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Random thoughts: perplexed edition

Kenneth D. Gough, Community Voices • Mar 8, 2019 at 7:45 AM

Prior to the uproar over the fake-MAGA attack, I’d never heard of Jussie Smollett. He’s hardly the first desperate-for-attention celebrity to have a publicity stunt blow up in his face, and he won’t be the last.

But there is something I find baffling: Who in the world would stage a stunt that was designed and intended to slander the 30 percent or so of people who strongly support President Trump and the 15 percent to 20 percent more who give him qualified support? Wouldn’t that alienate about half of the people you want to tune in to your show? Wouldn’t you worry that future potential employers would take note, and decide that hiring you would be a liability rather than an asset? Or is the entire media and entertainment industry really that clueless about and contemptuous of the people they’re trying to get to buy their product? Perhaps so; perhaps it’s why so much of what passes for entertainment these days is more irritating and tendentious than enjoyable. Whatever the case, I suspect we won’t have Jussie Smollett to kick around anymore.

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So it seems there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia after all, in spite of a few political naïfs and lowlifes talking to Russian dirty tricksters trying to stir up trouble (and succeeding). The puzzling thing is, the charge never made much sense, and it’s been obvious to any reasonable person for over a year. So why have so many people clung desperately to the conviction that it just had to be true? Particularly those in the news media, who are supposed to at least pretend they’re objective truth-seekers with a strong streak of cynicism? Are those people now going to admit their mistake and make amends? I won’t hold my breath, but I will enjoy a laugh or two at their expense. What a waste of time, energy, and resources that should have been spent solving real problems.

The corollary of no collusion is that Hillary Clinton lost the election fair and square. That’s what really rankles, isn’t it? Oh, well, perhaps next time the activists on both sides will have gotten over their temper tantrums and will give us a better choice. Won’t hold my breath for that, either.

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You may have noticed that Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax and Mark Herring have disappeared from the headlines. In case you’re asking Ralph, Justin and Mark who? they are Governor Blackface/KKK/Babykiller, Lt. Gov. Accused Double Rapist and Attorney General Blackface Too. It seems that people have changed their minds about these miscreants resigning their posts immediately, and now think their cases should be thoroughly investigated, they should receive due process, and some consideration should be given to callow youth. Is it just me, or does this debacle smack of more than a little hypocrisy? Could it be the fact that the Republican speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates would become governor played some ever-so-small part in the sudden about-face? In any case, someone be sure to tell Brett Kavanaugh, who will be gratified to learn that the Democratic Party has seen the light, and that no future Supreme Court nominee will have to run a gauntlet of character assassination like he did. Just joking, of course. It’s unlikely the Democrats will learn anything from this episode, and character assassination is just too good a tool to take it out of their tool box. After all, it worked for Robert Bork, and it almost worked for Clarence Thomas and Kavanaugh. One taken down and two more seriously wounded ain’t bad.

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Speaking of seeing the light, Amazon will not be building a headquarters in Queens, New York, after all. That didn’t take long. Never made much sense anyway. Any place that would elect an outspoken, permanently outraged socialist to Congress (the oh-so-radical-chic AOC, she of the “Green New Deal”) could be counted on to be business-unfriendly. Let me make a suggestion. Amazon, the TriCities is very business-friendly, but it can’t accommodate 25,000 jobs. A couple of thousand, yes. Spread the balance around the rest of Tennessee, which will be just as happy to have them as we are. Your and your employees’ money will go about 40 percent further, our climate is a lot better, there’s no income tax, and we’ll put our lifestyle up against Queens, New York, any day. We may not have the charms of the Big Apple, but we don’t have its pollution, noise, overcrowding or crime, either. They’ve got Manhattan, we’ve got the Appalachian Trail and a million other things to do outdoors. The Barter Theater compares favorably to anything on or off Broadway. As for music, well. So ya’ll come on down, we’d be mighty glad to have you.

Kenneth D. Gough of Elizabethton is a semi-retired businessman.

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