Favorite

No need to panic 

Two weeks ago, a woman from New Jersey approached me in The Spaniard, a pub and restaurant in Kinsale, Ireland.

"You look Irish," she said "but you sound American."

"That's easily explained," I answered.

All eight of my great-grandparents immigrated to the United States from Cork and Kerry during the late 19th century. Over there, I'm an ethnic stereotype: a burly fellow with thick white hair wearing a collarless blue shirt from a local shop. Everybody looks like my cousin.

Frankly, we'd decided to spend time in Kinsale, a fishing port and resort town on Ireland's southern coast, to try it on for size. When we'd visited there 10 years ago, I'd felt very much at home. If push came to shove, how might it feel to live there?

Pretty good, I think. The Irish remain talkative and warm, eager to hear your story and tell theirs. (Even the pub's name — memorializing the Spanish army's 1601 occupation of Kinsale in a futile effort to support Celtic independence from England — goes a long way to explaining my dark eyes and suntan.)

OK, so it rains more days than not. It's also never hot and rarely cold. Sure, I'd be halfway lost without the Boston Red Sox and the Arkansas Razorbacks, but only halfway. A man could certainly do worse than hiking Kinsale's harbor trail out to Charles Fort for an afternoon, stopping en route to have Sinead or Fiona serve him a Guinness and a bowl of their ambrosial fish chowder.

Alternatively, a man could wake up to find himself in a country governed by an irascible, egomaniacal bully — a thin-skinned pathological liar and cheat. A race-baiter and serial womanizer who boasts about the friends' wives he's seduced and has even phoned newspapers pretending to be a press agent crowing about all the nookie Donald J. Trump gets.

Trump is the world's oldest middle school punk, incapable of governing his own big mouth, much less the world's indispensable democracy. One minute he brags that paying no income taxes "makes me smart." The next he brazenly denies saying it, although 80 million viewers heard him.

I not only wouldn't buy a used car from the guy, I wouldn't trust him to walk my dogs. I wouldn't let him in my front door, nor leave him alone with a 13-year-old girl. Would you if the child were your daughter? No, you wouldn't.

I trust I have made myself clear.

Anyway, the good news is that emigration to Ireland won't be necessary. A Trump presidency is almost certainly never going to happen. When we left the country three weeks ago, some Democrats were beginning to panic over The Donald's seeming climb in the polls. Even somebody as skeptical as I am of the TV networks' ratings-driven need to promote the presidential contest as a nip-and-tuck struggle couldn't help but be mildly alarmed.

But only mildly. For all the hugger-mugger, as Kevin Drum keeps calmly pointing out, Trump's aggregate poll numbers have never topped 43 percent nationally. He trails convincingly in almost every must-win "swing" state except Ohio.

And then came the first presidential debate. Say anything you like about Hillary Clinton. The mismatch between the former secretary of state's intelligence, self-discipline and command of the issues and Trump's bluster couldn't have been more dramatic. If it had been a prizefight, Trump would have taken several standing eight-counts. Faced with an opponent he couldn't rattle, the GOP nominee appeared helpless: an angry, befuddled old man.

Next came what NBC News' Benjy Sarlin and Alex Seitz-Wald described as "the Worst Week in Presidential Campaign History." Try to imagine the next president of the United States getting baited into a 3 a.m. Twitter war with a former Miss Universe over her weight problems. Urging his 12 million followers to check out her seemingly nonexistent sex tape.

Interestingly, BuzzFeed turned up a soft-core Playboy video featuring a

Tuxedo-wearing Manhattan man-about-town Donald J. Trump introducing naked identical twins demonstrating the same kinds of Sapphic entanglements later exhibited by, yes, Melania Trump in a photo shoot you may also have seen.

Who could possibly make this stuff up?

Then Trump launched a bizarre attack upon Hillary Clinton, mimicking her pneumonia-induced stumbling.

"I don't even think she's loyal to Bill, you wanna know the truth," he told a Pennsylvania audience. And really folks really, why should she be, right? Why should she be?"

"In other words," Amanda Marcotte aptly noted in Salon, "he hit the Big Six of misogynist slurs: Ugly, slutty, crazy, disloyal, deceitful and weak."

The Trump campaign now promises to hit Hillary hard on the critical Gennifer Flowers/Monica Lewinsky "issue." That'll definitely bring back wavering Republican women, won't it?

Don't kid yourselves: It's all over but the counting.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Gene Lyons

  • Trust in Putin

    The more Donald J. Trump talks about Russia, the harder it is to believe he's actually loyal to the United States. He's dedicated to his money and to his grotesquely inflated ego. He enjoys pomp and parades. The end.
    • Nov 16, 2017
  • Sex scandals

    It's getting to where you can't keep track of the lechers, gropers and sexual abusers without a scorecard. Once one of these sexually tinged moral panics we have so frequently gets going, there's no telling whose squalid little sins will be exposed to public view.
    • Nov 9, 2017
  • Crooked Hillary

    One prominent figure neither taken into custody nor charged with conspiring against United States this week was Hillary Clinton — or "Crooked Hillary," if you follow President Trump's frenzied tweetstorms.
    • Nov 2, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Never wrong

    Quite a few people make noises about leaving the country if the wrong person gets elected president. I've been making discreet inquiries in the vicinity of Kinsale, County Cork, myself — from whence my people emigrated after 1880.
    • Apr 21, 2016
  • Hillary hit jobs

    It's always been my conviction that if Hillary Clinton could be appointed president, she'd do a bang-up job. Getting elected, however, might prove more difficult.
    • Jul 28, 2016

Latest in Gene Lyons

  • Trust in Putin

    The more Donald J. Trump talks about Russia, the harder it is to believe he's actually loyal to the United States. He's dedicated to his money and to his grotesquely inflated ego. He enjoys pomp and parades. The end.
    • Nov 16, 2017
  • Sex scandals

    It's getting to where you can't keep track of the lechers, gropers and sexual abusers without a scorecard. Once one of these sexually tinged moral panics we have so frequently gets going, there's no telling whose squalid little sins will be exposed to public view.
    • Nov 9, 2017
  • Crooked Hillary

    One prominent figure neither taken into custody nor charged with conspiring against United States this week was Hillary Clinton — or "Crooked Hillary," if you follow President Trump's frenzied tweetstorms.
    • Nov 2, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

November

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30  

Most Viewed

  • A new Snyder?

    Last week, loyalists of former U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder celebrated a belated 70th birthday and fundraised to aid UA Little Rock's Center for Arkansas History and Culture's work to process his congressional papers from seven terms in Congress.
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation