One of my favorite activities during the Christmas season is re-watching Home Alone. I know every line, every scene and love it all. The family running around packing for France, the pizza, the bumbling robbers, the old man shoveling rock salt, the tarantula, the house lights, the paint cans, the background score, John Candy and the Kenosha Kickers being quite popular in Sheboygan; it’s 103 minutes of Christmas spirit for me. However, one character stands out among all the familial dysfunction: Uncle Frank.
He doesn’t have many lines, but in every scene in which we see him, he is acting selfishly, self-regarding and self-absorbed. He picks up the pizza, but not the tab. Pepsi spills on the table and he’s worried about his passport getting sticky. The airplane has real silver—steal it! Kevin gets left at home, OK, but he forgot his reading glasses! It’s all about him. He’s a funny character because he’s not thinking positive, he’s being realistic.
Many times, self-aware people think something they don’t say. A friend is having a hard time, we listen and try to relieve some of their stress—not add on with some of our own problems. We see a picture of someone’s new baby or new girlfriend and we know that affirmation of beauty is the only acceptable social response. Your sister-in-law left her child at home, phew, “glad it wasn’t my kid” is not what you say, nor that reading glasses also got forgotten. Hey, I guess we all make mistakes huh?
Uncle Frank is now the President of the United States. His issues, his problems, his inadequacies, his peeves, his crappy thoughts are now OURS. I can honestly say that for the past four years, not a day has gone by without reading his name, hearing his voice, or seeing his face—and I don’t even live in America! If I stopped reading the news I guess I could get a break, but I like to read the news. Yet, in 2020, Trump, DJ Trump, 45, Ivanka’s Dad, Lil’ Douchey Donnie IS the news. That’s how Uncle Frank would do it, too.
The other day, ol’ Dumpy Trumpy was doing some town hall, and got asked why he “downplayed” his words about the dangers of Coronavirus for fear of panicking Americans. He responded by saying he “upplayed it, in terms of action.”
Time for an aside: (Yes, upplayed got the red squiggle line suggesting a grammatical or spelling error. It’s because that isn’t a word. I have been listening to his stupid rambles for so long, I’ve just accepted some poor grammar or distracted self-centered rambling. But, being so accustomed to his blathering, I had trouble thinking of the word that would have fit there. His poor elocution is affecting my consideration! Perhaps he could have said: “raised attention”, “responded reassuringly”, “notified the appropriate authorities while trying to shield Americans from unsubstantiated rumors”, “called numerous cabinet meetings and suggested possible contingencies”. But no way. He takes whatever he’s called on and simply reverses it. You are ugly Donnie. No, I’m very unugly, maybe the most unugly you’ve ever seen. You are fat Donaldo. No, I am non-fat, I probably have the least fat of any president. He does it all the time. He uses unnecessary hyperbole and digression to hide his deficient vocabulary and it makes us all dumber. There is a scene in Billy Madison when the notoriously foolish Billy gives a speech during the Academic Decathalon debate section and receives this spirited reaction from the judge: “Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.” That is a pretty accurate description of most things Mr. “Weak” T has said in his stretch over the past five years. I actually, finally, crumbled, when I heard the “upplayed it, in terms of action.” It was just, so, stupid.)
In fact, I don’t really know what he did or didn’t do. And that leads us to the debates—the first presidential debate of Trump vs. Biden. A debate so void of facts and truth that it was like asking a kindergartener to explain Santa’s sleigh route or who ate all the cookies. They talked over each other while sharing insults and I could hear the American public roiling on both sides. Neither one is running on substance, but rather an idea of who would F up the USA worse. Saying Trump lies is like commenting how much cats nap, it’s so obvious it’s barely worth mentioning. Politics is all lies. The current SCOTUS debacle is a perfect example, also the Iraq war, Bush v Gore, and yes, even Obama’s change campaign. Putting in Judge Barrett a month before an election is hypocrisy, war in Iraq was profit-driven, the contested election in 2000 was sequestered from the public and decided with prejudice, and Obama, while noticeably hamstrung by a Republican congress, didn’t make any radical changes to the institution.
We are left with Uncle Frank and Uncle Joe. Flawed candidates seeking to put out a cultural fire with a squirt gun. Why shouldn’t we feel despair? The list of climate catastrophes are getting longer, social media is confirming biases about the evils of the other side, income inequality continues, racial definitions are taking increased significance (despite all humans being ONE race). Who is going to stop this tide of fury, this surge of resentment? The guy who called the current president a clown or the guy who called the former vice president stupid? Vote Biden.