WHEN I WAKE IN THE MORNING, the first thing I do is make a mug of Cafe Bustelo coffee. I don’t wake up with my brain/mind functioning at 95 percent as I used to—more like 75 percent. As I sip my coffee, I warm up the ol’ ratiocinator for the day’s writing by perusing Quora and answering a few questions. Mostly I give straight answers to questions about Elvis or the Beatles or rock & roll in general.
Then there are the political questions. I usually answer these—many of which are beyond inane—with what I hope the more articulate Quora readers understand is irony and humor. Below you can read a few.
When I decided on making the lead-off question, I went looking for caricatures or cartoons with McConnell for illustrations. That is how I found the brilliant Ann Telnaes of the Washington Post and separated the questions below with cartoons by her. Telnaes uses a lot of white space and looks like she grew up with the work of Ralph Steadman and Gerald Scarfe.
For those who want to read all the answers, click on the dot in parentheses after each question. The most popular providers of answers on Quora receive thousands of upvotes.
Alas, I am not among them.
Question: Would Democratic and Rep*blican leaders at least agree that the wellbeing of the United States of America is more important than any ideological difference in these partisan times? (•)
Answer: “We’re going to do everything—and I mean everything we can do—to kill [Obama’s agenda], stop it, slow it down, whatever we can.” (2010)
“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” (2010)
That was then (2010). I’d say things—things being the attitude of elected Rep*blicans and the people who vote for them—are far, far worse now.
So, my answer to the question is, “Not in my lifetime—but I’ve probably only got 25 years left so maybe there’s hope down the road.”
Note: Both of the damn-the Dems-full-speed-ahead statements that opened my answer were made in 2010. At that time, John Boehner (R-Ohio) was the House Minority Leader while Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) was Senate Minority Leader.
That is, the role of the leaders of the Rep*blican Party openly acknowledge that their job is to not cooperate with the Democratic Party regardless. Given that Obama had won the Presidency with the largest number of votes in history (69,000,000 in 2008 and 66,000,000 in 2012), that could be interpreted as meaning the Rep*blicans don’t give a damn about the will of the people.
In fact, beginning with Nixon’s wooing of the Southerners with racist tendencies through Reagan’s accepting the support of and aligning with the Evangelicals to Trumps’s embracing the “alt-rightists,” the Rep*blican Party has moved so far to the right that centrists have had only to stand perfectly still to now seem like radical leftists to Rep*blican supporters!
My actual answer (“Not in my lifetime”) is, I suppose, slightly dark humor: I don’t see things getting better.
Response: My answer has been viewed a mere 72 times and received 3 upvotes.
Question: I’m Muslim and I hate liberals more than conservatives. Am I a political anomaly? (•)
Answer: My, you must absolutely loathe our Muslim congressmen Andre Carson, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. I know—why not petition the three of them to leave the Democratic Party and join the Rep*blican Party?!!?
Note: My answer is ironic: To be a Muslim in America and hate the people and the party that allows Muslims a role must be a helluva an ordeal to live with. And the idea of petitioning Carson, Omar, and Tlaib to join the Rep*blican Party is akin to petitioning Jews in 1930s Germany to join the National Socialist Party.
An alternative answer that I considered was, “Um, I really don’t think you should be worrying about being an anomaly. But you might try worrying about being really f*cking stupid.” But I thought the poor questioner might infer that I was judging him, so I didn’t.
Response: My answer has been viewed a paltry 8 times and received 0 upvotes. (Wanna bet that if I’d opted for the alternative answer I would have a lot more of both?)
Question: Is The Daily Beast liberal or conservative? (•)
Answer: The question should be “Is the Daily Beast factually accurate?” Unless, of course, you don’t give a hoot about persnickety facts.
Note: It’s really rather easy to find factually accurate sources: on the newsstand, at the book store, on the internet—even among family and friends. The “politics” of the source will usually be evident after using it a few times along with other sources. The Wall Street Journal newspaper and Mother Jones magazine are both excellent sources of factual data and the take on that data of each isn’t difficult to ascertain. Once you find a few factually-sound sources, you can then rely on them for most of your news.
Response: My answer remains unviewed at this time.
Question: What is your most memorable experience as a hippie in the ’60s or ’70s? (•)
Answer: Here are my Top 5 Most Memorable Experiences as a Hippie in chronological order:
1. Smoking marijuana and getting high for the first time.
2. Doing LSD for the first time.
3. Doing LSD for the second time.
4. Doing LSD for the third time.
5. Doing LSD for the fourth time.
Note: My answer was done for effect. A more accurate answer would be “Smoking marijuana and getting high for the first time” and then listing all the things one can do while high, such as listening to music, eating, looking at a painting (or a friend’s face or a fold in a drape or an old shoe), etc.
Then there are those intimate things one can do for the first time while high—touching and kissing and licking and you know the rest.
Then, after all those, there was doing LSD for the first time and experiencing all the above while psychedelic.
Response: My answer has been viewed 35 times and received 2 upvotes.
Question: Do conservatives understand liberals more than liberals understand conservatives? (•)
Answer: Hah-hah-hah! Thanks for the laugh—it went well with my morning mug of Cafe Bustelo.
Response: Another answer unviewed.
Sigh . . .
FEATURED IMAGE: The cartoon that attracted me to Ann Telnaes is the “I just shot someone on 5th Avenue.” But it just didn’t make it as a featured image to place at the top a page. Instead, I opted for this nifty image, with Mitch tending to the tree of evil that millions blame solely on Herr Trump. Finally, Fantagraphics Books has collected several of Ann’s full-color cartoons into a book, Trump’s ABC.