Quote Of The Day: Keith Olbermann Edition

I had a reminder this morning of how much I miss Keith Olbermann:

Okay, Donnie, you win.

I’m moving out.

Not moving out of the country — not yet anyway. I’m merely moving out of one of New York’s many buildings slathered in equal portions with gratuitous gold and the name “Trump.” Nine largely happy years with an excellent staff and an excellent reputation (until recently, anyway) — but I’m out of here.

I’m getting out because of the degree to which the very name “Trump” has degraded the public discourse and the nation itself. I can’t hear, or see, or say that name any longer without spitting. Frankly, I’m running out of Trump spit.

And, yes, I’m fully aware that I’m blaming a guy with the historically unique fashion combination of a cheap baseball cap and Oompa Loompa makeup for coarsening politics even though, out of the two of us, I’m the one who has promulgated a “Worst Persons in the World” list for most of the past decade. That’s how vulgar this has all become. It’s worse even than Worst Persons.

I could say I’m sorry for posting such a long quote from Keith’s WaPo op-ed, but I’m not. He nails the Trump style quite well although I think they’re more fifth-grade level insults. Of course, I might have been more advanced than KO…

I’m glad that Keith is only threatening to move out of the Trump-o-sphere as opposed to those who say they’re moving abroad if he becomes the first Insult Comedian elected President. I’ve heard it all before and said essentially the same thing before Reagan was elected. I didn’t move and only claimed I would as a dramatic gesture. I’m glad there was no social media in those days or I would have looked ridiculous.

This whole “I’m moving if Trump wins” thing is an empty gesture. It’s a way to impress the cool kids with how adamantly anti-Insult Comedian you are. It tends to come from the sort of low-information voters that drive me crazy.  The same thing applies to the “Bernie or Bust” contingent. This piece by Michael Arceneaux in the Guardian sums it up nicely:

People who refuse to vote for a less-favored Democrat on principle are just punishing a second constituency unlikely to vote: those who know very little about the power they yield because they are so marginalized they feel their say doesn’t matter.

Cling to your self-righteousness all you want, but be very clear that only some people can afford this kind of sacrifice. I’m not saying fall in line with Hillary Clinton (or Bernie Sanders, should a miracle happen), but there are other ways to express your disapproval besides sitting out the vote altogether.

Push for more progressives at the local and state level. Help rally more voter participation for key congressional races.

Do something besides pretending that your lack of vote does anything but suit your own moral superiority at the expense of others.

Bingo. I knew I liked Mr. Arceneaux because of his Creole name. It turns out that he’s a black dude from Houston now living in Harlem. I was hoping I could claim him as a Gret Steter, but nobody’s perfect.

My approach to politics-especially during a nomination fight-is to argue for what I believe in without denigrating those who disagree. (Yeah, I know, I denigrate politicians all the damn time. That’s called kicking up. I rarely, if ever, kick down at their supporters.) It’s like everyday life: you have to make compromises along the way. Plus, today’s foe could be tomorrow’s ally.  I remain skeptical about Senator Sanders’ chances to win the nomination or to prevail in the general election, but I will vote for him if he’s the nominee. I outgrew empty gestures long ago.

One thought on “Quote Of The Day: Keith Olbermann Edition

  1. jalmos says:

    I’m not one to say that I’ll definitely move out of the country if Trump wins, but I most certainly will start preparing to do so. Despite the ever-growing number of Godwin’s Law applications in the last couple decades, the comparisons have never been quite so spot on.

    To have such a petulant child in charge who, as KO rightly pointed out, has no idea how any of this actually works makes very real the possibility of a fundamental change in how our government functions. If he ever truly comprehends how far a president bereft of conscience or fear of consequence can really go, then getting out may be the best move.

    I already fear him starting a war that reaches home, as well as mangling the economy as badly as one of his ‘businesses,’ but what scares me most is the unknowns that come in to play when a guy who uses a presidential debate podium to tell the world he’s got a big dick is suddenly in possession of all the power he’s ever dreamed about.

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