Back in the early ’80s, a movie was released staring Dan Akroyd and Eddie Murphy called Trading Places. Two characters in the movie, Mortimer and Randolph Duke (played by Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche) are wealthy commodity brokers who argue constantly over social issues, and enjoy a small wager from time to time. Akroyd plays the wealthy trader for their firm, Louis Winthrope, III, and Murphy plays a down out scam artist/street person, Billy Ray Valentine.
The $5 wager between the Mortimer brothers is that if they put the Pryor character into the right situation, he’ll rise to his new circumstances, and behave like a well-bread, educated wealthy person. On the flip side, if Winthrope has all the trappings of wealth and influence removed from him, he’ll quickly resort to a life of crime and scamming. In the end, the joke was on the Duke brothers, as Winthrope and Valentine came together to not only financially destroy the Dukes, but become rich themselves.
Most recently, I’ve been thinking about the hateful politics of personal destruction created by Jesse Helms, and perfected most recently by Karl Rove. It took no time for the Republican machine to come out with a Swiftboat book about Obama. The race is being subtly played. Make no mistake, Rove is pulling strings in the background.
I was realizing how ineffective America now is on the world stage in regards to Russia’s move into Georgia as we try to self-righteously claim they have no right to move into a sovereign country. I see what a terrible state America is in now in almost every aspect thanks to Bush/Cheney regime.
I suddenly had a vision of Rove sitting around a hotel bar in some remote town on a campaign swing. He’s chatting with some political operative from the opposing candidate, and they’re each trying to one-up the other with tales of their personal daring-do. Finally, Karl looks across the table and plays the wildest card of all. He says to the other person, “Tell you what…I think I’m so fucking good, I’ll bet you five dollars I can get the dumbest man in America elected President.” The other person accepts the bet.
GUESS WHO WON?
In this case, the joke’s on us. Cheney and his crony’s are getting rich, and the rest of America is going bankrupt…financially, ethically, and morally.