Joe Wilkins Hits Another One Out of the Park

Joe Wilkens Hits Another One Out of the Park

 Aunt Tess and Becky size up the campaigns…     

"Never!" Aunt Tess said. "My mother would have washed their mouths out with soap, and it wouldn't have been sissy stuff like the Ivory. She would have used the Fels Napha!" Aunt Tess said when I asked if her brothers ever used what Donald Trump dismissed as locker-room talk. "And if my father ever heard them talk like that, they wouldn't have been able to sit down for a month."

 "Absolutely Disgusting," agreed Becky Gottlieb, her buddy. I had picked the two old dears up at the Assisted Living to take them out for lunch at the Tuckahoe Inn, one of their favorite restaurants. They were still steaming over the political campaigns and the second Presidential debate.

Aunt Tess, the youngest of 11 children in a family whose 9 older brothers separated her from her only sister, my mother, whose death left my father, my two sisters and I on our own  early in the War. All nine of her brothers signed up to fight the day after Pearl Harbor, leaving Aunt Tess as our babysitter until, at age 16, she lied about her age to join the Women's Army Corps. Women didn't see combat in those days, but she had the spirit for it. She wasn't the type to see herself as the victim of gender discrimination, and her later years as cash count manager for a Philadelphia Food Store chain and Secretary of her Teamsters Local left her with a love of a good fight. "But you still won't vote for Hillary, will you?"

 Becky let out a small chuckle at my bravado.

"The hell I won't" Aunt Tess snapped. "I don't like her, but this man is a pig! Every time they play that tape I feel like I need a hot shower!"

"You're going to vote for Hillary?" I was stunned. I keep my mouth shut when she gets her Irish up about something. Aunt Tess strong opinions, and never pulls her punches. But this shocked me.

Still, even our Republican Congressman Frank LoBiondo has jumped ship, although wasting his vote on a write-in shows a lack of conviction in his own announcement. Aunt Tess would sooner cut off her voting hand than throw away her vote like that.

Having been a partisan Democrat most of my life, I have to confess I feel a certain sympathy for my Republican friends. Many of them grew up in a world where they expected Democrats to be corrupt and controlled by party bosses while Republicans were expected to run the charities, fight for educating women – especially about birth control – and to follow President  Eisenhower's lead on enforcing the Supreme Court's ruling on Civil Rights in Brown vs Board of  Education.  Now they're stuck in a Republican Party that wants to defund Planned Parenthood's birth control programs, knuckles under to billionaire financial bosses like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson, and is eager to restore the Supreme Court that welcomed the corrupting influence of rivers of money in the infamous Citizens United case, and in which the favored charity is the nefarious Donald J. Trump Foundation.

These days the most stalwart members of the Grand Old Party who are trying to remain good Republicans are expected to march proudly in a parade of haters, loonies and fools they would not have shaken hands with in the days when the Republican Party meant a belief in good government, civility in politics, and unquestioned loyalty to the United States of America. But to stay a good Republican they are required to show loyalty in support of a man who openly admires Vladimer Putin, envies his dictatorial strength, and longs to hurl Hillary Clinton in jail.

Frank LoBiondo is right. It's high time to drop Donald Trump like a hot potato.

Editor's Note: Joe Wilkins is the author of three books, including "Kennedy's Recruit," "The Speaker Who Locked Up The House" and "The Skin Game And Other Atlantic City Capers." All are available on Amazon's Kindle. This article was reprinted with permission.