Trump & Matt Gaetz Think Americans are a Bunch of Frightened Little Bed-Wetters … I Say “No!”

By Ernest Kearney — Now reading this, don’t go assuming that I’m just a left-leaning GOP-basher of long standing. Once upon a time, shortly before the Chicxulub crater was formed, I aligned myself with the policies of the Grand Old Party.

This was back when there were creatures roaming the earth known as “moderate Republicans.” In Michigan, I was a fan of George Romney, Mitt’s dad, who —from 1963 to 1969— was the most popular governor in Michigan’s history, and this when it was a Democratic majority Union state.

In 1968 Romney was the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination and my choice. He probably would have taken it too, if not for a flub during an interview on Detroit’s The Lou Gordon Program. Romney, after returning from a factfinding trip to Southeast Asia, had announced that he no longer approved of President Johnson’s buildup of American troops in Vietnam or his escalation of that conflict.

Gordon, known as a bare-knuckle interviewer, asked Romney to explain his reasons for having supported the war earlier, and Romney off-handedly remarked, “I’d just had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get.”


That term was enough to cause people to start doubting him and ruin his campaign for the nomination.

(Times have changed, haven’t they?)

With Romney gone a new frontrunner for the nomination appeared: Richard Nixon. And like they say, the rest is – goddamn history.

Yes, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller, Romney and Bush, Sr. were “moderate” or “progressive Republicans” and they have gone the way of “candy cigarettes” and those little red strings in Band-Aid wrappers.

Today, I generally vote Democratic, but I am a firm adherent to the old German adage: “Politicians, the best of them deserve to burn in hell.”

I miss real Liberals like Pat Brown and real Conservatives like Barry Goldwater; politicians, yes, but patriots first, and men who stood for principles. For a long time now, I have dismissed Democrats as “gutless” and the GOP as “soulless.”

However, listening to four nights of the Republican National Convention I found myself constantly wondering, “When did the GOP become a party of brainless, frightened little bed-wetters?”

Well, I know when they became “brainless”: October 7, 1966. That was when media mogul Rupert Murdoch decided he’d rather have a cable-rating’s juggernaut than have a soul, and, thus, bemuted the world with Fox News.

It’s the “frightened little bed-wetters” business I’m curious about, because that is certainly the button Trump and his supporters are pushing like there was no tomorrow.

That Trump’s entire campaign strategy boils down to “the monster under your bed is a Godless Democrat with a socialist agenda” hit home for me on the first night of the Convention while listening to the congressman for Florida’s western Panhandle, Matt Gaetz.

With the build of a clean-shaven Ewok and the good looks of a frat boy with perfectly-plucked eyebrows, Gaetz was one of the three or four individuals taking part in the convention not related to Trump or dating one of his progeny.

Speaking to the television audience from the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in D.C., Gaetz came off like one of those grainy old black and white films from the ’50s; warning high school students about the dangers of sex and the threat of syphilis on toilet seats.

With vim and vigor, he exhorted the convention’s viewers as to the evils they could expect if Joe Biden and the Democrats took office: “They’ll disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your homes, and invite (the gang) MS-13 to live next door.”

At first, I thought he was recalling the plot of the last Purge film he saw, but then I realized — like a stocky Cassandra reciting a hodgepodge of highlights from the Book of Revelations and the Turner Diaries — he was actually claiming this is what would befall America under a Biden administration.

Personally, I’m still waiting for America to be destroyed by Obama’s stimulus package, his allowing gays in the military, those Affordable Care Act’s death panels and FEMA concentration camps, his permitting African Ebola victims to seek treatment in our hospitals and his using Dijon mustard while wearing a Marxist tan suit as he sold the last ounce of our uranium to the Russians. For eight years, Spam Hannity, Squawker Carlson and Fox News assured me America’s end was imminent.

Fear, real fear is bad. It makes people do horrible things like hang old women as witches, herd 120,000 American citizens into internment camps and electrocute an innocent mother of two along with her guilty husband.

