The Kids Give Us Hope, The Adults Give Us B.S.
In one of her fiery speeches, Parkland massacre survivor Emma Gonzalez, 18, labeled governmental hypocrisy as “b.s.” Her adult, right-wing critics proceeded to call her “a lesbian Communist.” How mature. But before I get going, first let me wish everyone Happy Passover, Happy Easters and to atheists, a belated Happy Spring. (Hopefully I’ve covered most of the bases.)
Meanwhile, I feel like Al Pacino in Godfather III, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” The “they” is the NRA, Rick Santorum, Alex Jones and other usual suspects who personally attacked the courageous Parkland students and their historic “March of Our Lives” last Saturday. I’m reminded of the question posed to the demagogic Senator, Joe McCarthy in the 1954 Army Hearings, “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”
Back to Saturday, after listening to these articulate, passionate young people, including Martin Luther King’s granddaughter, I felt hope. I found myself recalling election night 2008 when President-elect Obama spoke so eloquently in front of a huge crowd at Chicago’s Grant Park.
It was so moving, a tearful Oprah blew her nose on her friend’s jacket. Except, he was a total stranger. Yikes! She subsequently had him as a guest on her show to give him a new jacket. (What, no car?)
With Obama, I felt hope for a post-racial era. Until Mitch(“Party over country”) McConnell announced his goal to make Obama a one-term president and that the GOP would “not cooperate in any of President Obama’s agenda.”
Cut to August 11, 2017, and the ugly White Nationalists Tiki torch rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Donald Trump infamously remarked that among those shouting “Jews will not replace us” were “fine people.” So much for post-racial. (Meanwhile, the next day a white supremacist drove over and killed Heather Heyer, 32, who was protesting for equality. May we never forget her name.)
Seemingly hours after the inspiring March of Our lives, the NRA, and other gun-rights groups began attacking the students. Keep in mind these teenagers saw seventeen of their classmates and teachers slaughtered by a weapon of war, the AR-15, and many survived by hiding in closets or behind dead bodies.
So, when I heard former U.S. Senator and GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s idiotic remarks, I snapped. (If you disagree, take comfort that you’re 3/4th through this column, assuming you haven’t already used it to line your birdcage.)
Santorum’s sanctimonious advice to the students was they’d be better off learning CPR than “chasing some crazy gun laws.” The Twittersphere lit up like Chinese New Year. Emergency room doctors harshly schooled Santorum that CPR would be useless in treating wounds from the lethal AR-15.
After being besieged by tweets, Santorum sheepishly confessed, “I misspoke.” No, Rick, you don’t misspeak, you miss-think.
On Facebook, GOP State Rep, Mary Franson, of Minnesota compared the Stoneman Douglas students to Hitler Youth. She was joined by Alex Jones, the bombastic radio host of “InfoWars,” which has never met a conspiracy it didn’t like, especially if it helps sell his overpriced survivalist products.
On the dreadful election night 2016, reportedly one of the first celebratory calls Donald Trump made was to Alex. After Sandy Hook, Jones theorized the “false flag” event was staged to attack gun rights. Not only had no children died but their grieving parents were actors. (And millions of people listen to this blowhard!)
The NRA, which spent $50 million on the 2016 campaign, $30 million to Trump alone, also attacked the students. On NRA-TV angry host Colion Noir lectured the teenagers, “No one would know your names if your classmates were still alive.” (My question: Under what rock do they find these fools?)
On the gun issue, given the “Stormy” saga, Trump has been laying low, no pun intended. Meanwhile, eight other women, two with Non-Disclosure Agreements, have come forward with claims of illicit affairs with The Donald. (Illicit being his favorite kind.) There’s so many it’s as though Trump joined “X Rated E-Harmony.”
On the Russia front, Trump is having so much difficulty hiring a lawyer rumor is he was even rejected by Legal Zoom. Some have suggested the latest attorney came from an ad Trump posted on Craigslist. And then there’s the border wall.
Trump vehemently promised dozens of times on the campaign trail that Mexico would pay for it. News flash: they’re not! Neither is Congress. Now the plump POTUS wants the Pentagon to pay. He’s so desperate it’s speculated he’s going to….(drum roll please) start a Go Fund Me page!
In the peaceful spirit of the holidays, wouldn’t it be heavenly if the U.S. was like every other civilized country in the world and didn’t experience one mass shooting after another? Following the lead of the Parkland students, a guy can hope, can’t he?
Jack is at facebook.com/jackneworth, twitter.com/jackneworth and email@example.com