HIM (OR HER) I REALLY DON’T LIKE
For years, I have been classifying people, including politicians, on the Chartock scale of “Him, I really don’t like.” The scale runs the continuum from the severe “Him I really don’t like” to the generous “Now her, I really like.” Of course, I don’t personally know some of these people but there are some I do. Let’s get to the most obvious at the top – well, actually the bottom — of the list.
That, of course, is Donald Trump who I vehemently dislike in so many ways. I truly think that this guy is a danger to the Republic. He is so, so reminiscent in technique, style and apparent philosophy to early dictators like Adolph Hitler that I just can’t understand how he got into the top job. His use of Goebbels-like propaganda in which he reiterates the most inane lies over and over again in order to maintain his base group of voters really is reminiscent of the early Nazis. The fact that he has been so successful is not only “on him” as the kids say, but on a large swath of the American people who mirror similar nativist groups in almost every other country including Germany, France and England. Trump understands that there are deeply unhappy people in this country and he caters to them in the hope of cobbling together a second winning coalition that will save him from impeachment. So him I really don’t like.
Cynthia Nixon, late of Sex and the City who is now an aspiring candidate for New York governor: “Her, I really do like.” She has exactly the right attitude. She has the unmitigated guts to just tell the truth and damn the consequences. This is about more than winning. She doesn’t like the incumbent Democrat who has moved left as fast as he can from a sort of conservative blue doggish starting point. She clearly doesn’t like the way New York politics works. I’ll give her a Mulligan on her relationship with Mayor de Blasio. As for her opponent, Andrew Cuomo, I will forgo a designation since my concerns with him are not only political but personal. So him, I won’t rate. Think what you want.
Rudolph Giuliani: “Him, I never liked.” Clearly this guy got a lot of credit, deserved or not, for his role after 9-11. He became “America’s Mayor” but immediately he moved to extend his term and freeze Michael Bloomberg out of his term at the helm of New York City. I am a huge Bloomberg fan — him I really like. However he gets an asterisk for his buying of a third term as mayor. The hypocrisy is evident. I also wasn’t in love with his pro-charter school bias. But when it comes to genuine concern for the rest of us, the man is the very best. As for Giuliani, his support for Donald Trump, taking on the role of defender of the president, puts him into the category of absolutely, positively him I don’t like. He really does remind me of all of those early children’s films, looking like the bad guy I think he is.
Bernie Sanders: “Him, I have always liked.” I voted for him and I supported his candidacy. I frequently invited him to join me on the radio when he was Congressman and later when he was Senator. However, I think the guy is now playing it safe. For example, his failure to endorse Cynthia Nixon in the New York gubernatorial race is a deep disappointment. She is the real progressive in New York and is sending out the same message of equality of opportunity that Sanders has always put forward. It is to my great dismay that I will have to downgrade Bernie from “Him I really like,” to “Him I really like minus.”
Alan Chartock is a professor emeritus at the State University of New York, publisher of the Legislative Gazette and CEO of the WAMC Northeast Public Radio Network. Readers can email him at [email protected]