‘Idiocracy’ arrived 500 years early

President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, in a scene reminiscent of Ted Cruz's "Machine-Gun Bacon" video.

President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, in a scene reminiscent of Ted Cruz’s “Machine-Gun Bacon” video.

In reaction to a previous post, Bryan Caskey wrote:

What a stupid time to be alive.

Yep. None stupider, in U.S. history.

I’m just so embarrassed for my country. And every day for the next few years, I’ll wake up and have to be embarrassed again. And who knows how long it will last? Our political system is now in such disarray — neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have any idea how to get back to electing rational people, and there are no other entities on the horizon prepared to do so — that I can’t see the end of this epidemic of stupidity.

I’ve always despised H.L. Mencken for his contempt toward most of America, but now it seems we’re every bit as stupid as he thought we were.

The people who made “Idiocracy” lacked imagination. It’s arrived 500 years earlier than they supposed. In that fictional world, President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho is a former professional wrestler. (As you see above, he shared a certain penchant with Ted “Machine-Gun Bacon” Cruz.) In our real world — and every day, I struggle to persuade myself that this actually is the real world — our president-elect is an inductee of the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame.

This, of course, is not an original thought. Quite a few people have said it in recent weeks. (My only defense is that I did THINK it Election Night, but didn’t feel like getting into it.)  Joel Stein explored it in TIME magazine as early as May in this piece. Excerpts:

Eight years ago, with the publication of Susan Jacoby’s The Age of American Unreason, our country had a debate about whether its citizens were becoming less intelligent. This year, we had a debate about how big Donald Trump’s penis is. While we have not resolved the latter, we have answered the former. Former means first, and latter means second….

In the Idiocracy-est moment of the whole 2016 campaign, a Trump supporter who shoved a black protester in the face explained his candidate-selection process to a reporter on MSNBC, Ali Vitali, thusly: “He’s no-bullsh-t. All balls. F-ck you, all balls. That’s what I’m about.” Though George Washington never said those exact words, he would have certainly killed a man for saying them.

I called the people who made Idiocracy to see how they so accurately predicted the future. “I’m no prophet,” Judge told me. “I was off by 490 years.” He too is shocked at how eerily similar the world has become to the one his movie depicted. He and Idiocracy co-writer Etan Cohen have been working on fake campaign ads for Camacho to be used as anti-Trump web videos, but they’re having a hard time. “Our jokes would be like, ‘I’m going to build a wall around the earth.’ They were only incrementally stupider,” says Cohen. “Writing Idiocracy was just following your id. Now unfortunately our id has become our candidate for President.” The danger here is clear: we will no longer be able to have comedies with hilarious dumb characters….

And why is that? Because all of a sudden, it’s not funny.

Come to think of it, “Idiocracy” wasn’t all that funny to start with. The opening credits, explaining how intelligent people in the present day failed to reproduce, while idiots did so like rabbits — basically, the explanation of the premise — was the best part. The rest quickly grew old. Because it’s just not much fun to contemplate living in a world governed by stupidity.

And now, here we are…

60 thoughts on “‘Idiocracy’ arrived 500 years early

  1. Claus

    I’d be embarrassed to write anything you said above. We get it, you upset Hillary didn’t win the election, the election is over… move on with your life and quit feeling sorry for yourself, especially since there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. Whining doesn’t accomplish anything.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Actually, you DON’T get it. As anyone who reads this blog should know, I’m not upset that “Hillary didn’t win the election.”

      I’m upset that NO rational human with a clue won the election. I was pretty much dreading the idea of Hillary winning, as I said a number of times. It was going to make the partisan battles of the Bush and Obama years look like a picnic. No president had ever in our history gone into office with so many people HATING him. It was going to be really, really bad from Day One.

      The only thing that could possibly be worse is, well, THIS…

      1. Claus

        Would you say then that there weren’t any “rational human with a clue” running for President? You don’t believe Trump is, I 100% don’t believe Hillary is… so do we agree that there wasn’t a person worthy of the office on the ballot? By not winning the election it pretty much shut down the outrageous speaking fees collected by the Clintons, for “charity” of course.

