CARL PALADINO'S POLITICAL OBITUARY
This is Carl Paladino’s political obituary.
His career died of mad fool disease, from which it had long suffered.
The final bout came before the holiday, in a year-end article by the Buffalo publication ArtVoice. Asked innocuously to make some predictions for 2017 – as were several other local luminaries – Paladino’s responses show an inexcusable lack of character.
“Obama catches mad cow disease after being caught having relations with a Herford,” Paladino wrote. “He dies before his trial and is buried in a cow pasture next to Valerie Jarret, who died weeks prior, after being convicted of sedition and treason, when a Jihady cell mate mistook her for being a nice person and decapitated her.”
Then Paladino addresses the first lady.
“I’d like her to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.”
Asked if the quotes were his, Paladino confirmed them and defended them. He said his statements were “old-style” humor.
They, of course, were not. They were timeless crudity. They were loathsome in every syllable, and wrong in every way.
And I don’t say that in jerk-knee liberalism or political correctness. I am not some media goon lining up to do the progressives’ dirty work. I am a conservative who has been on the Trump train since the morning of Iowa. I am also a person who has said a stupid thing myself a time or two.
I have been over the years a general supporter of Carl Paladino. I introduced him and was a fellow speaker with him at the annual meeting of the Onondaga County Conservative Party. We have been stalwarts against the New York SAFE Act. And when his Republican gubernatorial campaign was coming off the rails, the state party asked late Assemblyman Bill Nojay and me to write a speech to reset his effort and redirect his campaign. Paladino didn’t use the submissions from either of us, and went down in flames.
And this time he deserves to stay down.
There are several reasons why
First, the snide and bitter nature of his remarks show a fundamental lack of maturity and decency. Barack Obama – arguably the weakest president since the 1800s – is leaving office in less than a month. The gentleman’s administration is done, and it is being replaced by one which will be more to the liking of Carl Paladino. In that situation, a decent person does not throw stones, a decent person merely looks forward and ignores what is soon to be the past.
But Carl Paladino chooses to mock Barack Obama in a ridiculous fashion.
Then he wishes a living person dead.
People don’t do that.
Decent people wish everyone well, and hope for good health and long life for all. Hoping for or joking about the death of a human being is on the south side of low class.
And yet, Carl Paladino does exactly that in the case of both the president and his counselor. She he laughingly predicts will be beheaded in a terrorist attack.
How screwed up is that?
And then Carl Paladino opens up on the president’s wife.
I am not a fan of Michelle Obama. Her recent Oprah interview, her ruining of school lunches, her long-ago quote about finally being proud of America – all of this turns my stomach. But she is only peripherally a public figure. It is her husband, not she, who is the public official. She is family. And decent people don’t make fun of one another’s families.
Especially in such a ruthless way.
Carl Paladino attacks her gender, femininity and attractiveness. He says that she used to be a man, and will go back to being one. He strips her of her womanhood, and, consequently, her identity. Where I’m from, if you say something like that, you’re apt to get knocked on your ass. Without regard to transgenderism, to say that a woman looks like a man is cruel and hurtful. It attacks at a deeply personal level, at a level which can only be intended to cause personal pain.
But he was just getting started on her.
He then said she should be “let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe.” Two points on that. First, animals and prisoners – and slaves – are “let loose,” and Michelle Obama is neither an animal nor a prisoner. And she is certainly not a slave. Second, and astoundingly, the Zimbabwe reference sounds an awful lot like “send them back to Africa,” which has been bounced around since the late 1700s. For more than 200 years it has meant that black people are somehow not American and don’t “belong” here.
But he found something even more offensive to say.
He said that she should live in a cave with a gorilla.
Does that mean that Carl Paladino thinks Michelle Obama is a gorilla? Does he think she will be married to a monkey in Africa? Is he saying that her spouse is an ape? Is he saying that either she specifically or black people in general look like gorillas?
Those are all questions students in the black-majority Buffalo City School District shouldn’t have to ask.
And this entire mess is a stake through the heart of Carl Paladino’s public career. For what it is, and for what it is a culmination of. In these two paragraphs of cruelty he offers offense of almost every conceivable kind.
And he shows himself to be a scoundrel.
He must leave the school board, and he must henceforth have no role whatsoever in the Republican Party, the Conservative Party or, most importantly, the Trump Administration. His days of buying prominence with his money and his brashness have come to an end. He has proven himself to be the joke his critics long said he was.
And he has proven himself to be a hypocrite when it comes to the conservative principles he mouthed. No man can believe in this nation and its founding documents and principles if he does not embrace the fundamental proposition of the Republic – that all men are created equal. Neither can any true American do other than embrace the Christian injunction to “love your neighbor.”
In these two paragraphs, there is neither love nor equality, and there is much cruelty.
Would he want the Obama children to see those words? Would he want his own grandchildren to see his words?
Of course not.
Can Carl Paladino’s political career go forward?
Of course not.
He should apologize, and disappear.
- by Bob Lonsberry © 2016