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Burt Prelutsky / Sep. 23, 2019

Identity Politics Is Nothing New

Because the Democrats these days base their own political identity as well as every election on pandering to this group or that group, depending on whether the targeted majority happen to be blacks, Latinos, Muslims, gays, lesbians, college students, union members or suburban housewives, you might get the idea that Rahm Emanuel or David Axelrod cooked up identity politics for Barack Obama.

Because the Democrats these days base their own political identity as well as every election on pandering to this group or that group, depending on whether the targeted majority happen to be blacks, Latinos, Muslims, gays, lesbians, college students, union members or suburban housewives, you might get the idea that Rahm Emanuel or David Axelrod cooked up identity politics for Barack Obama.

One can see where you’d get that idea since it was clearly Obama’s intention to divide the American people every which way he could, whether it was by race, religion, gender, age, wealth, national origin or even their attitude when it came to the Second Amendment.

But the truth is, the courts have been engaging in identity politics for a very long time. They do it by deciding that congressional districts be carved up in such a way that black and Hispanic politicians can be assured they’ll have “safe districts,” for fear that they’d have no chance of being elected by the general public.

That, in my opinion, is as un-American as you can get. The notion that a black candidate can’t win an election unless 95% of his constituents are of the same race is antithetical to the notion that we are all Americans. I, personally, would never vote for a Democrat, but I certainly wouldn’t have a problem voting for a black or Latino Republican if I ever had the opportunity to do so.

It is this gerrymandering on the basis of race that has led to so many minority politicians being the most bigoted members of Congress.

Even the fact that the House encourages the formation of separate black and Latino caucuses argues against the idea of America’s being a melting pot that takes people from every part of the world and cooks them in a crockpot that contains the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and nearly 250 years of history which, aside from the occasional glitch, has been a model for all the other nations of the world. In the end, you don’t have a Hungarian-American or a Japanese-American of a Guatemalan-American. Ideally, the hyphen has been left in the pot and what you have is a proud and patriotic American.

Instead, what the Democrats, with their separatist policies, have cooked up isn’t a stew, but a smorgasbord. And for dessert, a bowl full of undigestible hyphens.

I understand that Montgomery County, Maryland, is a very pricey place to live. But if I was in the real estate business, I’d consider setting up shop somewhere else. Maybe even Chicago or Detroit.

It’s bad enough that in the past month six children have been raped by illegal aliens who have settled in the sanctuary County, but now, no doubt to avoid embarrassing the offspring of the recent arrivals, the local school board has introduced a new policy.

Henceforth, schoolteachers will not be permitted to give a student a zero even if he doesn’t turn in an assignment or manages to get every answer wrong on a test. Instead, he will receive a score of 50%.

No doubt that will boost his self-esteem, even if it means that upon graduation, assuming he’s shuffled all the way through high school, which is fairly typical these days, the only job he’ll be able to get is peddling drugs.

I suppose since the students know the truth, the point of the 50% is to convince his or her parents that the schools are at least doing a half-decent job of teaching their offspring.

So, using their scoring system, I trust you’ll catch my drift when I call the members of the Montgomery school board half-wits.

It is becoming harder and harder for me to picture any of the current contenders for the Democratic nomination arriving at the convention with the requisite number of delegates to become their party’s standard bearer, which makes my earlier suspicion that in case of a brokered convention, Michelle Obama will step forward as the great uniter.

When I first floated that possibility, I found it rather terrifying. But the more I’ve thought about it, the less scary I find it.

The media keeps telling us that the Obamas are among the most popular people in America. But like most of the things the media tells us, I don’t believe it. What’s to like? She told us that she’d never been proud of America until the evening that her husband was nominated. He told us he’d unite America and that we could keep our doctors if we wanted to. He was lying, she wasn’t.

Frankly, I can’t think of two more despicable people than the Obamas.

And, frankly, I don’t think I am alone. In fact, I don’t think either Obama could win a presidential election. And certainly not against Trump.

In response to a recent article in which I disclosed some inside Hollywood stuff, Maralyn Polak engaged me in a few exchanges. Assuming others might be interested, I will share a few tidbits, mainly related to the height of actors.

Although Alan Ladd was the butt of short jokes for years, generally related to the fact that during love scenes, he either had to stand on a box or his leading lady had to stand in a trench, but he wasn’t that much shorter than others, including Humphrey Bogart.

In fact, Warner’s had to take pains to shoot scenes in “Casablanca” so that Bogart appeared to be taller than Ingrid Bergman.

Ms. Polak then asked whether Paul Newman was also short. “He was,” I replied, “as is Robert Redford. But Newman was a jerk about it. When he was signed to star in "Sometimes a Great Notion,” the director wanted to pair him up with my friend George Kennedy, but Newman nixed it. Partly, I always suspected, because George had won the Supporting Actor Oscar for “Cool Hand Luke,” whereas Newman had to settle for a Best Actor nomination. But, mainly, because George was about 6'3" and it made Newman uncomfortable to be towered over. Instead, Richard Jaeckel, who was even shorter than Newman, got the part. This time, Jaeckel was nominated, Newman wasn’t.“

Sometimes, though, this height nonsense took other forms. For instance, when they starred in "The Glass Key,” Alan Ladd, Brian Donlevy and Veronica Lake, were three of the shortest people in the movies. But even in the scenes between just the two men, they both wore hats. Moreover, they wore them with the brims tilted way up so that they would look taller. And so they did, unless you happened to notice that nobody had ever worn a hat that weird way and that the brim was a good four inches above the top of their heads.

When my friend Mike D'Addio submitted “schadenfreude,” claiming it was one of his favorite-sounding words, I didn’t exactly suggest his pants were on fire, but I did let him know I couldn’t help wondering if he was pulling my leg clear out of its socket.

I told him that I found it hard to believe that anyone seriously considered a 13-letter German word meaning spitefulness or, literally, “malicious joy,” one of the most beautiful words in any language. “Maybe I just don’t get around enough, Mike, but I have never once heard anyone say, ‘I don’t know what it is, but I just love to hear people speaking German. It’s like music to my ears.’”

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