by Thea Halo
For every loser there’s a winner, and after the polls closed on this divisive presidential election, the winner this time is the American people, and perhaps the entire world. However, as writer Oliver Goldsmith once said, “Every absurdity has a champion to defend it.”1
Rudolph Giuliani is only one of a multitude of Donald J. Trump’s champions. One has to question, however, just how much of a champion Giuliani really is. Perhaps not being privy to the joke Giuliani deliberately, or ignorantly played on him, Donald Trump first announced via Twitter that “there would be a ‘big press conference’ at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia.” Trump later had to clarify that the event would be at Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Philadelphia. One has to wonder if, in a last ditch effort to pretend to defend the indefensible, this was Giuliani’s way of making sure that Trump’s ending as our Despot-in-Chief was as ludicrous as possible.
Making the location for the ‘big press conference’ even more ludicrous, Four Seasons Total Landscaping is situated on the outskirts of town “between a crematorium and sex shop.”2 In fact, that seems totally appropriate since the first Republican poll watcher called to the podium to speak by Giuliani, was Daryl Brooks. Described as a political gadfly, he is also a convicted sex offender from New Jersey.
“Brooks served three years and eight months in prison in 1998 after he was convicted on several charges of lewdness, sexual assault, and endangering the welfare of a minor for allegedly exposing himself in front of two girls who were ages 7 and 11. According to NJ.com, Brooks maintained his innocence, claiming he was set up by Trenton police and other elected officials because of his work as a city activist.”3
Clever titles for the event immediately popped up to give the event and the location some context: ‘Make America rake again’ and ‘Lawn and Order’ were the apparent favorites. And they are right on target. President Trump wanted the citizens of this great nation to see him as the law and order president. However, it’s on Trump’s watch that Black men and women continued to be needlessly killed by police, and peaceful protests sometimes degenerated into riots.4 Frightened business owners across the country also chose to board up their store fronts, fearing Trump’s supporters might go on a violent rampage if Trump lost the election.5 When was the last time citizens felt so frightened because of an election in America?
Apparently, that fear is not farfetched. The NY Times reported that: A police chief in Marshall, Ark. resigned after he posted on a right-wing messaging site, a call for volunteers “to travel to Washington, D.C., to arrest, shoot and kill Democrats.”6 Add that to the foiled plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer,7 and a pattern of fear and intimidation from the more radical of Trump supporters seems to emerge.
Yet, too often, Trump’s supporters seem more afraid of ‘liberalism’ than policies that help destroy the quality of life of so many Americans, including theirs, like failing to warn us of the extreme danger of the Corona virus; failing to advise us on how to protect ourselves; failing to supply equipment to hospitals to do so; playing down the dangers of the virus; and in the midst of such a devastating health crisis, during which more than 10 million Americans were infected and almost 243,000 have died, trying to take away the health care that millions of Americans have come to depend on, with no replacement in site.
Donald Trump seemed to believe that the economy and the stock market were more important than American lives. But if so many Americans became sick and died, it’s like giving a party when there’s so few left alive to attend. Or perhaps Trump believes that the wealthy would survive because they have better means and could afford better care, just as he did. Or they could escape to their second homes to wait out the danger. So perhaps the party was only meant for them.
On this Veteran’s Day, it’s sad to remember how Trump insulted the military personnel who gave their lives in past wars. And his treatment of immigrants and asylum seekers is an insult to the many immigrants who joined our military to defend this country, some of whom also gave their lives. And it’s an insult to the many immigrants who actually helped make this country great.
So perhaps Giuliani isn’t as stupid as he sometimes sounds. Perhaps his choice of the landscaping company is a perfect metaphor for cleaning up the out of control ‘political landscape’ of the last four years. What better way to ding his employer than to choose a venue, with a name used by a famous high end hotel and restaurant chain, i.e. The Four Seasons, only to find it’s actually a landscape company. It’s as if Giuliani consciously or unconsciously wanted to make the comparison of where Trump started, i.e on top of the world, to where Giuliani has him ending up, at a tool shop on the outskirts of town, “Situated between a crematorium and a sex shop.”
I’m afraid you can’t make this stuff up to make it any sadder or funnier. The subtext is spot on and priceless. Yet some of our politicians deny they are liberals when accused, as if it’s something to be ashamed of or fear? Why haven’t reporters asked those Trump supporters who decry liberalism if they actually know what liberalism means? Some seem to believe it’s like communism, or a precursor to communism.
Here’s Wikipedia’s definition of Liberalism:
Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty, consent of the governed and equality before the law. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support free markets, free trade, limited government, individual rights, capitalism, democracy, secularism, gender equality, racial equality, internationalism, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion.
So what’s not to like?
- Oliver Goldsmith was a writer born somewhere in Ireland, probably on this date in 1730. His most famous works are The Vicar of Wakefield (1766) and his play She Stoops to Conquer (1771). See Garrison Keeler’s Writer’s Almanac, November 10, 2020.
- Victoria Bekiempis, ‘Make America rake again’: Four Seasons Total Landscaping cashes in on Trump fiasco, The Guardian, 9 Nov 2020. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/09/four-seasons-total-landscaping-trump-gardening-merchandise
- Pilar Melendez, ‘Vote Fraud’ Witness at Rudy Giuliani’s Four Seasons Total Landscaping Presser Is a Convicted Sex Offender, Daily Beast, Nov. 09, 2020.
- Karma Allen, Man who helped ignite George Floyd riots identified as white supremacist: Police said. CNN. July 29, 2020.
- Alina Selyukh, A Sign Of The Times: Across U.S., City Storefronts Boarded Up Ahead Of Election, NPR, November 2, 20202.
- John Ismay, Arkansas Police Chief Resigns After Calling for Democrats to Be Executed, The New York Times, Nov. 9, 2020.
- Christina Carrega, Veronica Stracqualursi and Josh Campbell, 13 charged in plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, CNN, October 8, 2020.