NBA all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote an astute critique of Donald Trump in The Washington Post this week. Abdul-Jabbar’s comments are plainly spoken, aspirational, and cognizant of an American aesthetic. It’s presidential material, actually.
So with Bernie Sanders rising in the polls, Trump already up there, and the more archetypal candidates struggling to maintain media coverage, why don’t we let go our notions of what a “proper” candidate looks like. What I’m saying is this: It’s time to let celebrities run things for a while. It’s the American thing to do.
We Americans invented celebrity and letting our famous people run the world is a natural extension of our exceptional brilliance. If the Bernie-Jabbar ticket managed to govern as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, and Al Franken, the nation could sail past the tepid waters of stay-the-course political drudgery.
Jabbar on our apparent love of Trump’s demagoguery:
“Americans may flirt with the preppy life of the frathouse partier because he’s poked sacred cows, said stuff we all wish we could say (except that reason keeps us from doing it), and acted buffoonishly entertaining. But when you wake up the next morning and he’s saying you’re now in a four-year relationship, reason comes rushing in, and it is time for the ‘it’s me, not you’ speech.”
Jabbar on political correctness:
“The term ‘political correctness’ is so general that to most people it simply means a discomfort with changing times and attitudes, an attack on the traditions of how we were raised. (It’s an emotional challenge every generation has had to go through.) What it really means is nothing more than sensitizing people to the fact that some old-fashioned words, attitudes, and actions may be harmful or insulting to others. Naturally, people are angry about that because it makes them feel stupid or mean when they really aren’t. But when times change, we need to change with them in areas that strengthen our society.
It’s no longer ‘politically correct’ to call African Americans ‘coloreds.’ Or to pat a woman on the butt at work and say, ‘Nice job, honey.’ Or to ask people their religion during a job interview. Or to deny a woman a job because she’s not attractive enough to you. Or to assume a person’s opinion is worth less because she is elderly. Or that physically challenged individuals shouldn’t have easy access to buildings. If you don’t have time for political correctness, you don’t have time to be the caretaker of our rights under the Constitution.”
Images courtesy of Getty.