Sadly, many of us have been there. Very sadly…
At some point, hopefully in our stupid, inglorious youth, we found ourselves in some crappy-ass hick, redneck bar at 2:30 in the morning…
The house band (usually called “Pegasus” or “Stryker” or “HellFyer”) is packing up, the once-jammed dance-floor is awash in monitor cords, drum cases, mixer boards. A stray banquet chair incongruously sits there on the hardwood with an ashtray sitting on it. The house lights are up, and the kitchen crew is working like hell to get the chairs tipped up on the tables.
In addition to the band, which is hurrying like mad to get their stuff in the white Econoline van out front, there is the burnt-out end of the kitchen and bar staff, and a few gnarly hangers-on, still shuffling around the pool table and at the end of the bar…
The rest of civilization is home in bed. And has been for hours.
You were stuck there, in this odoriferous outhouse of a bar, because your buddy had to leave –and in your idiocy, you lent him the keys to your car. Now you are stuck there with a group of his friends that you know only tangentially, and can’t really remember any of their names. Your friend was supposed to come back an hour ago, but, he’s probably right now getting ragged for a DUI out on State Route 30.
The florescent lights give the inside of the bar an uneasy urine-yellow pall, now jarringly noticeable after having spent five continuous hours earlier under nothing but the dimmest hue of neon beer signs and flashing lights from the guy running the board for HellFyer.
You’ve noticed The Guy from time to time during the night: He’s wearing a filthy Carhart Jacket, which only hides a bodily frame that’s about five-foot four, and 110 pounds. His hair sticks out in a greasy pony tail from his CarQuest Auto Parts baseball cap, and a cigarette two-thirds smoked seems to dangle continously from his blackened hands. When he laughs –which is a piercing screech that could be heard over the hard-driving Travis Tritt power-chords of the lead guitar– a set of half-broken teeth is revealed in their queasy glory.
He, too, has a couple of buddies. Two look slightly taller, and cleaner. A third one has a menacing look like a clean-cut version of Charles Manson, but with blonde hair, and skin that seems to be stretched too tightly over too-sharp cheek-bones.
They seem to be pointing at you, in their advance state of chronic inebriation. But, what the hey– your buddy will back soon, and you can leave, non the worse for the wear. But, The Guy with the Carhart Jacket stumbles over, kind of pushing one of your “acquaintences” out of the way (what was his name?). The Guy points at you, and your hooded sweatshirt, which says “Everything is Bigger in TEXAS” on it, or some such…
The Guy mumbles something at you. It’s an incoherent mish-mash of syllables, but it might be “can I have a quarter for the phone?”.
Stupidly, you reply “Huh?”
“I said, the only thing they got in Texas is Steers and Queers!”.
At that moment, with YOUR buddy in the back of a squad car five miles down the road, and with THIS a-hole’s posse closing in with pool ques and God-knows-what else, who do you want beside you:
Donald Trump or Ted Cruz?
Just a question. Which one?
Granted, we are dealing with the public perception of each man at this point. But, it’s all we have to go on, because I feel fairly confident that no one out there has been in a bar fight on either Donald Trump’s or Ted Cruz’ side. But, let’s play along…
The image of Donald Trump standing there with his stupid hair, and his ill-fitting suit and red tie jumps to mind– but I can also see him grabbing a pool cue, pushing The Guy down, and rearing up, and bellowing “Back off, Motherf****er, or I’ll cave in your skull!”
I can also rather see Ted Cruz standing between me and The Guy, saying “Now, look, gentlemen, let’s not allow this to get out of hand…” at which point, The Guy’s buddy has clocked me with his brass knuckles, and Ted’s trying to use his cell-phone.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND: Ted Cruz is the greatest conservative leader in a generation or more. My admiration for him is legion. He is a great man, a great leader, and will make a great President. I am looking forward to voting for him in a manner I’ve not look forward since 1984. I’ve prayed for Ted Cruz, continue to pray for Ted Cruz. I’ve sent money to Ted Cruz– and I almost never do this –send money– to a politician.
But, would I want him next to me in a Bar Fight? At times like these, it’s a serious question…
Steve Deace recently put this in my mind: The reason people are responding to Donald Trump is because he seems to be standing up to, well– standing up to fear. That this might or might not be the reality (some little Fauntleroy from Manhattan with his prissy hair, standing up to fear? Really?) is beside the point. Trump seems to be Tough Guy, standing against the fear: The same sort of un-looked-for fear that preceeds the 2:30 AM Bar Fight. When you walked into that bar at 8:45 earlier in the night, you did so looking for fun. Now, the fun is all gone, and all that’s left is fear– and kicking some butt…
Ted needs to grasp this. The fear is real, and America wants a fighter.
A fighter that gets pissed off when he’s mad, who calls a spade a spade.
We are pissed off that Donald Trump continues to call you, Ted, “Lyin’ Ted”. It makes us angry, in addition to the thousand other things that piss us off, and get us angry. Righteous, full-throttled anger is a perfectly natural response, and Ted needs to show it. Now.
I know, I know. Free advice is worth what you pay for it. But, Ted needs to not just give voice to our anger, but, damnit, GET ANGRY. Not in the low-register, growling antics of a stump speech angry. But, get pissed off. I know Ted has two precious little girls, and he wants to do nothing to embarrass them– I get it, believe me. But, as the Outlaw Josie Wales said, “Dyin’ aint much of livin’ boy”.
Jesus himself went into the Den of Vipers at the Temple Courts and threw over the money-changers tables, those religous frauds that were selling “Saturday Sacrifice Specials! Bread for Burnt Offerings! BOGO!” How DARE you turn my Fathers House into a freaking Wal-mart!” Can you imagine standing there while this was going on? The Prince of Peace becoming the Prince of Pissed Off?
What would Ted being Pissed Off look like? He would get all up in Donald Trump’s grill, number one: “Hey, Bankrupt Donald! Why don’t you come out to Debate Me and call me a liar to my face! Oooh, that’s right, Ducking Donald, Mr. Bankrupt! You fraud! How do I know you’re a fraud? Well, number one, your being sued for fraud, and number two, you’ve contributed money to frauds your whole career. But, c’mon, Bankrupt Donald! Debate me one-on-one, call me a liar to my face. Look right in my eyes, and call me a liar. Don’t do it on Twitter. Do it in person, Bankrupt Donald!”
Chase the odious little senior citizen with the radioactive comb-over all the country. Don’t let him rest. Punch back, not with personal insults, but with substance and passion, and genuine anger. Debate me, you bankrupt little fraud! Ted knows what he sounds like when he’s really, really pissed off. I’ll be his wife Heidi does, too. Grab that emotion, that real, all-hands-on-deck emotion.
Grow a Beard!
First, beards are IN. Look at the Red Socks, fer cryin’ out loud. And, while it’s coming in, Ted, it will make you look menacing and on the verge of not giving a crap anymore about trivialities. Plus, it will give The Donald something to Twitter about other than you being “Lyin’ Ted”. His only focus is on externals, so this will draw you into his 24/7/365 media circus, where you can say, “Yeah, I’m growing a beard. So what? Donald Trump’s growing the government, and will cost 4 million jobs with his asinine plans for 35% import taxes and tariffs.”
Second, as a branding specialist for nearly 40 years, I can tell you, Ted, a beard will lengthen your face, and strengthen your chin-line. And, it will get you headlines –FREE headlines– for a couple of weeks.
Ask Paul Ryan.
And get P-O’ed. Really, really P-O’ed. I want you in my corner. I’m in yours…