New Year’s already? It seems like it was just Memorial Day, then Thanksgiving and bingo now it’s New Year’s. Hardly comforting, a friend noted that the older you get, as in my case, the faster the time goes by. Good grief.
In 2015, Santa Monica is changing so fast, if you don’t see it every day, it’s almost unrecognizable. While technically it’s Venice, have you gone up Rose Avenue lately? There’s so much over development, it feels like Rodeo Drive. With people outside at restaurants dining and drinking, to me it looks like a movie set. I half-expect a director to yell “cut.”
2015 saw long-time Council Member Kevin McKeown served as Santa Monica’s mayor. I’m biased, however, because he always returns my emails, which is more than I can say for some past Mayors who shall remain nameless. (Just in case they actually read this.)
Nationally, 2015 was the year of Donald Trump. In six months he went from a buffoon with no chance of getting the GOP nomination to a buffoon who quite likely will be the nominee. In fact, no Republican candidate has led in the polls this late who has NOT gotten the nomination. (Which is making Karl Rove’s stranger than normal, if that’s possible.)
Trump has had such a spectacular 2015, many considered him the favorite to win Time Magazine’s prestigious “Person of the Year.” Instead the honor went to Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. Clearly jealous, Trump tweeted about Merkel “ruining Germany.”
Frankly, it’s depressing how hateful Trump’s remarks are and yet he gets away with it. I’d ask what does it say about our country, but Im not sure I want to know.
Trump’s ugliness began with that circus-like announcement of his entering the race. He and his wife Melania’s ride down that escalator in the Trump Tower looked like a Saturday Night Live spoof. In his speech Trump labeled undocumented Mexicans as “rapists and murderers.”
Within a few weeks, Trump said, “Mexicans love me because I will get them jobs.” He’s currently polling in single digits with Latinos.
Trump also proclaimed that John McCain was not a war hero. Given that Trump used four college deferments and a bone spur (yet he can’t remember which foot) to avoid going to Vietnam, it seems rather hypocritical for Trump to say of McCain, “I prefer my war heroes not captured.”
An equal opportunity offender, Trump went after women, specifically Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. Even though her two male reporters had asked equally tough debate questions, Trump only insulted Kelly. (Typically vulgar, Trump suggested she might have been having her menstrual cycle.)
Next up for his misogynist observations was Carly Fiorina. In a Rolling Stone profile, Trump said, “Can you imagine that being the face of our next president?” Trump’s lame excuse was, “I was referring to her persona.” (You could almost see his nose growing.)
Recently, Trump expressed “disgust” in referring to a bathroom break that Hillary Clinton took at a Democratic debate. Bernie Sanders had the best line about Trump’s revulsion, “Apparently Mr. Trump just discovered that women use the bathroom.”
Trump has even mocked people with disabilities. Imitating a New York Times reporter who has a congenital joint condition, Trump contorted his hand into a claw and changed his voice to a high-pitched tone to ridicule the man. Then again, Trump also mocked a Fox News analyst who’s in a wheelchair, “I made a fortune and the guy can’t even buy a pair of pants.”
The scariest thing about Trump is not his shocking ignorance about the issues; (he didn’t know what the “nuclear triad” was) or his vulgarity, the likes of which may have never been seen in a presidential campaign; but rather, his vengeful nature.
No matter how small the slight, Trump attacks viciously. (That’s not strength, that’s disturbed.) When the publisher of Union Leader, the largest paper in New Hampshire, wrote, “Trump has shown himself to be a crude blowhard,” Trump responded, “The guy is a lowlife.” (The Donald’s remark seemed to make the publisher’s point.)
How low can Trump go? Who knows? He clearly has no boundaries or manners. On the world stage, or even dealing with Congress, I shudder to think of the vile, mean-spirited and dangerous remarks comments Trump could utter and the damage he could cause. (Can you say WW3?)
I’m leaving out Trump’s anti-Muslim comments, his peculiar admiration for the tyrannical Vladimir Putin and his obscene jokes about “killing journalists.” In sum, Trump has disparaged immigrants, Muslims, Vietnam vets, women and the disabled. But remarkably 2015 was still his year. Go figure.
We’ll just have to see what 2016 brings Trump. As fast as time flies for me, maybe I better make notes now for next year’s end of the year column. Good grief #2.
Jack is at facebook.com/jackneworth, twitter.com/jackneworth and firstname.lastname@example.org.