Politics is Vaudeville


I continue with my efforts to persuade Democrats to find more effective ways of countering Trump, to win back those of his swing voters we need in order to start registering Democratic wins in a meaningful way. Maybe I need a new analogy?

Flag-waving is fine. In all its versions. Petition-signing. Texting. Card-waving. Marching. Shouting. Ridiculing. Laughing. Whatever. But none of this is actually going to cause, again, in my humble opinion, any serious shift of Trump’s rather unique core base from him to us.

We need to engage with them. Talk to them. Find out what motivates them. Come up with policies that address their concerns. In less toxic fashion than Trump. And find a new message and new candidates to sell this new platform. Anything less dooms us to four more years of Trump. Not to mention a continuing Republican Congress and Senate.

You may not agree. So. On this. Er. Looks out window. Rather dull, but warmish, Saturday morning. Is there any analogy I can think of, to explain why I think this approach is the only one that might work? Why yes. My good ‘ol friend, Vaudeville.

Imagine, if you will, a music hall of old. For some thirty years, inside, the bill on offer has featured Robbie Rich, doing his number about give-you-money, tra la la, make-you-happy, tra la la. Without actually giving us any money. Or Happy Harriet. Care-for-others, tra la la, feel-much-better, tra la la. Except, too many of us don’t feel better. We’re still paying at the door, not getting anything back, that we can discern. And all we’re offered on the way out, as we mutter and mumble, is: well, come back tomorrow, it will be better.

Then, one fine sunny day, we arrive, and there are a couple of hobo’s outside the music hall. And they’re singing totally different songs.

There’s Bernie Barruthers: I’ll-take-from-the-rich-and-give-it-to-you. Even better, is Donnie the Dark: I’ll-get-rid-of-anyone-you-don’t-like-and-take-their-money-and-take-money-from-foreigners-and-give-it-all-to-you.

We stop. We listen. Too many of us are enthralled. And too many of us stay outside. And throw our coppers into the proffered tin cups. No, no, exclaim the acts from inside. Don’t listen. There will be a price to pay. Who, we ask? When, we ask? And those inside say, tomorrow. Would that be the same tomorrow that you kept promising us, the one that never came? Er, comes the response from inside. Then we’ll live with it, say the punters outside.

And so, it comes to pass, the ownership of the music hall realize a good thing when they see it. What do they care about tomorrow? Today is all. And they replace the acts inside with the hobo’s outside.

And therein lies the rub. The audience on the inside are laughing and singing. Happy with the fluff on offer. Safe in the knowledge that tomorrow will come only for their children, not for them. While, on the outside, the acts of yesteryear are lost and confused. And know only how to continue with their worn-out acts. For that is all they know.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the street. Is the same annoying soapbox preacher. Who has always been there. Repent. Change your ways. If you want in, you need to listen to those on the inside. Appeal to them. But appeal to their better nature. But most important of all. Repent. Change your ways.

But. Ha! Who listens to him? After all, he’s just the silly old preacher …


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