Ronald Rump-A Minor Roast

“Mr. Carroll, you have a perspective many of us would give our eye teeth for. Will you share it?”

“Happy to. When you are as proud as I am of knowing this wonderful family, well, it just ripples out…you know, I was there almost from the beginning.”

“Tell us about your time with the Rump dynasty.”

“Well, I missed Ronnie’s birth. Didn’t quite make that. I was born the next year. ’47. Those days, birthing was a woman’s domain…real men, men like my father and Howie Rump, just basked in the little woman’s pregnant glow, got well-oiled, paced, smoked, generally did their best to stay clear, at least until the Dam broke. It was the good old days when America was the best it could be. Ronnie talks about that now. Giving America its backbone…back, I guess you could say. Anyway, Howie and my dad tied one hell of a tiger on that day. Even with the celebration, my dad said Howie sobered up real quick, sent pop off to finalize the paperwork and they completed a mass eviction of the Holly Rose Tenement he’d recently bought by the time Ronnie was settled in the hospital nursery…”

“Amazing. Finish your thought…”

“Okay, so the day that Ronnie slipped out of Madeline’s womb and jumped on the Rump gravy train, they helped two hundred lazy, thoroughly undesirable families make way for what would be brand new housing for our heroic and worthy returning G.I’s. As you know, the Rumps have always gone all out for our Veterans.”

“What happened to those who were evicted?”

“Who cares? You? That simply wasn’t the purview of men like my dad and Howie Rump. I don’t want to sound cold-hearted but really, the lowest common denominator always settles somewhere. Like sand on the shore. You don’t have to worry about them. The Government was constantly building low-income housing, is constantly coddling people like that. Not that they know how to look after the homes they’re given.”

“Tell us about Ronnie growing up.”

“He was a tough little stinker. I bore a bit of the brunt of his fiery ways. Howie and Maddy had their hands full…that little hellion had a temper. Course, came by it honestly. As much as Howie wanted to have all his offspring as independent as they could be, if you didn’t pay Ronnie to do something, he’d dig his heels in, wrap his arms together across his test, scrunch up his face like he was saying, “whose gonna make me?” a look, I have to say, you can see in most of his debates, like he’s got the world by the tail and no one’s gonna chew his butt. As I said, a tough little stinker.”

“Yes, I’ve have seen that look. Is that why…?”

“Right you are. He plays it for all its worth. The people love it. You know why he’s gonna be President? He’s a straight shooter. Can’t help it. Always says what he thinks. Even if he ain’t thinking, that don’t stop him from saying it. Like that old movie said, “Appeal to their emotions. Make them laugh; make them cry; make them mad, even if they get mad at you. But for heaven’s sake, don’t try to improve their minds.”

“That’d be…?”

“All the Kings Men. And now, Ronnie’s poised to be the King. And no one will ever be able to accuse him of trying to improve any one’s mind. Am I right or am I right?”

“You’re so right, Mr. Carroll.”

30

This tale is my entry in FRIDAY FICTION with RONOVAN WRITES Prompt Challenge #13. The prompt asks the impossible, to take my favorite quote from a movie and use it as inspiration for my entry this week. I love movies. There are a billion quotes I love. But this week, following the incredible and ever so lengthy American Primary marathon, well, perhaps my tale is a bit obvious.  My selected quote is from the 1949 film version of All the King’s Men. Newsman and shill, Jack Burden,  offers an explanation to explain Willie Stark’s appeal. Stark is considered to be a fictionalized version of Huey Long, Governor of Louisiana and a man who had Presidential ambitions.