Bella, January 2019

Pandering to the base

Jeffrey Denny

The mainstream media elites believe, stronger than religion, that President Donald J. Trump is a hating hater.

The fake news media accuses Trump of pandering to his base by shutting down government, which Trump’s base hates, to build a wall to keep out brown refugees fleeing certain death and seeking a better life, people who Trump’s base also hates.

But Rachel Maddow and her socialist media have Trump all wrong. He’s actually a classic hero beloved by his loyalists because he is loyal to them. Trump dances with the ones who brung him, licking the hands that feed him, knowing which side his bread is buttered on.

Criticize Trump if angry stupid socialist liberals must, but who among us doesn’t need to pander to our base? For instance:


If we know or remember nothing else from all the relationship tips, counseling, gut sense, eye-rolling, tone of voice, experience and divorce takeaways, the fail-safe fallback is this: “Whatever makes you happy, dearest.”


You’ll do anything for them as they’ll do anything for you.

That includes picking at old wounds, in-law disdain, passing snotty judgement on child-rearing, passive-aggression, aggressive-aggression, leaving holiday dinners in a huff over Trump or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, dealing with impossible people who have Major Issues, or complaining about who does more for mom.

Sometimes touchy family stuff also comes up.

Some family members like me will show we care by staying away. As the 20th century poet laureate George Burns said, “Happiness is having a large, caring, close-knit family in another city.”


C’mon — who among us doesn’t suck up to cats? And set the bar pretty low for what cats need to deliver in return, e.g., waking up and liking to be petted? Pretty good deal for the cats.


Parents negotiating with their 5–10 year olds to stop screaming, throwing food, banging things and running around in fine restaurants understand who’s got the power and pander accordingly.


He signs your paychecks in spite of your chronic tardiness and documented incompetence because you spied him doing Kevin Spacey stuff to the new stocking clerk. But you can ride your leverage only so long before you have to suck up again.

Wait staff

Your server may have disgusting lip piercings that kill your appetite or distract you wondering how she gets past TSA or flosses without getting tangled in all that body jewelry or whatever they call it.

She might even make her presentation of tonight’s special impossible to understand. For example, when she says, “Buh fahhfull mah gugg kah ufh ugglah faahfhal hamigum furlful,” it sounds like she’s saying, “postnatal veal stuffed with non-locavore GMO cruelly harvested shark fin and foie gras on an aged bed of E. coli romaine with extra lactose, peanut dust, gluten and bad carbs.”

You don’t prefer any of this, but you order the special anyway. Otherwise your server will say something snarky to the sous chef so he leaves your food sit for 20 minutes under the heat lamp until congealed into a sticky, oleaginous blob.

Just to make sure everything’s copacetic for next time because the place is nearby and you like the warm yet funky atmosphere, you tip the server 30+ percent.

Whole Foods cashier

If you’re fortunate enough to afford a rotting $20 organic avocado so Jeff Bezos can make alimony, you bow with due respect to the racially, socially and culturally woke, tatted and Caucasian Sarah Lawrence grad in $250 salon rasta dreads.

You’re pleased, even proud that your Whole Foods cashier sneering at your definitively un-woke triggering food choices is a “Gryphon.” This is the nickname for Sarah Lawrence students and a word only undergrads at such private, exclusive $100,000/year colleges would know is for a legendary bird lion creature from classic ancient Greek and Roman texts.

It’s even better that your Whole Foods cashier majored in gender and sexuality studies with a minor in anthropology, “focusing on phenomenological accounts of particular ‘lifeworlds’ in order to understand — and convey to others — the nuances and underpinnings of such worlds in terms that more orthodox social or symbolic analyses cannot achieve.” (I am not making this up.)

You suck up to the Whole Foods cashier because for psychological reasons you need the approval of the much younger but superior gender-neutral “zie.”

Compared to zie, you are criminally wrong, stupid, regressive, horrible, selfish, a virulent pox on the planet who should die soonest to save Earth and multiculturalism.

Plus, zie is funding your Social Security that zie will never get.

U.S. Internal Revenue Service

I’ll do whatever the IRS wants. I’ll bend over backwards even if it hurts my lumbago and I can’t write off the luxury resort spa treatments to recover from thereof, at least not entirely.

Same pandering goes for Wells Fargo that owns my house, CareFirst BlueShield that on a whim can decide whether to charge me a $10 or $10,000 copay for Advil or luxury resort spa treatments, and my gum surgeon who can choose whether to go with the brass- or platinum-level anesthesiology when he carves a giant sashimi from the roof of my mouth to sew over my deadly gum recession.

Even more pandering goes for my auto mechanic who might advise that the flanges on my left rear reciprocator urgently need oscillating, estimated total cost of $3,529, roughly what the aging Camry is worth to an Uber driver fresh from careening around the Burkina Faso capital of Ouagadougou.

We’ve all got our bases to pander to.

But it can’t be easy for Trump, a Manhattan real estate billionaire, the classic Master of the Universe and veritable titan bestriding the planet — nay, Atlas shrugging the Earth — to kowtow to a base that’s fearful of tired poor huddled immigrants, even if his base is not affected personally or whatsoever.

Whatever. Base is base.

Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer

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