long can you wear those orange schmattas in public?) Immediately their mothers thought about how will boiled carrots, pickled beets, and kasha going to keep them alive? Too many pictures in the newspapers from Biafra. How could they voluntarily do that to themselves? Besides, with all the weight loss, they’re going to want to get a new wardrobe since their clothes will no longer fit. It was enough to turn their hair prematurely gray (a memory they try to suppress each time they visit the beauty parlor.)
So at each borscht stop, from Boca Raton to Palm Beach, Biden was obligated to eat whatever was put in front of him. And there was a lot. Bagels and lox, pastrami and corned beef combo sandwiches, with pickles of course, noodle kugel, kasha varnishkes (hopefully with lots of onions), stuffed cabbage, and toughest of all, gefilte fish. Thank goodness one of his Jewish campaign advisors arranged for weekly check ups with his cardiologist and had plenty of Lipitor on hand. The prize goes to any reader that can name anything in any one of those dishes that is heart healthy.
Worried about being watched over closely while he ate by these potential voters, Biden’s advisors made sure he finished everything on his plate. After some rugelach and a glass tea for dessert, he could finally have a conversation with his hosts. Let’s start with the choice of Vice President. No one had a problem with choosing a woman, even a woman of color, as long as she shared the same values as they had. One potential voter wanted to make sure the choice of VP would be ready on January 20th to go and physically take Trump by the ear and walk him out of the White House, yelling at him what shame he brought to everyone and that when he loses all his money to lawsuits to not come begging. And she hopes that whatever lawyer he picks fleeces him even more. “Gay kacken offen yam” (translated ‘go shit in the ocean’) is a dominant mantra from this crowd.
There were other requests from this constituency about how the “House Of The People” needs to be redecorated. There was a unanimous agreement through this voting block that Trump’s taste in furnishings was an abomination. “What’s with all the gold? Feh! It makes the White House look like the Playboy mansion. Shame on him.” When Biden suggested he tone down the decor to more blue-ish tones, you could hear a small gasp from the audience. Picking up on the reaction, he asked their opinions. After some chatter in the crowd, there seemed to be consensus. Fay, the apparent spokesperson for the crowd, said, “We think a nice French Provincial would impress everyone. And of course, the American people will want their investment preserved, so all the couches, chairs and lampshades will have slipcovers. No one really uses the furniture anyway and it’s only for show.” Okay, that was a little much for the Vice President so he had to punt on that one. All he could say was that it needed a woman’s touch and that his wife Jill will be handling that part of his administration and is sure she’ll be taking input when the time comes.
Moving on to other topics, Biden knew full well what was important to this crowd, but he needed to hear it from them directly. Social Security and Medicare were perpetual topics of concern. Of course Biden has proposals on hand to discuss those. He’s for expansion of Medicare. But what does that mean for them? Oh, don’t get them started! They really don’t want to pay for healthcare and certainly don’t want any surprises. Mrs. Greenbaum of Miami insists that she would look like a terrible mother if she couldn’t pay for her grandson’s Bar Mitzvah since all of her savings would go to deductibles. What’s “Chai Biden” going to do about ensuring Greenbaum doesn’t have to spend all of her savings on doctor appointments and certainly medications? Or what about Sheila Simovitz who keeps losing her dentures. What’s the presumptive nominee going to do to keep Sheila in pearls? (Pearly whites, that is.) One potential voter asked why Mah Jong isn’t yet a national spectator sport like poker or Wheel of Fortune? So many issues, so many opinions.
After a few days on the Trail of Shmears, Biden developed a deep appreciation for this special constituency (and a few gastrointestinal issues). He had a new sensitivity for all of the kvetching and sharing of “tsuris” (unfortunate circumstances) these adult community, condominium dwellers had. And it finally dawned on him why it seems their husbands died at younger ages than them (no sh*t, Sherlock. The only way you made it to 77 is that you married a shiksa (gentile), and a doctor at that).
