The Pit and the Pendulum


It seems like we’ve been taking the virtual out of the reality in this country with Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Pit and the Pendulum” ever since the Vietnam War’s lost innocence let the lunatics out of the asylum.

First swing of the pendulum gave us Nixon.  Back on our meds, we went with Carter.  “The Pit and the Pendulum” made his virtue into a piñata.  Reagan was the stuffing that came out of it.  Never was a village idiot more beloved, once we finally realized “Oh yeah.  He’s got Alzheimer’s.”

Bush I set the stage for Bill’s & Hillary’s actually more of the same.  Blonde ambition couldn’t have been a more transparent shill for the thrill of her turn in Game of Thrones.  With Newt Gingrich, the pendulum’s razor edge drew blood.

By the time Bush II got done, let me put it like this, we wouldn’t have China today if America hadn’t dug such a deep economic hole for them to fill.  When the cat’s away, the mice will play.

We were so desperate to get back on our meds that our cup ran-eth over Obama’s color coated opioid, lest Sarah Palin do a Nurse Ratchet on us.  With the black Hamlet asleep at the wheel, Freddie Kruger’s son Donald snuck through the back door.  Blame everyone who tried to shove blonde ambition down our throats.

Divided government means only that the pendulum might be poised to swing again.  Are the adults ready to come home and put the children to bed?

We have to reckon first with why the adults invented Day Care in the first place.  Give Little Orphan Annie a choice between Daddy Warbucks and the orphanage, is this like rocket science?  Meanwhile back at the orphanage, nothing beats the power to cower.  And nothing cowers like the wolf coming to take a bite out of Little Red Riding Hood.  Maybe the adults don’t even have to come home, if they can scare the children into bed.  Say hello to Daddy Warbucks’ baby sitter.

So where exactly is the pendulum poised right now?  Whatever Populism’s Halloween costume conceals, it’s been like the bubonic plague for the Conscience of a Conservative.  Not so, though, for Daddy Warbucks.  He got his tax cuts with a regulatory rollback to maintain a swamp on the order of grab the money and run till the pendulum swings back his way.  Scare enough children with Halloween costumes and you can score a plurality to keep the swamp from getting paved over.

This brings us to the Progressive caucus of the raucous.  Could we possibly conjure a worse nightmare to scare Little Red Riding Hood than a wolf in sheep’s clothing?  Look no further than pandering to the Muslim Ban’s poster child.

So here’s a theory that fits the facts.  While moderates flipped enough votes from right to left for a majority in the People’s House and some state houses, Progressives only cannibalized the left’s moderate fringes.  Not even close to what Halloween costumes have done to the right’s moderates.

Do the numbers.  Yes there was blue wave in the 2018 midterms.  But it crested in the center of the American electorate.  Fear of Obama care repeal beat out the national security threat of Hispanic babies coming to get us.

No way did the midterms make a box office for closing the airports and demolishing every building in this country.  Neither did the American electorate vote for a guaranteed income to anyone who can’t or won’t work.

I know.  That wasn’t supposed to get out there.  But it did.  So Freddie Kruger’s son Donald looks to be the favorite, if his competition is check your brains at the door.

Covering a world title match in Las Vegas, I went outside for a smoke before show time.  A fan asked me for a prediction.  “Would I have flown two thousand miles,” I replied, “if I’d thought the outcome was going to be a slam dunk?”

So also for which way the pendulum is next going to swing on our necks.  With something like 30 wannabes already in the Democratic presidential primaries, it seems like the herd is stampeding towards the caucus of the raucous.  Maybe an adult will divide and conquer.  Then again, maybe Freddie Kruger’s son Donald will eat Joe Biden alive.  When the lion lays down with the lamb, better check what’s on the menu for dinner.

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