But brainless fear is worst.

Let’s take a good look at Matt’s litany of woes should (Heaven forbid!) Biden get elected. So keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times and enjoy “adventures in Matt’s brain.”

They’ll disarm you

Republicans love to haul this one out. Republicans would clamor “They’re taking away our guns!” if a Democrat suggested restricting the sell of Davy Crockett tactical nuclear rifles to clinically diagnosed schizophrenics.

People who are fanatical about gun ownership argue that Americans need firearms for self-protection. Self-protection is the secret prize in their big box of Second Amendment Cracker-Jacks.

I understand this.

Frankly, I doubt very many of those gun owners are so stupid as to believe the “Evil Democrats” or the Federal Government is out to “disarm” them. And despite the fact he’s in Congress and from Florida, I even doubt Matt is stupid enough to actually believe this claim he making.

However let’s imagine Biden wins the election and the very next day decrees that the Nation’s law-abiding citizens are ordered to surrender all their weapons because the Federal Government is confiscating those nasty bangs-bangs.

Now here’s the eight-hundred pound Wayne LaPierre in the room: I don’t care who’s trying to trample on the Second Amendment — the Federal Government, White Aryan Resistance, Liberty Counsel or Ben and Jerry’s Militia — there’s one small hitch in this idea of anybody attempting to seize all the guns, which is that the people you plan to seize the guns from, have the GUNS!

Now yes, the United States has the world’s third largest standing armies; over 1.3 million men and women in uniform. The U.S. also has another 865,000 reserve troops, 35,000 FBI agents, and an estimated 21,575 CIA agents and operatives who could be drawn on to assist in impounding the country’s firearms. And for good measure Biden could also recruit the 497,000 Post Office employees as well giving the evil Feds a force of almost 2 million with which to employ against the poor gun owners.

Now be aware that according to the most recent Gallup poll 141,126,000 Americans own firearms, meaning that those “poor guns owners” would only outnumber the “evil Feds” by around 71 to 1.

Also Harvard and Northwestern University conducted a survey which found that, though most of those households have just one or two firearms about 14 percent or 7.7 million U.S. citizens own between 8 and 140 guns. Another interesting fact, while the United States accounts for only 5 percent of the world population it has half the guns on the planet.

This is what researchers and statisticians describe as “a butt-load of self-protection.”

Look, Americans gun owners can’t have it both ways; either possessing a firearm assures their self-protection and so they won’t tremble in their boots if a political sock puppet insinuates somebody is out to “disarm” them or having a firearm provides absolutely no self-protection whatsoever (even at the 71 to 1 odds) in which case you might as well hand your rifle over to Joe Biden before you blow your fool head off peering down the barrel to check if it’s loaded.

“Empty the prisons”

Gaetz also wants everyone to believe the Democrats intend to release all the murderers and rapists and serial jay-walkers back into the neighborhoods of America, is that it?

Again, why exactly would Democrats want to do this?

Don’t Democrats live in the same neighborhoods as Republicans?

Or is Matt suggesting Democrats would have some sort of immunity from these criminals?

Would all those newly released murderers and rapists pause before wrecking havoc to inquire of their next intended victim, “Sorry, real quick. Adoptions by same-sex couples, pro or con?”

Or in the neighborhoods where the prisons will be emptied, are the Democrats going to distinguish their homes from a Republican’s so the criminals know to pass over them?

I don’t know, exactly, how to do that.

Maybe the Democrats could dab their doors with a token of Mitch McConnell’s blood.
(Note: Mitch probably hasn’t enough blood to go around, but let’s give it a shot.)

Also there’s this point: The world’s 198 sovereign nations have approximately 9.8 million inmates confined in their prisons. With 2.3 million of her citizens behind bars, the United States (again with 5 percent of the world’s population) accounts for a quarter of this total, so maybe emptying the prisons just a teeny-weeny bit ain’t such a bad idea.

