As I was listening to Donald Trump’s unending ranting in media interviews and clips, it occurred to me who it reminded me of: Jackie Gleason’s Ralph Kramden of The Honeymooners. Many, if not most of you will not have a clue what I’m talking about unless you watched American TV shows of the late 1950s and early 1960s. But it is one of the most beloved comedy shows in the history of television. It featured a lovable working-class blowhard (Gleason), who drove a New York City bus. Every night he came home to his loving wife, who loved him both because of, and in spite of his ferocious temper, braggadocio, and narrow-minded views. Their fights were epic and his voice rose in a fever pitch to a ferocious growl. He would wag his fist in mock menace and yell: “To the moon, Alice, to the moon!” But you knew he wouldn’t touch his beloved Alice (of course no entertainment program could feature such dialogue today). Always they ended in loving embrace, which is what made the show so captivating and charming for its audience. Now that I think of it, The Honeymooners had to be the template for Norman Lear’s All in the Family, which followed it to television fame over a decade later.
Donald Trump, of course, has none of the charm or sweetness of Gleason’s Ralph Kramden. But he does have that ferocious New York-accented growl, with its hint of menace and swagger. That fits both Trump and Kramden perfectly. I would, however, much rather have Ralph Kramden as president. At least there is humanity in the midst of the overweening pride and self-regard.
As I read Trump tweet about the “finalists” for cabinet jobs filing before him at his New Jersey country club it reminded me of those Miss America beauty pageant contestants. I couldn’t help thinking of Gens. Mattis and Flynn parading before Donald and the American public in the swimsuit competition!
I asked PEOTUS what role he sees Kushner playing. Indicates formal role unlikely but he could be a player on Mideast peace.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 22, 2016
In today’s meeting which Trump held with the New York Times editors, columnists and reporters, he made a few new outlandish claims and statements. The most uproarious and outrageous of them was that his son-in-law, Jared Kushner was going to solve the Israel-Palestine conflict. Of one thing there can be no doubt: Kushner will satisfy Israel. So I suppose he could legitimately say Jared will solve one-half of the conflict. It’ll be the other half that’s the problem.
On a related subject, Hamas, just after the election, asked Trump to re-evaluate U.S. policy and “work on bringing justice to the Palestinians.” Not a snowball’s chance in hell. But I suppose it was a reasonable, though ultimately empty, gesture.
I’d give Trump better odds than a snowball in hell in this regard. Clinton was an obvious status-quo kinda gal, with all sorts of links (including Saban in this particular issue) – and probably wouldn’t have changed a thing (a bit more pro-Israel status-quo than Obama).
Trump is a wildcard. He might ignore the issue entirely (and his underlings may or may not ignore it). He might be very pro-Israel. Or he might actually surprise and act the other way.
Bibi would’ve been happier with Clinton – Bibi hates uncertainity, and if there is one thing that is certain it is that American foriegn policy is far from certain at this point in time. Trump is bringing back the Nixon-Kessinger madman theory as a policy –
Which is, umm, not a so fun thing to deal with when you are on the receiving side.
Steven Ross says
Your comment seems to ignore history and facts on the ground. Clinton (as Secretary of State) and Obama tried immediately after inauguration 8 years ago to broker a peace agreement. Bibi went to the Republishits to derail the effort. Two years later, when the Republishits gained congressional majorities, they actively meddled in foreign affairs on Israel’s behalf, even inviting Bibi to address Congress. Sheldon Adelstein, who has played a major role in reducing civil discourse in Israel, is a strong Trump supporter.