Cratchit for Trump?
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, Christmas is approaching, and we have our tickets to The Public Theatre to see A Christmas Carol.
Between all the commercialism of the holidays and the recent election of Mr. Trump, I am again reminded of the praise and power too many of us lay upon those who are well off (financially).
Look at Trump’s NBC show The Apprentice, the show helped propel him from the N.Y.C to the D.C.
The early episodes mirrored his campaign. The first few episodes were about Trump being the greatest and the best (at least according to him).
Episode #1 and Episode #2 make claims like: He was the largest real-estate developer in New York (he wasn’t and isn’t). Only he can succeed in the jungle that is N.Y.C,. If you can work for him you can work for anyone. Women struggle in the workforce (yes they said this). He has the biggest hands (O.K., I made that up). Blah-Blah-Blah….
Fun Fact: The New York Observer, owned by Trump’s son-in-law, ranked him as the 14th most powerful person in New York real estate in 2011.
Like Trump’s campaign, The Apprentice was casual with the facts and shared a common obsession with being better or the best or biggest (at any cost). With the defeat of HRC, other than kicking people off un-employment (you know, welfare reform), never have Americans cheered so much as hearing the words You’re Fired.
Americans ate it up for 14 seasons of the Apprentice on T.V. and then again last month on election day. The idea of individual wealth is a compelling idea. Everyone wants their share.
Bob Cratchit, he wanted his share too. I wonder would he have been so desperate to have voted for Trump? At the start of the Industrial Revolution, did Cratchit feel like he was being left behind and wanted change?
Somehow people (voters) reasoned that because Trump is wealthy and powerful, as President he’ll make us as individuals better off.
By all appearances Cratchit worked hard. Scrooge kept him around (he didn’t have to). Scrooge paid him what he thought his work was worth. Cratchit and his family lived paycheck to paycheck. With the cold weather settling in, Tim’s medical issues and the holidays all contributed to financial strain on the family. 1843 London doesn’t seem too far removed from American’s rust belt or many parts of Maine.
In today’s media crazed society,and the desperate want of many to get their fair share, Ebenezer Scrooge could be elected President. OK, not Scrooge McDuck or Bill Murray’s Scrooge(d) or Mr. Magoo’s Scrooge or Tori Spelling as Scroogette (yup, she did).
Certainly James Earl Jones, Patrick Stewart, Michael Cain or George C. Scott as Scrooge could garner some electoral love.
James Earl Jones and that booming voice would make mince meat of HRC in a debate. Who would argue with him? Who else could make “America Great Again”?
Poise. Presentation. Promises. That is all it takes. For too many voters, these all take priority over substance, history and reality.
From my conservative friends and business friendly folks, I hear it all the time.
No doubt Cratchit, i mean the working poor, need/want more money to support his family. No doubt he wants more comprehensive, less expensive employer health insurance to help pay (Tiny) Tim’s medical bills.
Business folks and conservatives will tell us they didn’t force Cratchit to have the kids he is having trouble supporting. It isn’t Scrooge’s fault Cratchit can’t afford the kids.
Scrooge and the chamber of commerce will be sure to remind us they already pay too much in taxes and already help the poor (a.k.a the lazy & needy) through over burdensome taxes. Mandated minimum wages, paying for overtime, and more time off will hurt the bottom line.
Not all business types are the same. Scrooge’s one time boss Mr. Fezziwig was a righteous business dude. Holiday parties and bonuses. Even time off for families. Opportunity for new mothers to bring their newborns to the office (OK, maybe he didn’t go that far, but you get the point).
All these lavishes bestowed upon these employees must be paid for by someone, someplace. We can’t afford to raise prices on our products, people won’t then be able to afford them, they won’t buy them and we’ll be out of business and our employees out of a job.
The City of London Chamber Of Commerce newsletter will point out that Trump, I mean Scrooge, went from curmudgeon to cuddle bear. After a couple sleepless nights and a chamber Lunch and Learn session about sensitivity, Scrooge came around.
Now, don’t be a romantic and pretend he/they (Scrooge and Trump) did this out of the goodness of his heart. Guilt can be a terrible (or good) thing (depending on how you look at it). Scrooge didn’t want to be chained to his previous sins. In death, Scrooge didn’t want to walk the earth in shame like his former business partner Jacob Marley. His reason for change was not out of of compassion for others. It was out of love for thy self.
America already has too many ghosts from our past that haunt us today (racism, bigotry, intolerance). By the volume of people who voted for Trump it is clear that too many Americans don’t see those ghosts as scary.
Reflecting on this election and the rhetoric of the winning side, I fear the Ghosts Of Today will come to resemble those Ghosts Of the Past.
Progressives have a responsibility to make sure the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come doesn’t look like the one Dickens wrote about.
We don’t have the luxury of looking ahead (and going back and changing our ways) like Scrooge did. The time is now. NOW.