It’s a spectacular day here in glorious Beverly Hills. Blue skies. Brilliant sunshine. I was doing my favorite activity in the world for most of the morning: swimming, then lying in bed with my Julie and my JoJo, my glorious German short-haired pointers, while a dry, warm breeze blew through my office. Yes, I have a bed in my office. Julie lay with her head on my stomach and JoJo with her head on my ankles.
Paradise. Listening to Mozart’s Requiem. Glory.
The dogs started barking. There at the screen door to my office were two women. I am guessing the housekeeper let them in. One was M., an emaciated woman from Pasadena whom I have known for some years through a 12 step program. She’s in her sixties. The other was her daughter, Q., also emaciated, recently graduated from UC Santa Barbara.
They were there to see me and say hello. I reluctantly drew myself up from the dogs and gave them orange juice and listened to them talk about themselves.
The gist of their life story, by the way, is this: M. is the daughter of Holocaust survivors. When she was in her late thirties, she had a passionate affair with an Italian man who was teaching poetry at Pomona. She got pregnant. He ducked out. She was going to have an abortion. I, your humble servant, talked her out of it. I agreed to support the baby until she was in college if the mom would not continue Der Führer’s dirty work and help the Leader exterminate the Jews. (Yes, M. is Jewish.)
I have done that and it’s cost me enough to buy a home in Malibu. So, you would think the girl would have some respect for human life. Think again.
The young woman, Q., is now out of school for a year. She’s been working for an organization that promotes Muslim causes in the U.S. and fights “Islamophobia.” Yes, the world has come to this. Yes, again, she’s Jewish. She actually got a grant from someone connected with UCSB to do that. Now, her grant is running out and she needs a new job.
“Where were you thinking of working?” I asked her.
“The place I would most like to work is Planned Parenthood,” she said.
“Why don’t you try The American Nazi Party?” I suggested to her.
She didn’t even remotely “get it.” She just said maybe if that didn’t work she would try Black Lives Matter. She’s determined to live and work in Boston, and I am sure she’ll succeed.
I went back to sleep with the dogs after the two women left on their journey.
But the phone rang and rang and rang. Usually, I ignore the phone, but my wife has been in the hospital now with pneumonia for two weeks so I thought I had better see what the call was about. I was planning to go over there to St. John’s in an hour anyway, but maybe I had to leave right away. In my pajamas.
But, no, it was not the hospital at all. It was my distant cousin, Sandy. She’s a woman in her mid-seventies who lives in Miami Beach. She has an impressive résumé: Pembroke for college. Harvard for law school. NYU for business school. Then she married a successful real estate lawyer in South Florida and gave up any of that nonsense about work. I had not talked to her in weeks, so I had been calling her and now she was calling me back from her penthouse in Miami Beach. I was lucky to have caught her, since she spends most of her year traveling to various exotic spots. Just recently, she went to Brazzaville. I still have no idea why. Before that she was in Patagonia. I’m frightened to even look on the map to see where that is. The odd thing about these trips is that even though my cousin and her husband are millionaires many times over, and by no means young, when they go on these immensely long trips, they fly coach and stay at modestly priced B&B’s. I never quite understood that. I still don’t.
“How are you?” I asked her cheerfully.
“I don’t feel at all well,” she replied glumly. “I feel achy and exhausted and I think I might have a fever.”
“Do you think you have the flu?”
“No,” she said. “I’m exhausted from fighting Donald Trump’s America.”
“Wow. I’m so sorry. I must be missing something here though, because I don’t see how Trump could have affected your life in any way whatsoever at this point. You’re still rich. Still live in a beautiful home. Last time I looked, you had a 70-foot sailboat and your son was playing polo all over the country. What’s the problem for you personally?”
To give Sandy the credit she so richly deserves, she laughed. “Well, it hasn’t hit me personally yet,” she said. “But I still have to fight it every day. I have to fight the racism.”
