Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dee

Kennedy Nixon and Trump

Watergate never smelled quite right to me. Perhaps it was the fact that having briefly been a volunteer in Bobby Kennedy’s presidential campaign I’d gotten a glimmer at how the media coddled its favorites, or that one of my law school professors, then an up and coming liberal leader in the Democratic Party who eventually became governor of New York, again and again and again, shared some perhaps too honest observations concerning the burgeoning scandal. But it was impossible for me to understand what had happened, at least in a historical context. Richard Nixon had done nothing his predecessor hadn’t done, or his predecessors going back perhaps to the beginning of the Republic. But perhaps it meant a clean break with past indiscretions and that would have been very positive.

Of course, silly me, that was clearly not to be. Now I understand it was never meant to. It was just the flexing of power by those that really wield it, the informal cabal that rules us like puppeteers rule marionettes. A lesson well-learned after that. Till now it seems. Silly, silly me.

Poor Mr. Trump. Unlike his cynical predecessors, he believes in the system that doesn’t exist and the system that does exist is not pleased, not pleased at all. Damn amateurs! Learn the damned rules before you get into the game.

Poor Mr. Trump; at first glance one might assume he’d get on well with the cabal but that would be a very erroneous, a very superficial assumption, and we know what assuming leads to, Felix Unger let us in on the secret sigils long ago. Odd couple indeed. Right Oscar?

Poor, poor Mr. Trump. Befuddled because absolutely nothing he does turns out to be perceived as right by those who tell us what to think and what to perceive, the ones who are charged with assuring that we’ll behave just as the cabal would want us to.

It’s a game with lots of rules, the first one being, don’t get elected if we don’t want you to. Take the bribe and then the dive. Eight, nine, ten, … he’s out!! That was clearly what he was supposed to do. Just like Nixon. Ooops!! But we know how that turned out, and now the system’s tried and true.

Voters? What do they know? What do we care? Roll the cameras, stop the presses, tune into your nightly news. Damned Internet, we’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog too. Algorithms to the rescue and right on cue, to the back of the line you go, ho-ho.

The “Sounds of Silence”, what an apt tune, the anthem of the once and future media: a tree falls in an empty forest and no one hears, unless we tell them to. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, …. Mr. Trump you’re about to go. Go quietly like tricky Dick or like so many others that didn’t get the hint, it’s suicide for you.

…. How sad, but understandable, he just couldn’t stand the heat.

Tweedle dumb and tweedle dee, remember John F. Kennedy?

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen). Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at or and much of his writing is available through his blog at

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