In 2016 the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s School of Law released a report by a team of statisticians, lawyers and criminologists, who had spent three years analyzing the country’s criminal codes as well as reviewing convictions and sentencing nationwide.

They found that nearly 25 percent of the Nation’s inmates were put there for non-violent drug offenses. That means there are some 364,000 Americans behind bars for whom it would be better — for them and society at large — if they were out of prison and in treatment.

You’d think that Matt — as one of the only two Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee who voted in 2019 to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and to reform marijuana laws — would be all for this.

The Brennan Center Study also found that another 14 percent of the Nation’s prison population — around 212,000 inmates convicted of more serious crimes — who have served most of their original sentences, would gain greater benefits if released and put into job training programs.

Now before the Republicans start to raise a ruckus about funding all of the training and treatment programs, the estimated savings for releasing these 576,000 convicts would amount to $20 billion dollars annually, or as Lauren-Brooke Eisen, (former Senior Counsel and Current Director of the Brennan Center) and Inimai Chettiar, (former Brennan Center Director) wrote in an article for Time magazine (2016), enough to “employ 270,000 new police officers, 360,000 probation officers, or 327,000 school teachers.”

Additionally, in 2005 the U.S. Department of Justice began a comprehensive study on prison recidivism involving 412,731 released inmates in 39 states. And in 2018, after abandoning the rehabilitation model, increasing deterrence, waging war on drugs, reinstating the death penalty, imposing mandatory sentencing guidelines, three strike laws and zero-tolerance what did the study show?

317,803 of the released prisoners wound up back in prison; a recidivism rate of 77 percent.

Now correct me if I’m wrong; but if after a visit to your dentist for a cleaning, 77 percent of the time your front teeth fell out, or after taking your car into the dealership for a tune-up while driving home 77 percent of the time your tires fell off, you might get the idea your dentist was a quack and your mechanic a moron and would start looking for someone better.

Well, I say after 20 years of hard-core Republican “law and order” a 77 percent recidivism rate spells out ‘Failure’ in neon lettering, ten-feet-high with the Radio City Rockettes high kicking on top of them.

Would Matt be opposed to just releasing those inmates remaining in prison on age-old charges of the possession of a single joint? I mean it would be nice if all prisoners had the advantage of some relative in high office — I don’t know — maybe like a state senator in the family who could get them off. But lacking this family connection a little common sense and justice would do the trick.

Lock you in your home”

Again, why would Democrats want to lock people in their homes? Do they see this as some sort of punishment? I mean, yeah, lock me in a Republican house that serves Trump steaks for dinner, had pictures all over of Reagan and Jesus bar-b-quing, and televisions perpetually blaring Fox News and I would pretty much lose it.

And if the Democrats emptied all the prisons wouldn’t locking the Republicans in their homes be a way of keeping them safe? And while the Republicans were all locked securely in their homes they could figure out a way their useless guns could be used to, better, protect them. (They could file down the barrels until they were real sharp and jab those nasty released convicts!)

Also, maybe Matt hasn’t been listening to the news much lately, or maybe he’s been listening to too much Fox, but somebody should tell him that the entire country has been kinda locked in their homes since, like, January 21, 2020 and the outbreak of Covid 19. (Break the news to him gently – but tell him not to drink the bleach!)
Now we come to my very-best favorite:

“Invite (the gang) MS-13 to live next door

Thank god Matt specified the (the gang)! Otherwise I might have gotten confused and thought he meant MST3K, the series. Here I would have been waiting around for Joel, Crow and Tom Servo to show up next door with all their fun and folly. Boy, wouldn’t I have felt stupid!

We will bypass the obligatory ‘why’ on this one and get right into the nuts of bolts of this supposed operation the Democrats have planned once they take over the government.

The first major snag in the devious plan of those devious Democrats is a matter of logistics and it’s a humdinger!

The latest census places the U.S. population at around 327,167,434 of which some 78 percent, or 253,768,092 Americans are 18-years-old or above and therefore of voting age; between 26 percent to 29 percent of those Americans identify themselves as Republicans.

