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.