How can you tell when someone has a good sense of humor?
Worth asking, given the extreme polarization in America these days. After all, it’s hard to poke someone in the eye when you’re sharing a good laugh. Am I right? It’s easier to appreciate the jokes, of course, when you’re the one writing them. And for decades, liberals in New York and Hollywood have been creating most of the funny stuff the rest of us have consumed via movies and television.
That means more often than not the joke is on the “stupid” Republican, the “heartless” conservative, or the “antiquated” values of middle-America. But, heh, Americans are used to that. Our liberal media have spent these past several decades training us — at least those of us who do not self-identify as liberals — to laugh at ourselves and our values. All the while, American culture erodes in an unrelenting deluge of deprecation.
Want to try something really funny? … Turn the tables by getting the liberal establishment to laugh at, say, Harvey Weinstein … you’ll be making light of sexual harassment. Or the lunatic ravings of Hillary Clinton on her self-vindication tour … you’ll be a misogynist. Or the many glaring hypocrisies of Barack Obama … you’ll be a racist. Hmmm … so, how does one get around this conundrum?
Nearly thirty years ago, Rush Limbaugh began doing his part on national radio, lampooning the left’s sanctimony, snobbery and sacred cows. He did it with humor and irreverence — traits liberals thought they owned — and the left went bonkers. They despised and tried to destroy Limbaugh. But he has thrived because he speaks with sincerity to a vast audience that New York and Hollywood have taken for granted. And what is his secret trick, the one so obvious that liberals cannot see it? Limbaugh has never laughed at his core audience … only with them, and that’s why they’ll never poke him in the eye.
Something similar is playing out in our polarized politics. When President Trump mocks and ridicules the establishment, even irreverently, so long as he laughs with his base, not at them, they will not abandon him. After decades spent laughing happily at themselves, they take in Mr. Trump’s irreverence like a breath of fresh air. And this drives the liberal establishment crazy. They cannot get their heads around this phenomenon, because these comic geniuses remain oblivious to a key ingredient in good comedy.
How can you tell when people have a good sense of humor?
When they can laugh at themselves.