        As selfish as it sounds, I’ve been sleeping like a baby since the election. And not the waking up crying every 20 minutes baby… the baby that sleeps through the night.

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    Of course, now I’m feeling bad because some Trump voters will say I’m saying THEY are idiots, and I don’t really mean to do that.

    And not just because I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. It’s also counterproductive.

    A number of things were written, just before and after the election, about how one of the CAUSES of the Trump phenomenon was that there are vast numbers of people in America who feel disrespected by elites, and this was their protest.

    And I’ve wrestled with how to engage with that. Because I think it’s terrible that so many people feel disrespected. And they ARE disrespected by a lot of the urban elites. And that is wrong.

    My problem is that while I absolutely believe they deserve to be respected, I simply canNOT respect their decision to vote for Trump. There’s nothing respectable about it. There is no problem to which he is the solution.

    So I’ve struggled with how to write about it….

    1. Doug Ross

      I could introduce you to plenty of intelligent people who voted for Trump. They had their reasons and can explain them in detail. They center around a general disgust with Washington and distrust of Hillary. Until Trump does something egregious (and he hasn’t yet), you’re not going to win anyone over. Why not try and track down some people who voted for Trump and listen to them (not preach at them)?

      1. Guy

        Egregiously claiming to have won the popular vote is not egregious enough? Post truth America is a pathetic place…

        1. Bart

          Guy, trying to come up with one egregious enough comment like winning the popular vote is like trying to distinguish one snowflake from another during a blizzard – with your cap pulled down over your eyes and your back to the wind. With Clinton it would be like skating on ice less than 1/4″ thick over water at least 20′ deep.

          We need to remember the ending of ‘Idiocracy’ when the pimp travelled forward 500 years and arrived on the scene after the “hero” won the day and the girl. Think about that for a moment and what the next election will thrust upon the citizens of this country if we survive the next four years and if the only candidates available are retreads from the past election cycle.

      2. Brad Warthen Post author

        “Why not try and track down some people who voted for Trump and listen to them (not preach at them)?”

        Well, the main reason is that this is not a news-gathering blog. It’s a commentary blog. If I had the time to go track people down and interview them, I’d be a happy guy because that would mean I was able to support myself with my blog, because I would be pretty much doing it full-time.

        You know all these intelligent people. Share. Let us know if they have reasons beyond these indefensible ones:

        — They really, truly believe Trump has great ideas and will be a good president.
        — They know he’s clueless and unstable, but they’re so mad at the country that they just wanted to elect him as a giant “F__k you!” to the universe. This is the pure nihilism option.
        — They HATE Hillary Clinton. I don’t mean disapprove; I mean HATE her. To call it Clinton Derangement Syndrome is almost too mild. And to use it to justify electing someone so grossly unqualified (because say whatever else you want about her, she was qualified) is inexcusable.
        — They know Trump is an idiot, but there’s some specific thing they think he’ll do that they like, so the hell with every other consideration. It might be rounding up all the illegals and deporting them. Or maybe that they actually believe he’ll appoint judges who will overturn Roe v. Wade. Or it might be something more venal, such as thinking they’ll personally benefit from his tax cuts. Or they hate Obamacare so much that they think it’s worth anything to have a president who won’t veto the Congress’ attempts to do away with it.
        — Blind partisanship. People who are SO completely about voting for the R under all circumstances that they either can’t see, or are willing to ignore, that Trump a) is no Republican, and b) will be the ruination of their party.
        — Some sort of twisty strategic motivation — such as voting for this awful nominee as a way of letting him fail and teaching BOTH parties never to do anything like this again, EVER.

        I’m sure I’ve heard other ones and they’re just not coming to mind. But I’ll tell you what — if you’ve got somebody out there who has some other reason, and you think it’s such a good one that it will influence my thinking on the matter and that of others here, I’ll talk to him.

