All Things in
Moderation . . .
. . . Southern Style
By Maria Johnson
After watching the debates this election season, there’s one thing I know.
In future debates, we need to throw out the network moderators and bring in a Southern mother.
Better yet, a Southern grandmother.
I’m talking about the kind of woman I’ve known and admired all of my life.
The kind who takes no guff and holds your feet to the fire.
The kind who has a firm grip on reality, her Bible and her cast-iron skillet.
The kind who — for all of her foibles — could reel in the candidates when they start trampling each other, and stop them cold when they try to walk all over her.
Here’s the kind of debate I wish I’d seen:
Southern Grandmother Moderator: Hello? Hello? Is this microphone on? It is? Well, all righty then. Hello, America. I’m your moderator, Mrs. R.L. Thompson of 324 Water Street, Landis, North Carolina, 28088. The candidates in tonight’s debate have agreed to follow the rules. My rules. This is my auditorium. I don’t care what other people do in their auditoriums. They can carry on and do whatever they want. But in my auditorium, we will show respect, and anyone who doesn’t will be asked to leave. Do y’all understand me? (Looks over her reading glasses at candidates HRC & DJT).
HRC & DJT: . . . (dead air) . . .
SGM: I said, do y’all understand me?
HRC & DJT: Yes.
SGM: Yes what?
HRC & DJT: Yes . . . ma’am?
SGM: Hmph. Those manners need some work. Too much time in
New York City, if you ask me. But we’ll talk about that later. OK. Here’s the first question. My bank is paying me nothing on my CDs, but Wall Street bankers are living high on the hog. Why is that? Senator Clinton, you go first.
HRC: Well, blahblahblah financial reform blahblahblah The Fed. . .
SGM: Well, that’s a whole lot of nuthin’. Your time is up. Mr. Trump, what about you?
HRC: Wait a minute . . .
SGM: No, you wait a minute. Go on, Mr. Trump.
DJT: When I’m President, interest rates are going to be so amazing blahblahblah the best, blahblahblah very, very good.
SGM: OK, I’ve heard enough. You have a pretty healthy opinion of yourself, don’t you?
DJT: You know why? Because I’m a winner, and . . .
SGM: Proverbs 16:18, Mr. Trump.
SGM: Proverbs 16:18. Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. So just hush and think on that a while.
DJT: But I . . .
SGM: What did I just say?
SGM: WHAT DID I JUST SAY?
DJT: You said . . .
SGM: I said HUSH, and that’s what I mean. Don’t make me say it again. Now, where was I? Y’all gonna worry me to death. Where’d those questions go? Oh, here they are. OK, Mr. Trump this one is for you. I understand that you said some ugly things about a young lady who won the Miss Universe pageant. Is that true?
DJT: She got fat, if that’s what you mean. She ate like a pig, and . . .
DJT: What the . . . ?
SGM: You go over to her house right now and apologize, and don’t come back here until you have. Run on, now. You have time. I’m fixin’ to talk to Senator Clinton a while (Turns to HRC): Honey, what were you thinking, keeping that computer in your basement?
HRC: Well, if you’re speaking about my private email server . . .
SGM: I’m not talking about the man in the moon’s . . .
HRC: Well, I was authorized to do that, and nothing was classified. . .
SGM: I see. Well, the head man at the FBI said some of those emails were classified. So which one of y’all is lying?
HRC: I’ve said that I made a mistake, and . . .
SGM: Mmmhmm. That’s what I thought. Y’all spend too much time on these computers anyway. Whole world’s looking down at a screen. Ruining their eyes, ruining their posture. I swanny. Now, let’s talk about him (Jabs thumb at Bill Clinton sitting in the front row.) Why do you want to stay with an ol’ tomcat like that? (Turning to Melania Trump). What’re you laughin’ at, Miss Tall? How much longer do you think your man is hanging around?
HRC: This is totally irrelevant. My husband is not running for office. We’ve had our difficulties, but he . . .
SGM: I wouldn’t give you two cents for him. (DJT reappears) Well, look who’s back. Did you tell her you were sorry?
DJT: (Rolls his eyes) Yeah, sure.
SGM: Look at me when I’m talking to you.
DJT: (Looking at her) Yeah, sure, I apologized. I walked over to her fat house, and knocked on her fat door, and when her fat mother came to the door, I said, “I’m sorry for calling your fat daughter fat.” OK? OK?
SGM: Cut me a switch.
DJT: What does that mean?
SGM: It means, I don’t care how old you are, I’m gonna wear you out like someone should have done a long time ago. (To HRC) Wipe that smirk off your face, Miss Priss. Go to your green room and don’t come out ’til I call you. And stay off that computer, you hear me?
HRC: Yes ma’am.
SGM: Lord have mercy. Y’all are the sorriest lot I’ve ever seen. OH
Maria Johnson held her nose and voted early. She hopes you did the same.