You think your editor is tough on you? You don't know tough. (from the wonderful vol.2 of @LettersOfNote) pic.twitter.com/N8Tke8xxce— John Dalton (@johndalton) January 5, 2016
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That I laughed and laughed and laughed at this letter from Hunter S. Thompson made me realize that I totally understand the political appeal of Donald Trump, mad as that might be.
The Donald shows appropriate disrespect for our political system, the feckless weenies in charge of his own political party and the Stalinist pall of political correctness that's stifling our debate and rotting our minds.
Unfortunately, though, with the satisfying comes the strychnine -- the malicious stereotyping of Mexicans and Muslims . . . his willingness to ban people from the United States solely on religious grounds . . . egging on a mob mentality at his rallies and among his supporters . . . the nasty remarks about a female fellow candidate and a disabled journalist.
IT ALL demonstrates Trump's uncomfortable shouting distance to the over-the-top epithet Gore Vidal hung on William F. Buckley in an infamous 1968 television debate -- "pro-crypto-Nazi."
Hunter S. Thompson was entertaining -- warped and high as a kite but entertaining. Sometimes, he skewered those who sorely asked for the insertion of a spit. Sometimes, it all was quite satisfying. I can see how some might feel that way about Trump, taken out of his particular toxic context.
But it would have been a horrible mistake to let Thompson anywhere near political power on any national scale. Ditto for Donald Trump. Not all that entertains us is good for us, particularly when it feeds upon what's bad in us.