        1. Doug Ross

          I wasn’t asking you to interview anyone. Maybe just seek out someone who voted for Trump and have a beer with him/her and ask why. But since your mind is already made up and you would likely be unable to contain your disgust for a person who might choose to vote for Trump (47% of voters), don’t bother. Like most things, you’ve already made up your mind and nothing can alter your view.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            Doug, you say that like it’s a whim, like one of Trump’s Tweets.

            I really think I’ve set out the REASONS in excruciating detail — don’t you think?

            My impression of Trump is the product of years, decades, of being aware of him and his absurdity — and then intensive attention paid over the last year and a half, after I realized that the impossible was true — that there were people who would VOTE for him. For PRESIDENT.

            When it’s “hard to alter my view” on something, that’s usually because my view is very well grounded, involving careful consideration of a vast store of information and experience.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              That said, it still flummoxes me, as I sort of said earlier in the day, that anyone wouldn’t IMMEDIATELY be put off by things Trump says and does, even if they’d never heard of him before… With some people, learning more can correct such a bad first impression. But in his case, reading, listening and thinking about it only deepen the impression of his utter unsuitability….

      3. Bill

        I don’t need to travel very far to find Trump voters. Nearly 70% of my district went for Trump. They’re all around me. They’re my neighbors. They’re in my own family. I know how they think, because I’ve been talking to them for years, not just during this election season. And I’ve used this forum to point to some of the reasons why they chose to vote as they did – mainly having to do with an assortment of (white middle-class) resentments against various “Others,” including the poor, liberals, slackers, immigrants, Blacks, etc. – together with the belief that government is incapable of doing anything right (“the system is rigged – against me”) and needs to be “run more like a business.” Then there’s Hillary hating. I need look no further than my own father for that. He liked Kasich in the primaries and was somewhat turned off by Trump’s antics. But once it became clear what the choice was in the fall, he went with Trump. Why? Well, I asked him. His answer? Because Clinton, in his words, was “corrupt to the core” and needed to be kept out at all costs. His source for this view: Fox News and WGTK, the only two “news” sources he draws on. Why? Because, as far as he’s concerned, CNN/ABC/CBS/NBC/MSNBC/PBS “don’t give you the facts.” There’s no other word for this than “self-radicalization.” And the product of this self-radicalization is Trump. Trump’s supporters think he’s the antidote to what’s wrong with America. He isn’t. In truth, he’s just a (very bad) symptom of the disease that’s eating us alive.

    2. Claus

      That’s fine by me if you do, I’ve been calling Clinton supporters idiots since Day 1.

      Besides, it take a lot more than being called an idiot to hurt my feelings… but then my skin is a little thicker than most.

    3. Lynn Teague

      The perception of disrespect by elites is a pretty complicated area. There is some genuine foundation, usually in the form of a patronizing attitude rather than contempt. Aside from major political gaffs, a recent Facebook video of a young man comes to mind. I’m sure that he intended to be low-key, genuine, and even charmingly funny about an issue related to sexuality. Nevertheless, I am sure that some would find it smug and patronizing. It was a good example of something that had no ugly contempt behind it, but missed the boat in a potentially harmful way.

      However, the perception that that there are “elites” who hold others in antagonistic contempt has been systematically and intensively fed by conservative sources for years. The dreaded War on Christmas is a good example. It appears every year in the form of memes that assure conservative Christians that there is an attempt to bury Christmas (and Christians) in favor of a secular society. And yet, as a practicing Christian, I have yet to be impeded in any recognition or celebration of the Incarnation. If there is a war, it has been singularly unsuccessful.

      There is also the more general principle that I have kept in mind since leaving adolescence – most of the time other people are not sitting around thinking bad things about me, they aren’t thinking about me at all, whether they have time to do the laundry before bedtime is more important to them.

      In short, I believe that the issue of disrespect deserves consideration, but has been blown far out of proportion to feed conservative click-bait websites and the desire to alienate part of our society from the remainder for partisan or financial advantage.

