By Bernard Kenny
My first memory of 5th Avenue is the candy bar that occupied the shelves of Nate’s soda fountain on West Side Ave in Jersey City back in my grammar school days at Saint Aloysius in the 1950s . So many candy bars to choose from and my friends and I knew them all !
Then, as a summer law firm intern, 5th Avenue of Manhattan; one of the most famous and elegant thoroughfares in the world, running from north to south, from Harlem to Greenwich Village, flanking Central Park on the East. So much grandeur !
Then, a few years ago, a new 5th Avenue, Donald Trump saying that he could “shoot somebody on 5th Avenue and not lose votes.” I think that was meant as a metaphor. Who knows?
But in any case, in his mind, “ 5th Avenue “ stands for the proposition that he can say or do anything and not suffer consequences with his base vote; comprised overwhelmingly of White voters.
So now, today , “5th Avenue” presents yet another in a long line of Trump bizzaro test cases: How much disrespect, disloyalty, dishonor will Trump’s voters tolerate? A lot, we know.
But this one tops them all and it is only eight weeks out from Election Day. It appears to have some serious legs as it moves from cycle to cycle . Trump and his cohort’s feverish, hysterical denials only prove the point. Afterall, remember John McCain. Remember McCain. How Trump hated McCain, a war hero.
We have sourced revelations stating Trump has called fallen American military men and women, in past and current wars, “losers”, “suckers”; that he passed on honoring the 1800 U.S. Marines, “losers”, at Belleau Wood Cemetery, in France, for fear of getting his hair wet; that he cannot fathom serving our country rather than avoiding service in stupid wars; that he wondered “I don’t get it. What’s in it for them?” as he looked over Lieutenant Robert Kelly’s and accompanying graves in the presence of the Lieutenant’s father, General John Kelly. What kind of man feels that way and says such a thing to a father?
I suspect Trump’s 5th Avenuers will not be swayed. It is far too late to turn back . Afterall, Trump is the avatar of the shadowlands they love to fear.
But there are Independents, “Lincoln” Republicans , and undecideds who will make the difference in insulating a huge popular vote for Biden from the built in advantage Trump has in the Electoral College. For this reason, such voters who do not travel “5th Avenue “ will save us from this nightmare in the battleground states.
There is also the military; usually a Republican bastion. Before this latest revealed indulgence of narcissism, that bastion was cracking. Biden was splitting it in the enlisted ranks. But now the brass is shifting.
In the fall of 1864 , Lincoln relieved thousands of Union soldiers from active duty so they could go home and vote.
They did and Lincoln won.
Bernard Kenny of Hoboken is the former senator from the 33rd District.