What’s Down With Republican’s Fear of Basements?

What’s Down With Republican Fear of Basements?

Update, Dec. 5:  Trump has set up an impeachment spin factory in a bunker beneath the Oval Office, with Tony Sayegh and Fox contributor Pam Bondi of Florida.  I suspect it might be in the basement, in which case it is a “basement-bunker”, but they were careful not to use this incriminating terminology.

Update, Dec. 3:  Today, the White House Press Secretary, Stephanie Grisham, gave the Official Response to the House Intelligence Committee Report to the Judiciary Committee on the Possible Impeachment of the United States President Trump.  She said that the document “reads like the ramblings of a basement blogger straining to prove something when there is evidence of nothing”.  Besides answering none of the factual evidence or witnesses of the 300 page report, most of the statement is an insult to the Committee and the witnesses who led to the report.  But a “basement blogger” elevates the basement concept to the highest level of importance in the most serious government responses to the most serious action possible to a President, Impeachment.  This will go down in history alongside “Fourscore and seven years ago”, “I am Not a Crook”, and other great historical Presidential Memorabilia.  I am so glad that I was an early realizer of the importance of the “basement” adjective and insult in the Trump Presidency.

I have never lived in a house or apartment with a basement, so I am befuddled when Trump keeps pointing out that Hillary’s server was in the basement.  Now, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) keeps referring to the first non-public impeachment hearings which were in what he calls the “basement-bunker”.  Both of these basement references are apparently supposed to give those actions a very, very sinister slant.

I have found five associations that could cause people to be afraid of basements, usually instilled when they were children.

  1. Basements, I imagine, could be dark from poor lighting, damp from seepage, entered into by very steep, hard, and dangerous stairs, especially for children, filled with old junk which could be a hazard, and maybe having spiders.
  2. In Southern, Southeastern, and Middle states, there are tornadoes.  Basements there serve as hurricane shelters, and the association of fear from hurricanes could be transferred to fear of basements. 
  3. In horror films, the labs or lairs of the evil villain or crazy scientist are in the basement.  That is the appropriate place to hide secret and evil things.  I am too frightened to watch horror films, although basements even creep into comedies like Ghost Busters films.
  4. In times of yore, the dungeons were in the basement.
  5. I was informed that during the Cuban Missile Crisis, that basements were considered to be bomb shelters.  Now, that was a scary time.

I am concerned about this perception and fear of basements from a professional interest.  Physicists prefer basement labs for a number of reasons.

  1. You can put large and heavy equipment in them.
  2. The basement environment is largely free of the vibrations that affect higher floors.
  3. With no windows, it is easier to control the temperature.
  4. They are out of the way of students, staff, and other faculty, and free of incursions that could change the environment.

Of course, the great fear that I have, is if Republicans are ever informed that many physics labs are in basements, their fear of evil, crazy scientists in basements will influence their funding.  (I’m kidding, of course.)

Clearly, private hearings should be held in the less public areas of the US Congress.  US Congresspersons have the privilege of having their own email servers, and some may put them in basements, just for space reasons, or to keep them away from public monitoring or interference.  The  President still has his unnamed secret server vault of top secret material, into which his phone calls were now incorrectly filed.  I’ll bet that secret server is not sitting in a public hallway or on the tourist circuit, but is in a locked room in a secured basement.

I hope that any people who have fear of or evil connotations about basements, will be helped to overcome their fears by reading this article.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
This entry was posted in 2016 Election, 2020 Election, 2020 Primaries, Congressional Investigation, Donald Trump, Humor, Impeachment. Bookmark the permalink.

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