And then he surprised them all and finally announced his running mate, Kamala Harris. Oy, the kvelling that came to the Biden campaign through email from the “Chai” voting block! They were very happy it was a woman. Finally, someone with sense who will put those men in place. They also appreciated he picked a woman of color. But one thing about Kamala that sent them head over heels was that she had a Jewish mother-in-law. They all heard Kamala telling the story of her having met her for the first time. Her mother-in-law put her hands on Kamala’s cheeks and said that she looked prettier in person than she looked on TV. Also, her Jewish husband adores her and she’s raising two Jewish kids. I can hear the cavalcade of voices of all the Jewish mothers out there saying “Oy, mine mamale’s glick. Why can’t my son be so lucky?” Yet, they all had some questions about her. One was about being brought up by a Jamaican father. How do you include Jerk Chicken on a kosher menu? And if Kamala’s mother-in-law gets on her nerves, is she going to get a pincushion doll? (Secretly, many wished they had one for their husbands.) And what about her Indian heritage? Will she decide she wants a Hindu shrine? What if she brings it into the White House? How will that fit with all the French Provincial furniture? So many questions.
Meanwhile, on the other campaign trail, Trump was pulling out all he could to keep his base happy. He knew they loved all the “red meat” he was throwing at them. So he decided he would be even more literal in what he threw out to the crowd at his next rally. At one of his stops in the rolling hills of Alabama, he actually had with him a refrigerated tractor trailer filled with packaged red meat. None of the cuts were lean of course, but the cheaper fatty ones, since that’s all that was left before they closed the meat packing plant because of COVID-19. If you remember the scene when Trump tossed rolls of paper towels to eager non-citizen Puerto Ricans (I don’t think they’re citizens since they don’t have voting rights in Congress, right?) In similar fashion, he tossed packages of rumps, shoulders, and hind cuts to eager Alabamians. I think he had bags of Frito-Lays to go with it just to seal the deal. With packaged meats and potato chips in hand, Trump had his audience in the palm of his hand. He started out explaining why affordable health care would be of no benefit to them. Just the opposite, high deductibles contributed to the economy and kept the stock market high, which is good for the country even if they didn’t own any stock. That was okay with them since they’ve never seen stock on sale at Walmart and they certainly wouldn’t buy it online because the deep state would be tracking them. As it is, they’re listening in already through their TV sets, which makes it hard for them to relax while watching Fox or Wheel of Fortune. Many would trust Pat Sajack and Vanna White to run the country, but hey, they didn’t get the cruise they signed up for, but it’s the ship they’re on. At least they were able to leave with a little dry cough and fever and something to throw on the grill that night. Exit polls from that event showed Trump is still popular with his base. Two weeks later, though, over a third of attendees tested positive for the virus. Trump had no reaction to this. But as a sign of empathy, he decided to ask Eric and Don Jr. to go visit them in the hospital, on one condition, that they don’t come near him for the next two weeks. He did suggest they go on MSNBC after the visits so they can infect that biatch Maddow. (Of course Eric was very enthusiastic about the whole thing.)
Fortune took a nasty turn in the weeks following for Trump. Former supporters were beginning to sour on him. The husbands of suburban white women were losing their jobs, and thus their private health care. Those suburban women finally woke up to the fact that Trump wanted to get rid of the ACA before they could get a chance to sign up. Trump thought this is what they wanted. And white, non-college educated men were finally forced to take the jobs all of those immigrants had taken from them (can you say meat packers) since they had no union representation to protect them from their previous employers. And finally, the The Times did an expose on Goya Foods after Ivanka did her photo op with a can of beans. Turns out they employ lots of illegal immigrants who are waiting for their hearing dates. Of course, Kayleigh McEnany, at her next press conference, had her spin on it. “The President was never briefed on the labor force at the Goya factory. It’s not his business anyway and he wants nothing to do with it. And any other news on this is fake.”
And if that weren’t enough, a new novel by conservative, journalist George Will, was just released called “Golfing In The Time Of Corona”. Though he says all of the content is true, it reads like a Franz Kafka novel. Vice President Pence was on the Sunday talk shows downplaying the book and defending the President that golfing was prescribed by the same doctor who declared Trump was in perfect health, mentally stable, and not over weight, in accordance with a new health standard put out by the Department of Health and Human Services, by its new Director, who happens to be a former oil industry executive and major donor to the President’s campaign. Thank goodness the new Director’s involvement in a major oil spill that destroyed the local shrimp industry did not surface until after he took over at HSS.
That’s it for my little parody. If I upset anyone, I apologize since I wrote it for the good people on both sides. Next installment will be hosted by Betty DeVos from her Michigan mansion through a new distance learning platform. Please wear your mask, unless your state doesn’t mandate it, social distance, unless there is someone you’re attracted to and you’ve had one too many, and wash your hands at least 10 times a day, unless there is no soap so why bother?, and please keep your guns locked up.
See below, because really, you just can’t make this shit up. Dali, phone home! More to come…