Going with the higher percentage would mean between “sea to shining sea” you will find about 73,592,746 proud members of the Grand Old Party.

Now let’s say most Republicans achieved marital bliss with a like-minded soulmate, so that would constitute some 36,796,373 happy Republican households splattered across the nation.
But according to a recent Department of Justice study, in the United States, MS-13 (“the World’s Most Notorious Gang”) has only between 8,000 and 10,000 members, meaning the Republicans are all going to have to share. (Something. At which, the Republicans traditionally are not very apt.)

The same report, however, does estimate there are between “30,000 to 50,000 members and associate members of MS-13 worldwide.”

If we could, somehow, induce these international “homies” to immigrate to America, that would help slightly with the supply and demand equilibrium. Unfortunately, the majority of these international “vatos” live in El Salvador and if we tried to encourage them to relocate to the U.S. of A. they’d probably just snicker and smirk, “Yo’ cuz, it’d be way cool to get up with you and be all hangin’, but some wanksta cerote built this big ass wall we can’t get over. Sorry, bro’.”

So, stuck with only 10,000 MS-13 cholos would mean only one genuine rana available to move in next door to 36,793 Republican families!

But wait! Break that down into a statistical spreadsheet of time variables for intimidating 36,793 families! There’s only 31,536,000 seconds in a year; which means every MS-13 member would have a maximum slot of 14 hours in which to “live next door” to any Republican. Now subtract from that a minimum of eight hours for sleep, two hours for meal consumption, toss on, say, ninety minutes for attending to toiletries and nature’s necessities; that leaves barely three hours to assail Republicans by establishing a menacing presence in the house next to them and we haven’t even factored in the issue of transportation!

We’re talking an inventory management nightmare on par with the 1996 “Tickle Me Elmo” debacle!

Still, let us not lose hope. The Democrats are levelheaded sorts. Perhaps they’d be willing to consider a compromise? If instead of inviting “(the gang) MS-13 to live next door” to Republicans they might consider substituting some other subdivision of the population, a somewhat larger one?

Let’s say they “invite (the viewers) people who watched the finale episode of Game of Thrones to live next door.” I mean that would give us 19.3 million to work with, and trust me living next door to a GOT fanatic can be just as annoying as living next door to a gang-banger; (“They should remake the entire season, I mean please, six episodes?” “The Battle of Winterfell, uuuugggghhhh! They light it with candles?” “A few rocks fall down and its au revoir Cersei? I don’t think so, girl friend!”)

Listen, Matt, I get it. Claiming (the gang) MS-13 members would move in next door to folks was your way of trying to make a Democratic administration look frightening. You wanted to take the average voter’s image of Norman Rockwell’s America and shove in Freddy Kruger’s ass. But, dude, let’s face facts; it’s a no go.

Now regardless of what Trump claims and Fox News keeps broadcasting, violent crime is at an all time low in America, at least according to the FBI, and yeah that sucks for your side. But (and I’m just spit-balling) you could suggest that if the Democrats win they would force Republicans to move into those cities where the murder rates have actually increased by 25 percent and more. There are a few of them: Arlington, Texas, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Omaha, Nebraska. Fear-factor-wise, couldn’t that work for you?

And there is another problem you need to deal with. Sure, maybe, you could talk people into relocating next door to homes in great cities like New York or Seattle or Los Angeles; unfortunately those are all pretty much Democratic hotspots. But let’s be honest, no way are you getting “(the gang) MS-13” members or for that matter “(the viewers) GOT fanatics” to move into Republican strongholds like Arlington, Texas, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Omaha….

Wow…. You know, Matt, I begin to suspect that you just didn’t do your “homework” on this. Good luck with those “frightened little bed-wetters.”

(NOTE: Matt Gaetz Image / Drew Angerer/Getty Image)

Will Durant



Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at and Follow him on Facebook.

Latest comment
  • You shaddy B…!

    Thank you for your service!!

    Live from, El otra lado…


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