“What racism? I haven’t seen any racism.”
“His rants against the Muslims,” she answered.
“He was talking about terrorists,” I said. “Anyway Muslim is not a race. It’s an ideology or a religion.”
She ignored my comment. “I’ve joined a group called ‘Turn Left.’ Our goal is to have a Democratic Congress in 2018. I’m working the phones all day telling people in Ohio and Pennsylvania why they should vote Democratic.”
“The coal miners must love having Sandy Lefkowitz of Miami Beach calling them and telling them how to vote,” I said. “Didn’t you call people in the coal country in West Virginia during the 2016 campaign to tell them to vote for Hillary?”
Sandy rushed right by that one, too. “We’re trying to work with the governor here in Florida, too. We want to end mass incarceration of youthful offenders. It’s just the latest manifestation of American racism.”
“Okay,” I said. “I like seeing them off the streets. But that’s just me.”
“We meet every week in a Haitian neighborhood near here,” she went on. “I have about 20 people in my group. Most of them are really neatly groomed, very thin men, all single. They keep their apartments really clean. They’re all white even though they live in an almost all black area. And they all seem to come from money because they have Herman Miller furniture and Frette towels and Royal Copenhagen tea cups. Plus, they never say, ‘like’ or ‘you know.’ They’re very well brought up.”
“I should hope so. We want our revolutionaries to be well brought up.” It all reminded me of how in 1967 we at Yale Law School were waited on by waiters in white linen jackets while we ate, preparatory to storming the police barricades for the Black Panther Party. “Don’t do it up too much and intensify the class struggle,” a Black Pantherette woman said to my wife and me as we left for Christmas vacation in 1969. But we were not anywhere near as neat and trim as the young men Sandy admired so much.
“The racism,” Sandy said. “Trump. Racism. In our little group, we sign all our letters by saying, ‘Yours in The Resistance.’ That’s how much it means to us.”
“You’re very brave,” I said to her. “Intensify the class struggle.”
“Racism,” she said again.
“Where is it?” I asked again.
“Trump Tower,” she answered.
“Okay, well, good luck to Justin in his polo matches,” I said. She hung up. I slumped back in bed with my pooches.
“The RESISTANCE????” What are these guys resisting? There is not the slightest sign of racism from Trump. No repression of any kind.
The repression comes from the Trump haters. You’re not allowed to say a word in favor of Trump here in West Hollywood where I shop or in Beverly Hills or Malibu, where I live. You have to whisper if you like Trump. Now, that’s repression. I met a sweet, attractive woman at the Pavilions in Malibu a few days ago. She smiled and was friendly. Then in horror, she asked, “You’re not the guy who defends Trump on TV are you?”
“I often criticize him and often defend him,” I said. “It depends on the subject.”
She walked away without saying a word. Right there in Malibu as a young girl walked by carrying a boogie board.
The wife of my best friend of some forty years stopped talking to me the night Trump won the election and still won’t speak to me.
Meanwhile, I just don’t quite get it. What has Trump done wrong? He hasn’t repressed anyone. He isn’t suppressing free speech. It’s the lefto-fascists who are doing that, who are shouting down anyone who disagrees with them. He isn’t beating down the Lesbian-Bisexual-Gay-Queer and Transsexuals. They are attacking him and just tonight did a loud, incredibly, unbelievably stupid disturbing of the peace outside Ivanka Trump’s house in D.C. The threats to the Constitution come from the Sanctuary Cities secessionists, not from Trump. The whole free society is under attack from the left — not from Trump.
And poor Trump. He’s trying to keep his promises on the environment — he saw right through that scam, and on terrorism, and on health care, and on defense — and he gets yelled at by people in his own party. If we can’t stand up for a Republican who keeps his promises, the future looks bleak indeed. The left. The media. The judiciary. The academy. They’ll never allow another free election. Sieg Heil!
Yours in The Other Resistance,
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