Trampled By Turtles

Trampled By Turtles

It’s time for Democrats to get off the matt and stop being paralyzed by the pit of despair. As a famous Spaniard once said, “Let me esplain—no, there is too much. Let me sum up.”

By David Todd McCarty | Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Suggest to your average Democrat that they have a good chance of beating Trump in November, and they will insist that you turn around three times and spit on Eric. They will insist on this for your insolence, your reckless antagonism of the election gods, and your wanton tempting of fate. There can be no celebrating until Prince Humperdinck has been dispatched.

Demonstrate confidence in the outcome and even the most committed atheist will begin muttering prayers and sweating like a virgin on their wedding night at the mere thought of becoming complacent or underestimating Trump and his cult followers ever again.

American Democrats are so shell-shocked by the Trump Presidency that they’re in a tizzy over the upcoming election even though Trump’s poll numbers are in the toilet and Democrats have an affable candidate that no one hates. This has done little to quell the post traumatic stress of three and half years of unprecedented mayhem, or to wipe from memory the utter horror we collectively felt on the morning of November 9, 2016.

Philadelphia sports teams have long had a habit of breaking our hearts, winning just enough to keep us interested, but so often falling short of the big win that we have produced generations of fans that profess hope and yet expect the worst. Other teams have witnessed similar effects on their loyal fans. The Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs created generations of defeatist fans, willing to quietly wait for next year as their team was trampled by turtles, until they finally turned it around and won championships. 

The San Diego Chargers and Cleveland Browns are both teams that have gone decades without a championship but as comedian and Cleveland’s own John Caparulo pointed out, when the Chargers lost their fans were still living in San Diego, while he had to knock icicles off his balls.

We find ourselves in the seventh inning stretch of this election in what will mostly likely be a defining game of our nation’s season. We will either live to fight another day or we will come to realize that the other team has set the stadium on fire and left the building.

It’s understandable after the incomprehension of the 2016 election results, given that all the polls had Hillary handily winning, that we would be a bit gun-shy. It hasn’t helped that Trumpers keep setting off M-80’s every three minutes and our dogs are all hiding in the bathtub. But there is real reason for optimism, not just happy talk and fanciful predictions of prison time for the Trump crime syndicate.

RealClear Politics has Donald Trump underwater by 17.5 points in favorability polls nationally, a significant slump that sees no reason to do anything but get worse. For months Biden has led Trump by at least 5-6 percentage points and as many as 15, but when asked, a majority of Americans still believed (or feared) that Donald Trump would win the election. Not anymore. For the first time, more Americans believe that Trump will lose. It’s an important distinction, as it has less to do with your feelings about Trump as the President and more about your feelings about how your fellow Americans feel about the candidate.

Donald Trump is largely disliked by a majority of Americans and has for his entire Presidency, so why are Democrats still so nervous? Because they fear what Americans will do, much more than they fear what they think. If you dislike Trump but vote for him anyway, stay home or vote for Kanye, then Trump could again achieve the impossible.

In one of the more famous and quotable lines from the movie The Princess Bride, Vizzini, the brains behind the Princess’ kidnapping, exclaims time and again, “Inconceivable” despite the opposite continuing to happen, leading Inigo Montoya to sidle up and question him softly, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

This is the conundrum that the Democrats find themselves in. It was literally inconceivable that Donald Trump, a crass, spray-tanned buffoon from reality television, could become President of the United States, but there we are all were on that Wednesday morning, our mouths agape and our hearts in our throats.

What your terrified Democratic brethren don’t realize is that for the past three and a half years, while the entire Republican Party believes they switched the cup holding the poison while we weren’t looking, we had secretly been building up an immunity to iocaine powder, and we won’t be so easy to defeat this time around. What began as daily shock and hourly dismay, eventually wore down to mere irritation and disgust. We stopped being outraged constantly and began to plan for his defeat.

Many Democrats would have preferred we had matched fire with fire, and put forth our own firebrand of a politician to match Trump in venom and street fighting prowess. In reality that would have fed into Trump’s entire game plan. Trump is melting down in front of the world. His taunts are wearing thin and his show is growing old. He wants a fight that has nothing to do with substance. He wants someone willing to go toe to toe with him. But Biden is nothing like Trump. He’s a kind, affable, knowledgeable moderate Democrat. There’s nothing to get terribly excited about, but the country is so wired and worn out that we can’t take any more excitement. Even Trump’s taunt of “Sleepy Joe” is starting to sound good to most people. We could use some sleep.

Democrats are not nearly as good at being the opposition party because we keep trying to win. We don’t imagine an endgame that simply involves cock-blocking the other party because there doesn’t seem to be any logic to it. Even when we don’t wield any power, we feel we might be able to influence the outcome using shame or ridicule, because ultimately we believe in the power of our own righteousness. This is absurd of course and has been entirely unsuccessful in influencing the Republican Party. 

After Count Rugen believes he has sufficiently dispatched the Spaniard, Inigo keeps coming for him, leading Rugen to scold him, “Good heavens, are you still trying to win? You’ve got an overdeveloped sense of vengeance, that’s going to get you in trouble someday.”

Inigo fights back anyway, famously repeating his mantra, “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!” He kills the Six-Fingered Man, avenging his dead father.

Inigo tells Wesley, “Is very strange. I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it’s over, I don’t know what to do with the rest of my life.”

To which Wesley responds, “Have you ever considered piracy?”

It’s time for Democrats to consider a life as the Man in Black. It’s time to take on the role of the Dread Pirate Roberts. As Wesley explains to the Princess, it’s the name that is important in striking fear into the hearts of men. 

So to all my Democratic brothers and sisters, I say, ”Good night. Good work. Sleep well. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.”

Follow David Todd McCarty on Twitter @davidtmccarty and The Standard @capemaystandard

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