the poor questioner might infer that I was judging him

Es­ti­mated reading time is 5 min­utes.

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.

Cartoon Telnaes Trump McConnell slug 1500 copy

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.” (John Boehner, 2010)

“The single most im­por­tant thing we want to achieve is for Pres­i­dent Obama to be a one-term pres­i­dent.” (Mitch Mc­Connell, 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.

At all.

Re­sponse: My an­swer has been viewed a mere 72 times and re­ceived 3 upvotes.

Cartoon Telnaes Trump McConnell birds 1000

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?)

Cartoon Telnaes Trump McConnell devil 1000

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.

Cartoon Telnaes Trump McConnell licked 1000

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.
Doing LSD for the first time.
3. Doing LSD for the second time.
Doing LSD for the third time.
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.

Cartoon Telnaes Trump McConnell gun 1500

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.

Note: Both 

Re­sponse: An­other an­swer unviewed.

Sigh . . .

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. Click To Tweet

Cartoon Telnaes Trump McConnell tree 1500 1

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.


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