Terry Manning

No x-ray vision needed to see through GOP candidates


In the field of cinema, where the most respected practitioners are known for their visual flair — Kubrick, Spike Lee, Kurosawa, Hitchcock, Wes Anderson — director Quentin Tarantino is known for his ear for dialogue.

From interpreting the lyrics of Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” in his film Reservoir Dogs to a wristwatch’s odyssey in Pulp Fiction to the recounting of an encounter with a stranger told by Samuel L. Jackson’s Major Marquis Warren in “The Hateful Eight,” no other film creator captures the music of how people speak like Tarantino does.

A personal favorite is the speech given by Keith Carradine’s Bill in the 2004 action movie “Kill Bill: Vol. 2.” Here, Bill contrasts Superman with other superheroes:

“Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he’s Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man, and it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. … When Superman wakes up in the morning, he’s Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent.”

Bill continues, “What Kent wears; the glasses, the business suit, … that’s the costume. That’s the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. … And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent? He’s weak, he’s unsure of himself, he’s a coward. Clark Kent is Superman’s critique on the whole human race.”

It’s so well written you almost forgive how wrong Bill is. Even in Tarantino’s layered fictional realities, anyone should know no one looks down on humanity like the Republican Party. How could they demonstrate their contempt any more than they do with the lineup of grifters, dimwits, racists, misogynists, liars, traitors, petty crooks and homegrown terrorists they give their voters to support?

I’ll start with Herschel Walker, though he is hardly the most offensive candidate the GOP is promoting.

The traumatic brain disorder CTE cannot be confirmed until after death, but come on, there is something wrong with that poor man’s brain. Even if you look past his lies about his business acumen and charitable efforts, even if you look past his hypocritical none-for-thee, to-be-used-by-me abortion stance, you have to know that there’s something wrong with a guy who thinks commemorative badges he’s gotten from law agencies make him an actual officer of the law.

The Griot’s Michael Harriot had the best idea: “What if we just give (Walker) a badge that says, ‘Senator?’” That would be awesome. But no, they are determined to secure that Georgia Senate seat.

What did conservative commentator Dana Loesch say about Walker paying for abortions? “I don’t care if Herschel Walker paid to abort endangered baby eagles. I want control of the Senate.” So 40 years of pretending abortion is a big deal was just to draw conservative Christian voters and a top symbol of American freedom now is as disposable as an empty beer can? Wonder how “true patriots” feel about that latter part?

Then there are Republicans like Fox News’ Sean Hannity who celebrated Kanye West for wearing a White Lives Matter shirt and attacking Black Lives Matter (boy, the Fox News crowd really goes for Black guys with busted thinkbones, don’t they?) They seemed to care less about the actual message than the fact it irritated parts of the Black community. Some of stopped listening to Kanye years ago.

You have retired physician Mehmet Oz soothing a distressed woman at an event after she detailed how she lost family members to gun violence — without disclosing she was a paid staffer of his campaign for a Pennsylvania Senate seat. No matter how much she got paid, that was a cheap move.

The Brookings Institution tallies more than 300 Republican candidates who refuse to acknowledge the results of the last general election; most are expected to win next month, according to the Washington Post.

A fair number of these election-denying candidates are aiming to be in charge of their respective states’ election process, and I ask you, who thinks less of the general public than people who want to take away the majority’s right to have their votes count for something?

Republicans have basically given us Dick Tracy’s lineup of bad guys, a league of malformed malcontents ruled by evil mastermind The Turtle! (Sorry, I meant to type “Mitch McConnell”).

No, Clark Kent is not the way he is because of how Superman sees us; Clark Kent is the way he is because of how Superman sees us treat each other. How the weak are overlooked and usually ignored — until they can be groomed to serve the evil plans of the real villains.

Terry E. Manning is a Clemson graduate and worked for 20 years as a journalist. He can be reached at teemanning@gmail.com.

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