Republican Party

Size Matters

It’s really true—beyond the sexual innuendo.

In America we often claim that we are for the underdog, but the truth is we are almost always captivated by size. We expect the largest sumo wrestler to win the match, we admire the woman with the biggest fortune and we look up to the tallest person. We expect our teams to amass the most wins, we admire the man with the largest real estate holdings and we look up to the person with the most power—whatever his or her size may actually be.

Yes, size matters. And underlying all considerations of size is the sexual myth. It causes women to obtain breast augmentation and men to seek penile enlargement. Of course, they are both illusional and delusional. Neither has the desired impact of greater sexual satisfaction. But people pursue them anyway. And this passion for sexual prowess informs every other concern.

Indeed, size matters. Consider this past year and the Republican primary season. The GOP has demonstrated an outsized obsession with size. Because Donald Trump is the richest and, arguably, most famous of the candidates, he has consumed the most attention. He hasn’t had much to say. More accurately, he’s had a lot to say, buy it has not been positive, uplifting or enlightening. Nonetheless, an acquiescent media and captivated public have repeated and retweeted every Trump comment—the inane, the insulting and the occasionally innocuous.

Due to the size of Trump’s following, he has commanded center stage in every major debate.The Republican primary season, and by extension, the American public have been underserved by this infatuation with his size. Whatever concepts and policies might be floating around the Republican universe, they have gone unreported and unexamined. Instead, we have been reminded that size matters.

Marco Rubio bowed out of the race. That may not be much of a loss. For what was once thought to be a strength—his youth—turned out to be merely an arrested adolescence. Like many a young man he could not get past sex and when he was unable to elevate the political discourse he sank to a school yard taunt. Noting that Donald Trump has small hands for his height he said, “And you know what they say about guys with small hands.” Cue laughter—from everybody. It’s funny. Unfortunately it’s also infantile.

And yet, size does matter. We just need to get it right. So what if he has small hands. The size of any of Trumpelina’s appendages should be of no concern to the public. Hans Christian Andersen provided a happy ending for the little critter—in a far off land. Cue wisp of hope and sigh of relief.

There is, however, one area of deep concern. And that would, of course, be the size of Trump’s brain—sort of. To listen to Trump he would suggest that his brain is as big as an elephant’s. Sounds impressive. After all, an elephant brain is four times the size of ours. The only problem is that the elephant is not as intelligent as we are, nor does it possess the same cognitive capabilities.

Still, size matters. To avoid a long scientific exposé, let me truncate the work of Brazilian neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel. Our brains are smaller than those of elephants and our brains contain less neurons. How then, does size still matter? It matters when measured by numbers. Only the human brain contains 16 billion neurons packed into the cerebral cortex. But sustaining those neurons requires a phenomenal amount of energy. The secret to reasoning and contemplation lies in the fact that only human beings cook their food. This enables us to absorb more calories more quickly, freeing time for cognition, for art, for all types of intellectual pursuits.

It seems to me that one of two possibilities exist for explaining Donald Trump. First, his brain really is the size of an elephant’s—larger, heavier, having more overall neurons than ours, but with substantially less in the cerebral cortex. Or, he is eating too much raw food, thus rendering him incapable of substantial intellectual activity.

I suggest that between now and the Republican convention in July, someone should start cooking Donald’s food. Otherwise the delegates may nominate a primate with a substantially deficient cerebral cortex.

Then again, like his namesake, Trumpelina could just marry a flower-fairy prince and fly off to a far land and take up residence in an appropriately sized Trump Tower.
Comments

When Politcs Trumps Religion

People hold fast to many different sets of values, perhaps none more tenaciously than those of religion. That is one reason the First Amendment is first—it cements religious freedom in American life and politics.

I have explained in previous writings why Mormons are not Christian. I have also demonstrated that when it comes to elected office, it does not matter. The freedoms in the First Amendment are not just for Christians. All people are guaranteed the right to worship and believe as they choose. Even the freedom not to believe.

Of course the First Amendment cannot guarantee authenticity. Sadly, many religious people in modern America are misinformed, the values to which they cling are false, their subsequent choices counterfeit.

For example, the claim that Barack Obama is a Muslim, simply is not true, and no repetition can make it so. Obama was born and raised Christian. He lived for a period of time in Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim country. But he is today, as he has been all his life a Christian. That is fact. Still, there are fundamentalist Christians on the far right who will not vote for him because they errantly think he is a Muslim. And they will not vote for a non-Christian.

On the other hand, they do not apply the same principle (one which I reject) to Governor Romney. Romney is Mormon. That also is a fact. But since Mormons are not Christians, how can the far right vote for him?

I firmly believe that a person’s faith is not a measure of whether he or she is fit to be president. But for those poor, misguided souls who do think that way, Romney is not a viable candidate. Certainly not a viable alternative to Obama. This raises a deeper question. What is really going on here? Could it be that Obama is African-American and their minds are so small that they cannot tolerate a black man in the White House?

From before Obama took his oath of office, some leaders in the Republican Party decided that their primary goal would be to deny him a second term. As a result, they shouted a petrifying silence when Trump and other buffoons questioned if Obama was born in America. Equally deafening was their condemnation of those who claimed Obama was a Muslim. Two indisputable facts. And yet, these same leaders do not address the fact of Romney not being a Christian.

If far right Christians are to be faithful to their beliefs, they cannot vote for either candidate. That would, of course, be a loss to the democratic process. Then again, if people are ignorant enough to think that Obama was not born in the United States, or to believe that he is a Muslim; if they are ignorant of their own Christian theology and do not understand why Romney is not a Christian; if they do not realize that a person’s faith should not be a criterion for holding office; if they are mired in the mud of racism, then just maybe these people not voting, is not a loss to democracy after all.
Comments