      And meanwhile, the same parties who amplify and distort this message of disrespect tell people that Hillary Clinton is not just someone whose policies they might disagree with, and not just someone who has made significant (although apparently not criminal) errors of judgment. She is portrayed as an evil witch, Killery, responsible for the deaths of all who have even whispered against her. The tone tells us how it must have felt to be present during the Salem witch trials. Some of the social media posts made by my Facebook “friends” who have bought this stuff have been vicious, as is the tone of anger and hatred against the dreaded “elites.”

      Why? It isn’t all sincerely held personal belief. We are told that Steve Bannon isn’t really racist or misogynist, that while running Brietbart he was just using those positions and people for his own purposes. How nice. How pretty. How respectful of other views. How concerned for the health of our republic and our communities. Sorry, I don’t find that comforting. And then there are the accusations that Clinton’s emails were “worse than Watergate!” The cries of “lock her up!” They came from the people now putting Petraeus, who shared state secrets with his mistress, forward as Secretary of State.

      “Disrespect” is not a simple one-sided issue.

      1. Bill

        Frankly, I don’t even really buy the claim that people are upset by elite condescension. Among the people I hear from, it’s not the WAY the message is presented, it’s the message itself – because it conflicts with their own closely held views.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Oh, I do. Because I see it — and feel it, as a traditionalist who frequently feels the scorn of the “progressive.”

          I realize you have a darker view, seeing Trumpistas as racists or as folks who’ve been somehow seduced to the dark side — or embraced it willingly.

          And yep, there are plenty of those, people who are obvious a__holes, not to put too fine a point on it.

          But there aren’t enough of them to give the election to Trump. If it’s just the jerks, he has substantial support, but he doesn’t win.

          And I think the number of quiet people out there who are fairly plain folk who are sick of being dismissed as denizens of “Flyover Land” may have been enough to give him the margin of victory. Especially if you combine them with people who actually have been convinced that Hillary Clinton is the devil incarnate…

          1. Bill

            Where exactly did I call anybody “racist”?

            I do think many share in common a certain degree of racial insensitivity (it goes hand-in-hand with their own resentments) or simply a lack of interest in the history of race or poor understanding of contemporary racial issues.

            But basing their vote on a feeling of being “disrespected,” no, I just don’t buy that.

          2. JesseS

            ‘And I think the number of quiet people out there who are fairly plain folk who are sick of being dismissed as denizens of “Flyover Land” may have been enough to give him the margin of victory.’

            Yeah, thought it has to be stressed that it was less about Transformers 3 not being set in Chicken-Stratch, Arkansas (something progressive critics rolled with and failed to even notice their condescension) and more of a people who were sick of being considered the source of all known evil in the universe by the far-left (while the center left were either indifferent or silently nodded).

            Trump said they weren’t the problem. Not only that, he said they were good people who didn’t deserve the bad things that have happened to them. They shrugged their shoulders and said, “Well even the Lord can speak through the mouth of an ass*, so why not?” It was a con, but it worked for him.

            *Funny how many evangelical preachers referred to the Book of Numbers when talking about Trump.

          3. Bill

            – “as a traditionalist” –

            Well, then you’ll have to admit that, as a traditionalist, you’re bound to be disappointed – and maybe even feel a bit abused — from time to time simply by the natural course of things. Because if there’s one thing that can be counted on, it’s change, including progressive social change. And those who stand in the road and say to change, “Stop!,” are likely to get knocked down. The question then is, do you adapt, or do you cultivate your bruises and nurse your resentments? There’s a point at which traditionalism degenerates into intransigence, anti-intellectualism and even reactionism. We may be seeing some of that right now.

  3. Bart

    Have to share this with the regulars and visitors. At Thanksgiving dinner, I sat across the table from a relative by marriage – will leave it there for my personal safety and not identify the person. Naturally the conversation turned to politics and how glad this person and the person’s spouse were that Trump won the election. The absolute hatred of Hillary Clinton was amazing and this person wanted Clinton to be tried, convicted and put in prison for life plus 100 years. After listening to the comment and making the comment I agreed with Trump on his decision to not pursue charges against Clinton, that is if he could, the reaction was immediate and hostile as hell – no other word is adequate to describe the reaction.

