It has been clear for some time that the easiest way to get on cable news or get rocketed across the blogosphere is to go completely over the top. Be as outrageous and unreasonable as humanly possible and you will be the talk of the town. Two examples struck me today.
The first was right-wing mouthpiece Jack Burkman, who announced that he was drafting legislation to prohibit gays from playing in the NFL and bragging that he had senators and members of the House ready to sponsor such an absurd and unconstitutional piece of legislation. (Really, Jack, and just who are they?) “We are losing our decency as a nation. Imagine your son being forced to shower with a gay man,” he said. “What in the world has this nation come to?”A year ago when it was announced that the Boy Scouts would accept openly gay members, Burkman stated: “Ladies and gentlemen, if you have a son, if you have a son in the Boy Scouts, get him out now.”
Nice. Open. Tolerant.
The sad part is that the louder you scream, the more outrageous you are, the more hateful the rhetoric, the greater the chance you will appear on the gladiator TV screens. At least some of Burkman’s lobbying clients are voting with their feet. DC Solar Systems out of California, for instance, has fired Burkman for his homophobic actions.Take my second example, and he really needs no explanation: Donald Trump. He has plenty of money to buy his way onto television. But any time things get slow, he makes a fool of himself. You name it: President Obama’s birth certificate, college grades, most anything political, he inevitably sticks his foot in it.
He flirted with a presidential bid in 2012; last month he told a crowd at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire he might consider a run in 2016. He even raised the possibility of spending $200 million to run for governor of New York.
Nice try, Donald.
In a poll released today of a possible race for governor of the Empire State, Andrew Cuomo beats Trump 68 percent to 24 percent. My question is: Who are the 24 percent? Trump’s personal unfavorable rating is at a whopping 62 percent. Bye-Bye.
My question is: Why
do we pay attention to the Burkman’s and Trump’s of the world? They make good copy, I guess. Or they raise our blood pressure. Or they are good foils. Maybe you should question my sanity that I
even wasted 250 words on these characters. I wouldn’t blame you if you did. I guess my answer is that the more people who
recognize how outrageous and outlandish they are, the more likely reason and
civility will prevail. I guess that is