Groucho Marx had a gimmick on his early TV quiz show: a “secret word” was shown the audience before a contestant came on camera. A common word like “body” or “misunderstood.” If a contestant said the secret word during repartee with Groucho, a stuffed animal or something like that would drop down on a cord, and the speaker would get a big additional prize. We now have this concept in our Presidential election campaigning.
Candidate for President of the United States Donald Trump insulted Mexicans … insulted a federal judge on having Hispanic ethnicity … insulted John McCain for having gotten captured … advocated barring Muslims from entering the US … insulted the family of an American officer killed in combat … insulted women as “fat” … suggested that his followers beat up protesters … was revealed to have run a scam university operation … transparently suggested that his followers snuff his Democratic opponent … refused to show his tax returns … has continued to question Barack Obama’s U.S. citizenship to this day – all with seeming impunity.
After all that and lots more, what is it that seems finally to have tripped him up, perhaps fatally? He said the secret word. Pussy. This is what finally rises to disqualification of someone for the Presidency of this great and exceptional nation.
Only in America, with our intense obsession with sex blended with guilt and embarrassment about anything to do with sex. This patented national hypocrisy tops all other hypocrisies in our great nation. With apology to Einstein, it is an American power far stronger than compound interest. How to explain this? Is it only, as some have claimed, because of the religious intolerance exhibited by Protestants that emerged here after they fled the anti-Protestant intolerance in the Old World? Amplified by Reform Protestantism of the early South and West?
I can’t say for sure. Well, let’s just choose to be proud of our American exceptionalism: we are probably the world leaders in hypocrisy – although the export market for it is an uphill battle. When we eventually grow up as a nation, we may even look back on it with nostalgia.
/s/ Al, (who used the secret word at least 100,000 times in college and the Navy, but never ran for public office, and so dodged the bullet.)