    I tried to explain that by continuing to pursue Clinton and that very early on, I tried to explain to others and on this blog that when every news article, news report, social media commentary, celebrities aligned against Trump, establishment Republicans and Democrats going after Trump, and 99% of every report about Trump was negative that the American people are a fair people and whether they liked Trump or not, they would react by going to his defense and I believe I was right based on comments made by many voters after the election. My point was that if the same is done to Clinton, eventually her huuuuge negatives (see what I did there?) would turn into sympathy and give her more credibility than she deserves and could set the stage for another run in 2020.

    Well, I would have been much better off if I had thrown a cup of hot coffee in their face. Glad my son was sitting beside me and he believes the same way I do. The dirty looks and under the breath muttering would have killed the average person. I guess a lump of coal will be in my stocking from the in-law come Christmas morning.

    It is still a problem for me to know that in my lifetime we the voters couldn’t nominate 2 candidates who actually had positive ratings and common sense and campaigned on how we can do better instead of acting like spoiled brats on the playground in kindergarten. It is hard to get the image of Trump wearing a baseball cap with “Make America Great Again” emblazoned across it. Damn, America is still a great country and we are still leaders in just about every category. Yes we have problems, tell me one country that doesn’t have problems and if you want to move there, we can start a crowd funding effort to send you. I will contribute the first $10.00.

    1. Doug Ross

      We only had a brief discussion of Trump at our dinner table. My two Indian guests were afraid of what Trump might do with H1B visas but were also completely on his side regarding illegal immigration. To see what they have gone through (and paid) over several years to remain in this country legally or to pursue green cards and then think that anybody wants to give illegals a path to citizenship that would be easier than what those on H1B have gone through is a slap in the face. No amnesty until all green card holders are processed first!

    2. bud

      Don’t have discussions with the Trump supporters in my family. But we have had a few gentle Facebook ribs. So far it’s been pretty civil.

      Bart, I just don’t get all the Hillary animus. Seems like she’s been largely exonerated of any real wrong doing. I suspect much of the intense dislike of her is driven by the never ending attacks by the right-wing media. She’s endured far, far more unfair coverage than Trump. The only thing the media has ever done with Trump is report his own words. How can that be construed as negative coverage? If the coverage was comparable to Hillary’s the rape allegation would be absolutely a proven fact. The Trump University scam would have been felony fraud of an extreme nature. The groping claims would be established as truth. The various business conflicts of interest would be grounds for impeachment. As it is these stories are pretty much dismissed and the victims vilified. The notion of a “liberal” media is complete nonsense. We’re now facing a repeal of Medicare, huge budget deficits because of huuuge tax cuts for the wealthy. We’ll see increased involvement in foreign countries and financial instability due to lax banking regulations. And of course climate change will accelerate due to Trump’s dismissive attitude toward science. Racial tensions will increase as will incidents of violence against “those people”. Fringe groups will move a bit closer to the mainstream. This is all thanks to the disgusting enabling practice of false equivalency that equated the vile Donald Trump with the pragmatic Bernie Sanders. We really are living in the world of 1984 with Big Brother firmly in charge.

        1. Claus

          The memo I got is the Recession starts January 20th, the Depression starts six months after that, the USA becomes USSR-North America by the end of the year. Concentration camps are to be up and running by the end of 2018.

      1. Claus

        Who is talking about repealing Medicare? What tax cuts are the wealthy getting? Banking regulations have been changed? Trumps going to control the climate? Race riots are in serious discussion?

        Man, I go away for a couple weeks and the world is coming to an end.

        1984 was a good year, my first year of college. If I could I’d relive that year again and again.

