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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Trump Ain’t No Joke

The diner was packed.  Usually the place was calm and quiet, with an occasional outburst of laughter, but today everybody had a point of view.

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“Now, everybody here knows I’m a die-hard Obama fan,” Uncle G had taken center stage–

“Yeah, but that and two quarters won’t buy you a cup of coffee,” somebody laughed from the back of the diner.“– and I’m all for helping folks that need to be helped,” Uncle G continued, “but how do you know some of them ISIS people won’t be in the group of refugees?”

“Wait a minute, y’all, I’m confused,” a voice from somewhere in the diner said.  “Is it ISIS, or ISIL?”

“Who cares? Either one of ’em will drop a bomb on you,” Uncle G sounded a little miffed for some reason.

“Yeah, I think the prez is wrong on this one.”

“Man, Obama’s gone crazy.”

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I was surprised by the amount of people who didn’t agree with the Presiden’t plan on Syrian refugees.  I really wanted to get the President’s back, but truth be told, I’m still a little fuzzy on the details.  The plan is humane, but I, too, am wrestling with its full implications.  But not everyone was as undecided as me.

“Hold on.  I thought America had an open door policy.” Anita, a relative newcomer to the diner, was talking.  Most people take a lot longer time before they feel comfortable opening up around people they don’t really know.  I think I’m going to like her.

“Whatever happened to ‘give us your poor and huddled masses’? she asked no one in particular, but Uncle G took it as a question to him.

“Didn’t you hear?  The suicide pilots killed that idea when the trade center towers came crashing down,” Uncle G smirked. A lot of oohs and ahhs followed in the background.

“Yeah, but I’m with her,” Little Willie chimed in.  “Plus, if these people weren’t Muslim, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.”

“But whose fault is that?” Slick Rick chimed in.  “I ain’t never heard of no Baptist suicide bomber.  You?”

“You tell ’em, Slick,” voices from the crowd sounded out.

People were squared off on the issue– about 40/60 for and against.   It was really kind of cool, though– everybody engaged in the same conversation.  I glanced over at Fat Mack, and he was stuffing his face as usual.  I’m not mad at him.  My doctor told me you have to eat to lose weight.  Except Fat Mack doesn’t appear to be losing any.  But hey, he wears it well.

“I agree with the lady over there,” I said.  “Anita, right?”

I looked over at the new girl, and she was looking at me.  But, uh oh.   So was Shirley.  Before I could say anything else, she frowned and walked away.  I’m innocent, but I’m in trouble.

“Guess you’ll be voting for Donald Trump, then,” I said to Slick.  “You can get yourselves a little database on all the Muslims in the country and keep tabs on them.”

“Desperate times, desperate measures,” someone I couldn’t identify said.

“I don’t want to be sitting up in here trying to have myself a meal, and have a bomb go off,”  Uncle G said, pulling a humongous kerchief from his inside jacket pocket.  “Besides, if you think for one moment the government doesn’t aleady know where every Muslim in this country is, you’re outta your mind.”

What could I say to that?  It makes sense that the government is already keeping tabs on all the groups it considers a threat to national security.  Might not be legal, but you can bet it’s being done.

“Donald Trump may be a fool, but he ain’t no joke,” Fat Mack said suddenly, without looking up.  “Trump has everybody in the country afraid of the Muslim bogeyman.   He’s divided the country– even divided the Republicans, and now he’s divided up the negroes, too.  Me, I’m more afraid of that geeky high school kid who doesn’t have any friends and who’s going to show up at the movie theater with a couple of machine guns.”

“I hear you, Mack,” I said.  “And I see the trap. But I gotta tell you, I’m not all that sure that I’m not sleeping just a little bit better because I trust that the government, for all of its flaws, is working to keep the nation safe. Am  wrong for that?”

“Let’s see if you feel the same way after Trump gets in office,” Mack said.

“What?” I asked, not sure if I was hearing him right.

“Yep, that’s right,” Mack said, wiping his lips.  “Trump is going to win the Republican nomination, and if the Democrats don’t rally behind Hillary– ”

“You’re calling it for Hillary, too?” I asked.

“Yep.  Hillary vs Trump,” Mack said.  “You heard it here first.  And if the Democrats don’t get their acts together and focus on the big picture, Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States.”

Hmmph, I said to myself. Trump the Republican nominee?  The actual president of the U.S.?  Mack must have eaten some bad mushrooms or something.  That’ll never happen in America.  Never.

Right?

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