The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines shell game as:
FRAUD, especially a swindle involving the substitution of something of little or no value for a valuable item.
Unquestionably, Donald Trump is a fraud and his word is of little or no value. Republicans’ words have had very little value for a very long time, but in the age of Trump, they have less than no value.
Their words have impact though, and not in a good way. Witness the events of January 6, 2021.
The band, REM might describe it as the end of the world as we know it.
I keep asking myself how it is that Republicans have convinced so many Americans to vote against their own interests.
They (Republicans) get something valuable (votes) for words of less than no value.
One of the reasons is best represented by Cookies, as pictured above.
In the center of the picture sits a rich-looking guy in a blue suit with a plate of cookies in front of him.
He looks like the love child of Wilbur Ross and Rupert Murdoch and the cookies in front of him are more than he’ll ever need.
Let’s call rich-looking guy Wilbert.
To Wilbert’s left (our right) sits a working man (note the hard hat) contemplating the one lonely cookie in front of him.
To Wilbert’s right (our left) is a non-white man Wilbert refers to as a foreigner. According to the caption bubble above Wilbert’s head, he’s busy warning working man that foreign guy wants his (working man’s) cookie.
For those not fluent in irony or nuance, let’s break it down.
The guy with all the cookies is persuading working man that his biggest threat is a foreigner, a dark skinned guy, someone who is not one of us.
If working guy thinks he’s really part of us, let’s see what happens when he tries to have lunch at Mar-a-Lago.
Working guy doesn’t seem to get that Wilbert has all the cookies. In the poker game of life, Wilbert has all the cards.
It’s a classic distraction, obfuscation and misdirection and it’s splitting our country down the middle.
Wilbert is the one shipping jobs overseas. Wilbert is the one shipping his tax cuts (paid for by workingman’s taxes) to the Cayman Islands.
Wilbert has convinced working guy that helping others is bad for him. Not only that, it’s Socialism, something we can’t have here in America.
Socialism, like the checks the farmers got to compensate them for Trump’s failed trade war with China.
Socialism, like the giant tax cuts Republicans gave their rich friends, allowing them to deduct their nanny’s wages when they take them to Seychelles on tax-deductible private jets.
Socialism, like the roads on which Wilbert’s chauffer-driven Maybach rides and the airstrip on which his Gulfstream G650 lands, all built for him by the government.
The other part of the story is a decades long campaign, complete with its own cable “news” network, to paint anyone not in lockstep (or goose step) with the ever-changing march of the GOP its religious fanatics as the enemy.
Democrats are not just an opposing political party, they’re out to destroy America.
Liberals, progressives, socialists or whatever the pejorative of the day are a threat to democracy.
Never mind that Republican senators and congressmen tried to overturn an American election and the votes of 81 million Americans.
Never mind that EVERY social program combined is infinitesimal compared to government handouts pocketed by Wilbert and the uber rich; Republican’s donors, benefactors and puppet masters.
But we were talking about cookies, and not the kind websites use to track you down like a feral pig.
Working man needs to turn his attention to Wilbert’s plate. Maybe it’s time for the guy with all the cookies to pour his guests a glass of milk.
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