Coulrophobia

In the 1980s I lived in Boston, raising two (mostly) adorable and (always) rambunctious children. My favorite sweatshirt had a picture of train carriages and said “I am running away to join the circus”.

The roster of Republicans running for the presidency has been called a clown car, although some are seasoned politicians and serious candidates – much as we may disagree with their views.

Donald Trump, though, dominates the polls, as he loves to remind us, and his ascendancy is taking on a sinister tone. Can breathing, feeling, thinking Republican voters really fail to see how mean-spirited his views are? I cannot even call them policies, given the paucity of details. Can someone with such poor command of English – his mother tongue – really sway a crowd? How long before they realize that there is no nuance in the Trump universe? Everything and everybody is either “fantastic”, “spectacular”, or “weak” and “stupid”.

In Iowa, Mr. Trump promised again that he would restore greatness to America by bringing jobs back. How? He will talk to the head of Ford Motors and tell him he has to build factories in the US, not in Mexico. He will also force businesses to leave China and come back to the US. How? Tariffs. What else? Maybe lower the wages of American workers in a race to the bottom. It is easier now that organized labor is on the ropes after the Republican assault that started during the Reagan presidency.

The reason jobs went overseas is simple: greed. It is much cheaper to have clothing, electronics and other goods manufactured in Asian sweatshops than in America. The US textile industry folded, and North Carolina only produces a fraction of the furniture it used to make. Businesses wanted to satisfy their shareholders and calculated that exporting labor would boost profits. How ironic that the American public believes that a businessman has the recipe to get us into a faster economic recovery.

Although I am not a shrink, I can’t help but notice that Mr. Trump wants everybody to love him, with the exception of Jeb Bush. He claims that “the Hispanics”, “the Blacks” love him. He “cherishes the women” and “will be great on women’s issues”. How can women fail to love him too? “The Asians” and “the Mexicans” are great people.The Mexican government, though, is the embodiment of all that is evil. Their cunning got the best of our poor president – I forgot whether Obama has been called stupid yet.

Comparisons to Nazi Germany always pop up during election cycles. Mike Huckabee recently was taken to task for comparing the Iran nuclear pact to the Holocaust. I am not going that route, but the scapegoating of illegal immigrants in this election cycle does not bode well for our democracy.

Coulrophobia? It means “fear of clowns”. Mr. Trump wishes himself to be the ringmaster, but he does not fool me. Let me off the train. I do not want to join the circus any more.

 

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2 Comments on "Coulrophobia"

  • Steve Jacobs says

    Great article! I am appalled at the contents of the clown car. They are all the same. Whatever happened to the Republican Party? I think it died long ago.

  • Judith Matherne says

    Oh My Word!
    This is a rant beyond rants! The author is Genius…not Blog!
    I must admit, I did not know what Coulrophobia meant before reading this!
    And I must have it!
    The republican clown car does scare the beejeebers out of me!

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