Older folks remember Darryl Dawkins (aka Chocolate Thunder): a massive, free-spirited NBA megastar known for backboard-shattering dunks – and for claiming to be an alien from the planet Lovetron, where he practiced “Interplanetary Funkmanship.”
No one quite knew what “Interplanetary Funkmanship” was. But it possibly related to stuffing candy bars on the bench, having little-to-no work ethic, and therefore taking large portions of games off in-between booming slams with nicknames such as “Yo Mama,” “In Your Face Disgrace,” and of course, “Sexophonic Turbo Delight.”
In retrospect, the late Thunder would have made a perfect Democratic voter. And in fact, 20 presidential contenders spent much of the last two nights making like the Party from Lovetron with platforms drawing on apparent Funkmanship principles.
Before we elaborate, let’s get past Thursday night’s obligatory horse race elements:
- Big winner Kamala Harris stopped the show – literally – shushing her shouting competitors with: “America doesn’t want to witness a food fight, they want to know how we are going to put food on their table.” Hit pay dirt on tax cuts and families’ agony over emergency room costs. And boasted the evening’s “webgem” with an impassioned immigration soliloquy and bring-down-the-house reference to the “microphone that the president of the United States holds in her hand.”
- Youthful Mayor Pete Buttigieg nevertheless came across as thoughtful, measured and mature, and expertly defused potential trouble over South Bend’s current brouhaha over a white-cop-on-black-suspect shooting with heaping helpings of humble pie.
- Meanwhile, frontrunner Joe Biden was cornered by moderators. Kneecapped by House backbencher Eric Swalwell (capitalizing on Biden’s years-ago “pass the torch” quote). And knifed on past segregationist bromances and busing opposition by Jamaican-American Harris. (Admitting Biden isn’t a “racist,” and thereby surfacing the ugly slur against him, was an especially deft twist of the blade.) Barack’s wingman held his own on pure debating points, but Biden’s defensive, downright tetchy and yes, sleepy demeanor contrasted with his usual happy warrior persona. Grumpy Old Man of the field is not a good look.
Still, the biggest loser of both evenings: the entire slate. Which to any thinking person seemed freshly beamed down from Dawkin’s pink-, rose- and teal-hued celestial domain.
Take health care. Per Dem Socialist Bernie Sanders: “Every other major country on Earth … somehow has figured out a way to provide health care to every man, woman, and child.” Oh yeah? On Earth, we actually know single-payer systems specialize in rationing, delaying and denying care to men, women and children.
“Under our plan people get to go to any doctor they want, any hospital they want.” Right. Even under Obamacare, doctor shortages are already exploding. And one of Lovetron’s own warned Wednesday night that Medicare for All’s low reimbursements could close every hospital in America. Even the Dems’ two “moderates” consider free health care a “right. Full stop.” And would subsidize care for illegals.
Bringing us to immigration. A Lovetronian chorus denounced President Trump in stentorian tones for separating children at the border and “putting them in cages.” Yet terra firma-grounded voters understand that border officials are overwhelmed due to Democrats’ cynical refusal to adjust asylum policies or fund true border security. That ending deportation for breaking immigration laws alone is a siren call to more Oscar and Valeria Ramirezes to die trying to sneak into the US – as the other-worlders weep crocodile tears.
And that you can’t crowd Central American presidents into a room and fix centuries of corruptocracy by oligarchs, gangs and cartels overnight – or afford to import their poverty and disorder.
What else do voters not basing political decision-making on Interplanetary Funkmanship know?
- There’s not nearly enough evidence that climate change is “an existential crisis” to justify upending America’s hard-won energy security, ditching plane travel, retrofitting every building nationwide or wasting money on inefficient, intermittent, and land-hogging and despoiling wind and solar.
- Most households actually did benefit from GOP tax cuts, and President Trump’s economic program has revived job and wage growth.
- Rushing to make nice with Iranian mullahs who cheat on nuclear deals, foment disorder globally and brazenly shoot down a $130-million American drones isn’t the best idea. Trump, for all his Sturm und Drang, has fundamentally reset relationships with friends and foe alike for the better.
- It’s plain weird for politicians to prioritize taxpayer-paid abortions for transgender women – or is it men? – over strengthening marriage and the family, and for a public official in a relationship condemned by every faith in history to lecture us on who may talk about religion and what they may say.
- And a Party fighting voter ID tooth and nail, flipping Congressional seats weeks after elections as operatives “harvest” votes, and gorging on Hollywood and tech moguls’ multimillion-dollar spending has no place wagging its ET finger about political corruption.
But hey – the Lovetron Party did surface one fascinatingly funky idea: resident metaphysicist and erstwhile cabaret singer Marianne Williamson suggested to the President that she would “harness love for political purposes. I will meet you on that field. And, sir, love will win.”
Lovetron’s Democrats had better hope Ms. Williamson is right about love winning. Because their other out-of-this-world ideas certainly won’t.
Bob Maistros is a messaging and communications strategist and crisis specialist. He was chief writer for the Reagan-Bush ’84 campaign, a former Senate subcommittee counsel. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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