      2. Bart

        bud, it may not be apparent, obvious, or relevant to you of all the negative events in Clinton’s past but to all too many, they are still relevant and over the course of 30 years beginning with the “co-presidency” claim by Bill Clinton and Hillary initially being placed in charge of changing the health care system in the US. Bill Clinton was elected at POTUS, not Hillary Clinton and as First Lady, she had no standing as an elected representative of the people. Her comments about “not being a Stand by Your Man” type of female did have a huge negative impact on her public image especially when she basically led the charge to destroy all of the women who come forward with charges of Clinton’s sexual behavior but at the same time, declare she supports women coming forward when they have been victims of sexual assault or aggressive behavior by male predators. Her hypocrisy was evident and it did not endear her to women at the time and the old feelings of betrayal were certainly part of the reason more females voted for Trump than expected.

        Then she and Bill moved to New York so she could run for the Senate. She was a carpetbagger in the truest sense of the word and that was one more negative. Then she lied about being under fire when landing in one country and she did mislead and contradict herself on Benghazi. While it is accurate none of the things listed do not meet the bar for criminal activity or prosecution, they do add up and when they add up over a period of time, no matter who you are, who you support, or what your particular political ideology may be, the total weight can and will make a difference.

        To add one other critical element about Hillary Clinton, she is not one who is able to evoke enthusiasm with the general population and the way she conducted her campaign by avoiding stump speeches and appearances in critical swing states gave the impression that she was taking them for granted. She concentrated her efforts on a few large states and the impression she created herself is that she was entitled to be POTUS and it was her turn.

        What some may not understand or realize is that among females, when they dislike someone as much as Hillary Clinton is disliked, not being chauvinistic but the negative emotional response is very high. Just ask females who dislike Sarah Palin personally, not so much for her politics but on a personal level.

        It is not easy to simplify or point to one particular reason Hillary Clinton is so disliked but when you add them up over 3 plus decades, the final number is going to be very negative and overcoming that is almost impossible. Therefore, we now have Donald Trump for the next four years and Democrats need to really examine the direction they will take over the next 2 years before the 2018 elections. Pelosi and her peers are all over 70 and are very reluctant to let go of the power they built up over their decades in office. It is time for new blood on both sides because all of us older citizens are dying off and too many are losing touch with the every changing landscape of this country. Some changes I agree with, others I do not but soon enough my voice will be silenced and my opinions irrelevant. So, who will take over the reins of leadership and will they be worthy to become our next generation of leaders?

        Just something to think about.

        1. Bart

          Just to clarify, I believe on the Republican side, new blood is needed but not in the persona of Paul Ryan. He is close to touching the third rail of politics by concentrating on making changes to Social Security and Medicare. Won’t disagree both should be examined closer and enforcement of rules already in place a priority but to make changes that will affect future generations and not in a positive way will create a major backlash. The same goes for ACA and repealing it without a comprehensive plan to replace it and a plan that is developed and workable by both sides, not just one. That was the major problem when it was passed and from day one, the negatives outweighed the positives and no amount of positive publicity was going to change the perception that ACA was a hastily cobbled together bill without due diligence and review. The promise that any new bill would have sufficient time for review by the public was broken and it went before Congress in a few days. It was simply too big to read and digest in a short time. Plus the comment by Pelosi that – paraphrase – “we need to pass it to find out what is in it.” was not an intelligent comment to make by the House leader.

          I bring this up because if Trump attempts to repeal the bill and he only needs a simple majority in Congress to do it (thanks Harry Reid for using the nuclear option and opening Pandora’s Box), it will be the mistake of the century. And unfortunately, all too many support a total repeal immediately. The chaos it will bring will be a prime example of ‘Idiocracy’ by our government.

          1. Doug Ross

            Obamacare won’t be repealed for 2017. It will be tweaked for future years. Ideally, remove any connection to tax penalties and the IRS. That’s a bureaucratic mess right off the bat. Instead, implement higher rates for people who sign up when they get sick. You want to take the risk, go ahead.

            Leave in place mandatory coverage, children covered to age 26. Remove any requirements for “free” coverage of birth control – that should fall under the same category as any other procedure.

            All I want is for some politician to investigate a way to allow any U.S. Citizen to purchase the same plan our congressmen have at the same cost. That would address a huge chunk of access. How can it be that hard? It’s just paperwork.

