My dad taught me a lot of things growing up. Some I can share, but some would be best left to late night conversations after imbibing some Wild Turkey.
One of the things that sticks in my addled, aging mind is that it is best to “shut the Hell up and let everyone think you’re an idiot, rather than opening your mouth and getting your butt beat because everyone found out you’re an idiot.”
I know, there are plenty of other interpretations of that particular saying from dear old dad - but his sticks with me.
Obviously Kanye West, Donald Trump and several county candidates for council and county executive could’ve used the services of Dear Old Dad.
Kanye never met a foot he couldn’t stuff in his mouth and he certainly did it this week.
First declaring his unadulterated love for Donald Trump and then when he told a TMZ crew (on camera for the world to see, no less) that 400 years of slavery in the United States was “a choice.”
Four hundred years. Slavery. That’s nearly twice as long as this country has existed.
I have no idea what the choice was. My 7-year-old nephew who has no cultural stigma aligned with slavery realizes slavery was anything but a choice.
I guess a slave could’ve chose to work in the field until you died, or refused to work in the field and got whipped or shot to death.
Kanye tried to tweet his way out of the debacle after being schooled by an African-American TMZ reporter by saying he realized that the people brought over on boats in chains didn’t have a choice.
But afterward it was more like “mental slavery.”
The bullwhip wasn’t mental and mental slavery is still slavery, but what do I know.
Meanwhile Donald Trump once again put his foot in his mouth more times in one week than seems humanly possible for any sentient human being who has come of age.
To recount all of his indiscretions just this week against humanity would take more room than I’ve got in this column and could probably fill the newspaper. (Note to self - consider doing a special “Trump lies and foolish statements” edition for the future).
Finally, David Blair, running for county executive has bought enough advertising on the Internet to pay for another David Trone campaign for whatever Trone is trying to convince people he is able to handle in whatever legislative environment would have him.
Blair’s commercials include one shot outside of the White House, but feature the lackluster would-be politician trying to buy his way into the hearts and minds of Montgomery County voters the same way Trone tried when he lost a congressional seat to Jamie Raskin.
The highlight of my day this morning was seeing a Trone ad trying to convince me Trone was a poor country boy and then seeing an ad trying to convince me how qualified Blair is for county executive.
The ads are part of the Trump revolution of candidates with little qualification - other than a big wallet - buying their way into legislatures, courthouses and congress.
It didn’t work with Montgomery voters when Trone tried it, but look at the success of President “Witch Hunt” Trump.
It’s got to work again with someone from the Democrats who really means well - right?
There is nothing this country won’t sell or buy and usually we’ll do it for cheaper than Trone and Blair wish to purchase it.
However, that being said, I fall back on my dad’s sage advice.
There should be a rule that if you’re going to run for any office, you have to publish a damn position paper, or have actively volunteered or worked in some capacity for the greater good before you can run for office.
You shouldn’t be able to shoot your mouth off claiming to be a politician for the people when all you’ve ever done is prey upon the common weal without helping the common wealth.
Gerrymandering districts, political offices seemingly up for sale and leaders who are anything but have all contributed to help destroy the foundation of our democracy.
I remain convinced the only thing worse than an arrogant, self-righteous Republican is an arrogant, self-righteous Democrat.
American politics remains two fountains of raw sewage. Both sides believe they’re drinking an elixir and believe the other side is drinking poison.
Both sides remain exactly half right. They cannot see their own foibles, but relish in pointing out the mistakes of their friends.
That is why, now more than ever, I wish my dad were still alive.
He’d kick some butt and take some names. And woe be unto Kanye.