Practical Theory - The Origin
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

He keeps the trains running on time

When I hear this phrase "He keeps the trains running on time" I can't help but think of that fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
In 1936 the American journalist George Seldes complained that when his fellow-countrymen returned home from holidays in Italy they seemed to cry in unison: 'Great is the Duce; the trains now run on time]' And no matter how often they were told about Fascist oppression, injustice and cruelty, they always said the same thing: 'But the trains run on time.' From "Rear Window: Making Italy Work: Did Mussolini really get the trains running on time" in The Independent
When I read the following on page 36 from "The House of Pain" in the March 4, 2103 issue of The New Yorker I was stunned:
"He's (Cantor) a fantastic Majority Leader," Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee and a close friend, said. "Eric keeps the trains running on time very efficiently."   
I had to laugh out loud at the stupidity of Ryan and how it reiterates that he and his ilk, the Republican Party just don't get it. Who in their right mind would use this reference in a positive way? At the very white Republican retreat at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va in mid-January Republicans were meeting to reorganize and to set a new path. They have a lot of work to do if their former VP candidate uses an allusion like this to speak of someone they consider one of their leaders. It is damning.

By using this allusion are we to compare Cantor to Mussolini? I hope not. But this certainly  confirms just how out of touch the Republican Party is. There are better allusions, Paul. Yikes!! The allusion to trains running on time is a lie, is a reference to a Fascist dictator, and is a horrible image to use as a compliment. The reference implies that in spite of everything being bad, at least he has the trains running on time. We know what happened to Italy and Mussolini. Is this how the Republican Party sees its future? Well, maybe they don't but many of us do. The problem is the Republican Party just doesn't get it, still.

BTW, Mussolini didn't get the trains to run on time. That was a lie that many believed as a truth. 

The Republican Party is a 


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