Wikipedia on Mel Brooks's 1974 movie "Young Frankenstein": "Frederick offers the sight of "The Creature" following simple commands to a theater full of illustrious guests. The demonstration continues with Frederick and the monster launching into the musical number "Puttin' On the Ritz," complete with top hats and tails. The routine ends disastrously when a stage light explodes and frightens the monster, who becomes enraged and charges into the audience, where he is captured and chained by police."
Did Mel Brooks have a vision in 1974? Was he able to look into the future and see a major political party wreaking such havoc that it would result in the rise of a bigoted, fascist monster that, in the end, might very well destroy his creator?
The rise of Donald Trump is no accident. For the past seven years we've heard what a horrible person our president is. We've heard that he's not an American; that he's not one of "us" and other hideous lies. We heard the leader in the U.S. Senate state that his only job was to ensure Obama would be a one-term president (he failed at that, too).
There has been no attempt to address issues of importance that affect the day to day lives of Americans, because doing so might result in the people actually being happy. Happy people will not vote for change. Unhappy people will. Sadly, those who are unhappy are unhappy at the wrong people.
For example, generally speaking people don't like the IRS. What's the one thing that could make people even angrier at the IRS then they already are? Make the IRS less efficient. How do we do that? Cut their budget 17 percent, sit back and watch the reduction of its workforce and delaying technological upgrades.
Once services have been compromised then those responsible will point out how inefficient government is and that programs should be turned over to the private sector; an entity more inclined to give hefty political donations to those who made it all possible.
Yes, let's privatize our government, because the private sector can always do a better job than any government agency. Yes, get mad at your government. Better yet, grow to hate your government, because they shipped your job overseas or somehow have left you feeling disenfranchised. It's a presidential election year, which means that we to focus on our hate a little more, right along with our fear. Hate and fear are great motivators as long as they're kept in control.
Today, as the Monster Trumpenstein is threatening to destroy the theater, his creator is acquiescing. Perhaps there might be a way to cajole, coerce and/or manipulate the Monster to do their bidding. The Monster responds well to phony flattery. The establishment is now warming up to the Monster of its own creation in hopes that maybe, just maybe the Monster will calm down and cease being an embarrassment.
It may be too little too late. The Monster has declared that he has no intentions of "toning it down" and after all why should he? He's received about $2 billion in free media coverage and won the most delegates thus far without having a real campaign. His brawn and bullying has carried him this far. If it ain't broke; don't fix it. The problem, of course, is that the Monster cares only for himself. He cares not at all for the party, the process or in the end the people he's been so successful at deceiving by tapping into the hate, bigotry and discontent so skillfully advanced by the party of his creation.
On July 18 in Cleveland, Ohio, we will all get to see the culmination of the great plan. Will the Monster don a top hat and tails and dance to its creator's tune or will Trump-the-Monster destroy the theater? Either way whatever happens it's not going to be very funny.
Bob Stannard is a columnist, author, musician and retired lobbyist and lives in Manchester.
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