            1. Doug Ross

              “Leave in place mandatory coverage,”

              I meant to say “Leave in place no denial of coverage and eliminate the mandatory requirement”.

              Also, no subsidies for non-citizens. Ever.

      1. Doug Ross

        Based on her leisurely campaign in 2016, I’m not convinced she was physically able to run this time. Part of Trump’s margin of victory was due to her many days off during the heat of the campaign. Trump out worked her by a wide margin in the last month.

        1. bud

          Probably too many fund raisers at the expense of greeting folks at diners and such. Also too much emphasis on temperment over economic issues. For some reason people just don’t care that Trump is a serial groper.

          1. Claus

            Yeah those once a month fund raisers that she attended for a couple hours a month must have been grueling. Just imagine if she had to plan and work at these events rather than just show up and stand around drinking and eating.

            I’ll take a serial groper over a serial liar any day.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              But didn’t you vote for someone who is both?

              It AMAZES me that people who supported Trump can call Hillary Clinton a liar. She is a paragon of truth compared to that guy, who says true things about as often as a stopped clock gets the time right.

              I’ll acknowledge that sometimes he doesn’t KNOW he’s lying, but just (as usual) doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But that makes me feel worse about him, not better…

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Eleven years ago, he was caught on a microphone belonging to a national television network talking in the crudest terms about groping.

              What were the odds of THAT happening?

              Do you have any idea how many times he has done so without being recorded? Do you actually doubt that this is his habitual mode when he thinks he’s not being recorded?

              Forget this. Look at the rest of his career. Check out his appearances on Howard Stern’s show, in which he has done his best to crawl on Stern’s level of sleaze.

              There is zero doubt that this is the crassest, crudest individual ever to rise to such a position in this country. By electing him, we have utterly degraded the office of president. From George Washington to this. It’s beyond disgusting…

              1. Claus

                Brad have you ever been involved in a “locker room discussion”? I’ve been in several which make what Trump said sound like it came from a Christian knitting circle.

                Besides, if you want vulgarity Google up what Hillary says about her staff or her security detail.

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  News flash: They weren’t in a locker room. They were in a bus belonging to the nationally-broadcast TV show Trump was appearing on. He was talking to the host of the show, who it seems was almost as big a jerk as he is…

                  1. Bryan Caskey

                    What’s all this about talking in locker rooms, anyway?

                    In high school, the locker room was for gym class, (we called it P.E.) and it was for changing in and out of clothes while trying your best to not make eye contact with anyone. The only time I really interacted with anyone in the locker room was my first week of school at my new middle school. I got into a fight with a guy in the locker room from something that boiled over from playing dodge-ball during P.E. We fought pretty hard for 8th graders, and both got in quite a bit of trouble. He ended up being one of my best friends in the long run, though.

                    The locker room certainly wasn’t for discussing girls. But then again, I was not one of the “cool kids” in high school. (shocker, right?) Maybe you cool kids can drop some knowledge on me about all that.

                    1. Brad Warthen Post author

                      As to “trying your best to not make eye contact with anyone…”

                      The main thing in high school and junior high, back in the dim ’60s when pretty much no one was “enlightened” about such things, was demonstrating one’s total nonchalance about being naked with a bunch of other naked people. The less concerned, the more seemingly unconscious you were about being in the buff in front of your peers, the more macho you were, and the less likely the other guys were to “give you the business,” as Wally Cleaver would have put it a few years earlier.

                      If you DID have to make an effort to avoid eye contact, then you also tried to make it look like it WASN’T an effort. The point was to be completely, exquisitely bored and matter-of-fact about the whole business.

                      And probably the LAST thing you wanted to do while showering with the other guys was talk, or even THINK, about grabbing girls by a part of their bodies that was no doubt exposed AT THIS VERY MINUTE just on the other side of this wall in the girls’ locker room, with hot soapy water running down their glistening naked skin…

                      Because something could happen as a result of such thoughts. And you would be hard-pressed (so to speak) to explain to the other guys why this particular phenomenon was occurring at this particular moment, as you’re surrounded by nothing but other naked guys.

