It’s oddly quiet here in glorious Los Angeles. To me, it seems to be getting more and more quiet week by week here. The Los Angeles that was going to be the business capital of the world and compete with New York is long gone. We’re just a pleasant provincial capital now. But it’s a VERY pleasant town. There are great restaurants, lots of domestic help, and usually the climate is unbeatable, although lately it’s been awful. Dreary, rainy, cold. Not like LA is supposed to be at all. Why? It’s got to be Nancy Pelosi’s fault but I don’t see how.
Anyway, I had lunch with a close friend who is one of the most eminent psychiatrists in America. An M.D. A real super-braino, super-smart guy. He’s in his mid 80s and like me, he wonders how we got to be so old so fast.
“When we met I was in my early forties,” he said as we ate our sushi. “You were in your mid 30s. Just like now, obsessed with cars. Then there was a snap of the fingers and we were old.”
“Very true,” I answered. What else could I say?
“And the country has gone crazy,” said my super-smart shrink friend. “This country was being led by Gerald Ford when we met. He was a smart, sensible guy. The Republicans were sensible. The Democrats were sensible. There were no mad dogs running loose saying we should be a socialist country without a Constitution. Now look at us. We have a majority party, the Democrats, that does not have one single good candidate for President. Look at the debates. They are studies in lunatic mediocrity. They have nothing to say except that they have a high capacity for hate.”
“This is good salmon sushi,” I answered.
“And look at the billionaire egomaniacs spending their own money to create their own fantasy world where they are statesmen. Look at that guy Tom Steyer. Who the hell is he? He’s a guy who made a lot of money and started a small bank. In what possible way does that qualify him to be President? Has he worked his way up the Party machinery? Has he ever won an election? Has he ever negotiated an important political deal? No, he’s a little twerpy nerd.
“He’s just running on pure egomania. Now he has his son doing ads for him. Who cares what his son says? I mean, there are something like 500 billionaires in America. What makes any of them think he should be President?”
“Well, look at Trump,” I said. “He had no political experience and he’s accomplished a helluva lot. Plus he has a huge following among the voters. He really cannot lose this election.”
“Yes,” said the shrink with a smile. “But he has charisma. He’s like JFK. He has lights inside him. And he was always a great communicator and great charmer. Very hot item. And he was a famous negotiator.”
“Yes. All true, but he was not a politician.”
“But he had leadership exploding off the top of his head. Look, compare him with any of the Democrats. Buttigieg. Klobuchar. Biden. They’re all dull gray.
“The worst of all is Bloomberg. What on earth makes him think that the country is ready for a little control freak who actually dictates what his employees can have for lunch at his headquarters? I mean, just look at him. What does he see when he looks in the mirror? A little half-crazy businessman who spends his time telling people what size sodas they can drink. Why does he think the country wants a boastful dictator to be President?”
“I don’t know.”
“And the Democrats rant about income and wealth inequality and all they have is millionaires and billionaires running the show except for one pitiful small city mayor. This used to be a great country. Now it’s just a play toy for billionaires,” said my shrink pal. “And no one says a negative word about it.”
This was getting depressing. “I read,” said my shrink pal, “that just Steyer and Bloomberg have already spent two hundred million on ads and their following among the Democrats is about five per cent of the likely voters. That’s flat out crazy.”
“Much of the country has just turned off the TV and doesn’t read any news any longer,” I said. “It’s all show business.”
“Yes. And Trump is a maestro showman. But Bloomberg? Buttigieg? Warren? They’re a bad combination of boring and dangerous. I bleed for my country,” he said.
His words echoed in my brain. Yes, I thought. All show biz but so was Hitler’s Germany. I’m scared for my blessed America. Can you imagine — just imagine — if Bloomberg won an election? We would have a genuine dictator as President. Or Steyer? Who the hell is he?
What has become of us? And where is the stopping point?
And now Pelosi says she will hound Trump for the rest of his life no matter how the impeachment trial goes. What good can possibly come of this? It’s all swirling chaos until a dictator appears. Just chaos and then the dictatorship of the madmen and madwomen. It’s not frightening. It’s terrifying.
Anyway, Merry Christmas.