Mined from the notebooks. March 5, 2016. Posted April 5.
Was just talking politics with Pop Mannion. Always frustrating because he still thinks TV news is what it was it Cronkite's day and the New York Times is still what it was when Tom Wicker and R.W. Apple covered politics for them.
And he thinks the GOP is what it was when he was our town’s supervisor and his best ally in getting stuff done was a Republican.
He can't get his head around the fact there are no moderates or even conservatives left in the GOP.
And he can't even see that political news has become all about scandal and spectacle and how that plays into the Republicans’ hands.
And he refuses to believe that the New York Times’ political desk has become the Paper of Record’s anti-Hillary bureau.
I think he’s been watching too much TV political news. Too much Matthews. Too much Maddow. And, sadly, too much Fox.
It isn’t the case that he’s turning into one of those old men, those guys who watch Fox and are poisoned by it. He’s still the good, staunch liberal Democrat he’s always been. He’s for Hillary. He appreciates Bernie, but he’s not taken with him. Pop’s one of the last great New Deal Democrats. And if you’re thinking to yourself, Then shouldn’t he be for Bernie? you really don’t understand FDR and the New Dealers.
They weren’t revolutionaries. They were problem solvers.
Pop has been a problem-solver all his life. Solving problems was what he did as a scientist and college professor. It’s what he did as town supervisor. Bernie doesn’t strike him as a fellow problem-solver. Hillary does. In his judgment, she’s the most presidential candidate on the stage right now.
That’s what’s troubling him.
He can’t understand why there seems to be such a strong effort by everyone in the media to tear her down.
What's going on with the emails, he wants to know. Is she going to be indicted? And, thinking too well of his son the world-famous blogger’s savvy and political insight, he looks to me for an explanation.
But he doesn’t like my explanations.
Actually, it’s more like he can’t fathom them.
That political journalism has become a toxic mix of celebrity worship and sports journalism, that controversy for controversy’s sake sells advertising, that the Republicans who aren’t vicious are crazy, that the powers that be at the TV networks are afraid to offend them because they want their voters’ as an audience, which is to say, as customers, more than they want Pop because Pop can’t be as easily suckered into buying what the advertisers are selling, and that the political press corps, besides being craven, corrupt, and depraved, just plain hates the Clintons for no rational reason that anybody has been able to come up with, and that’s especially true of the reporters for the New York Times---none of this computes for him, and he keeps circling back, demanding that I re-submit my data.
So, Pop and I don't have arguments exactly. We just go around and around in circles as my answers to his questions make no sense to him.
As far as he's concerned, I'm answering questions about what life is like on earth by telling him what it's like on the Moons of Endor.
Anyway, it'll soon be baseball season and we'll have more to talk about than politics. That'll make us both happier.
Assuming both the Dodgers and the Mets do well.