Paraphrasing Groucho!


After seeing Trump’s latest rant with Laura Ingraham, all I could think of was the great Groucho Marx

As expected, at about 60 days out from the election, the polls are tightening. And that tightening should worry almost every American.

I say almost because I know that some of you aren’t worried – in fact you’re probably relishing the idea of four more years of Trump. After all, even though Trump didn’t deliver on most of his campaign promises, he did make one come true: He has, and is, presiding over the massive “American carnage” he predicted.

Groucho Marx once wrote in his resignation letter to the Friar’s Club, “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members.”

After seeing Trump’s weekend interview with Fox’s Laura Ingraham I couldn’t help but paraphrase Groucho, “I don’t want to live in any country that re-elects Donald Trump as President.”

For those who missed Trump’s Fox “performance,” some cogent outtakes.

Regarding who’s “pulling Biden’s strings, Trump said, “People that you’ve never heard of, people that are in the dark shadows. People that you haven’t heard of. There are people that are on the streets, there are people that are controlling the streets. We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend. And in the plane, it was almost completely loaded with thugs, wearing these dark uniforms — black uniforms — with gear and this and that. They’re on a plane.”

Asked by Ingraham, “What does that mean? That sounds like a conspiracy theory. Dark shadows. What is that?,” Trump replied “I’ll tell you sometime. But it’s under investigation right now.” (Right, he’ll tell us about that investigation as soon as the audit of his tax returns is completed.)

Trump told Ingraham, “Shooting the guy in the back many times, (referring to the police shooting of James Blake) I mean, couldn’t you have done something different, couldn’t you have wrestled him? You know, I mean, in the meantime he might’ve been going for a weapon. You know there’s a whole big thing there, but they (the police) choke. Just like in a golf tournament, they miss a three-foot putt. “I’m saying people choke. You’ve got a quarter of a second to make a decision. If you don’t make the decision and you’re wrong, you’re dead.”

Later on he had forgiving comments about Kyle Rittenhouse, a teenager who was charged in the killings of two protesters in Kenosha, and who had attended a Trump rally earlier this year. And warned women that Biden was going to “take their suburbs away,” “defund the police” and “make them unsafe.” (All untrue.)

But back to Groucho.

As funny as Groucho was, his humor had a serious edge to it. And make no mistake; this is serious folks. In the run-up to the 2016 election, with the chance of a Trump upset, lots of like-minded people looked at alternative living options; Canada was the preferred go-to country for lots of reasons. A Canadian radio host even created a website encouraging people move to the Maritime Provinces. But at the end of the day, Canada really didn’t want us to suck their Social Services dry; so no Canada without a huge investment.

Then the horror of horrors happened – Trump won (actually Hillary lost, but that’s another sordid story). We sucked it up. We stayed. We rationalized: “It’s only four years. We can live with this for four years. How much destruction can one man make in four years? How bad will it really be?”

It was bad. It is bad. In fact, unconscionably bad. And it’s getting worse. If he’s re-elected it will get even worse. Just think, four more years of an unencumbered, uncaged Donald Trump and his gang.

Fortunately, I have an out. An out that I will seriously consider if the unthinkable, a Trump victory, occurs. My wife and both my daughters have Polish passports, the result of several years of research and perseverance (Sharon’s father was born in Poland which entitled his children and grandchildren the possibility of Polish citizenship). Poland, as you my well know, is not a paradise; the right-wing government there is one of the worst in Europe and anti-semitism has never fully disappeared (come to think of it, anti-semitism has never fully disappeared anywhere in Europe). But Poland is a member of the EU. And with that membership comes the ability for citizens of one EU country to live in any other EU country – think Italy or Spain or Portugal – without any residence restrictions. Now, I personally would have to get the Polish version of a “green card,” but it’s doable. And something to consider.

But here’s the thing. It won’t be something I’ll need to consider if all of us vote and do whatever is necessary to ensure everyone we know votes. Make sure you vote early and while you’re at it, agitate for free and fair elections. Because in a free and fair election, I won’t have to move – Trump can’t win freely or fairly. (Although, I must say, even with Biden as President, Portugal is sure tempting).

Finally, as a public service, I’ll leave the gluttons for punishment with one last thing – the full Trump/Ingraham interview. View it at your risk.

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

4 thoughts on “Paraphrasing Groucho!

  1. Another apt quote:

    The last man nearly ruined this place
    He didn’t know what to do with it
    If you think this country’s bad off now
    Just wait till I get through with it.

    Duck Soup, as Rufus T. Firefly

    Hail Freedonia!


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