                      And, in those benighted times, NO ONE would have said, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that…”

                    2. Bryan Caskey

                      After that fight the first week of school, I never had problems. Isn’t that the advice they give people who are going to prison for the first time? Find the meanest son of a gun and start a fight with him the first day in the joint. Then everyone will leave you alone.

                2. Bryan Caskey

                  Once again, bringing up the “Hillary did it, too” argument isn’t great salesmanship.

                  Or, since I’m a lawyer, I’ll give it to you in Latin: tu quoque is not a valid argument.

                3. Claus

                  Did Trump know it was being recorded? I don’t believe I’ve ever seen video of this interview and doubt it was a formal interview, and that this discussion was captured on an open microphone. Hell Reagan declared war against Russia on an open microphone. Sometimes you stay stupid stuff when “just talking”… hasn’t it ever happened to you?

                4. Claus

                  Bryan, is this being discussed in a court of law? Brad is still just whining about Trump winning and his candidate losing. I’m just making the point that Hillary isn’t exactly in line for sainthood either.

                  Besides, I am one of those people who couldn’t sell snow cones along the equator.

                  1. Bryan Caskey

                    No, we’re not in court, but poor argument is poor argument no matter where you are.

                    And yes, Brad’s still whining a bit. However, you’re not going to persuade him that Trump isn’t a crude guy.

                    Lots of people probably voted for Trump because he was crude and they interpreted that as him being genuine, rather than trying to cover up his rough spots and be polite. I think for Trump, his vulgarity is probably more of an asset than a liability. Now, that means Trump isn’t getting George Will’s vote, but there’s lots of blue collar guys out there who would take a genuine person (who is vulgar) over someone who they perceive to be a phony.

                5. Claus

                  Bryan, different mindsets… you’re talking about the experiences of the kid who showered in his gym shorts. I”m talking about the experience where guys were tossed out into the hallway naked with the door held shut. Good times… unless you were the one out in the hallway. Luckily there was an exterior door right there so there was always a rug handy.

                  You never were involved in a towel snapping fight? We had one guy who could leave a welt on your butt that would last for a week.

                  1. Bryan Caskey

                    “You never were involved in a towel snapping fight?”

                    Like I said: I was involved in an actual fight. With fists. And I didn’t shower with my shorts on.

                  2. Brad Warthen Post author

                    Speaking of towel-snapping…

                    Hey, at Robinson High School in Tampa (one of the three high schools I attended in my peripatetic youth), we had a coach — in fact, he was the head football coach and seemed to think he was God Almighty as a result — who would pop the boys with the lanyard of his coach’s whistle as they came out of the shower. I think his alleged motivation was that they weren’t moving fast enough and were going to be late for their next class.

                    But, you know… sheesh…

                6. Doug Ross

                  I played high school sports all four years. I heard stuff as bad as Trump said all the time. I even recall a bus trip from a track meet where many of the boys were singing a vulgar song and the coach had to tell them to knock it off. But nobody was suspended and nobody was asking for a safe space or counseling. We all survived somehow.

  4. Doug Ross

    Is funny how some of Hillary”s biggest celebrity supporters are women like Lens Dunham, Chesley Handler, and Sarah Silverman… women whose entire careers were built on vulgarity worse than Trump ever said.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          It’s very ironic that when I view that clip, I still see Honor Blackman as an “older woman.” After all, she was almost 40, which in 1964 was ANCIENT, for men or women. Nobody was that old then, not even my parents.

          A HOT older woman, in a scary sort of way (unless you’re as sure of yourself as Bond), but very mature nonetheless. Not a bond GIRL, very much a Bond WOMAN, which may be part of the secret of her enduring appeal.

          And when I rewatch the film, as I do from time to time, she still strikes me that way — as the older woman — even though my elder children are getting to that age now.

          I guess the impressions you form as a kid just don’t change…

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