Erasing the Cartoon While Facing Another

Erasing the Cartoon While Facing Another July 28, 2016

Image credit: caricature by DonkeyHotey
Image credit: caricature by DonkeyHotey.

There have been an uncommon number of great speeches at the Democratic National Convention, as the Republican columnist David Brooks noted during the PBS/NPR coverage last night. It started on Monday, as Michelle Obama’s speech movingly and effectively condemned the kind of role model Trump would make without ever mentioning his name. Last night, her husband gave a passionate paean to the ever-growing embrace of equality in America and ended with a soaring tribute to the greatness of its people.

Donald Trump has accomplished something Democrats have been attempting for decades. The Dems are now the party of love of country and family values. I’m not going to list all of the best speeches, but one particular speech from another political spouse comes to mind.

During the Republican National Convention, the commentators were scratching their head at the almost complete lack of humanizing anecdotes, even from the many adult children who mounted the podium.

He wrote notes on his daughter’s report card? Wow, that gave me goose bumps. Trump encouraged his kids to work hard and succeed. Awww. Sadly, there were no stories of the Donald not kicking puppies. Trump refrained from hinting that he would fuck Ivanka if weren’t his daughter, though he did give her a creepy pat on the butt. Ewww. Now that’s a bit too much family togetherness.

For the Democrats, their challenge is to breathe life into a notoriously reticent woman who was actually accused of being in league with the devil at the RNC. The Dems were not about to make the same mistake.

There have been a parade of people telling personal stories of how Hillary has touched people–quite literally in the case of a man with a rare form of dwarfism she first met when he was a boy during her fight for healthcare reform. Years later, she remembered that he wore a back brace then, patting him on the back and remarking approvingly that the brace was gone.

Trump famously mocked a disabled reporter. What a fucking asshole.

But the main character witness was of course the previous President Clinton, her husband of over forty years. Some people have objected to the intimate portrait Bill painted. And of course the first thing people think is, if you were so in love with Hillary, why have you repeatedly cheated on her?

Yet people are complicated, and it’s completely possible that Bill could be an inveterate horndog and still love and respect his wife. He called Hillary his best friend, and I believe him in that. The autobiographical sections of Bill’s speech were the most effective and affecting. But after listing all the things Hillary has done to affect positive and progressive change over the years, he ended by saying this is the real Hillary, not the cartoon she’s been painted to be.

Ironically, it’s Hillary who is running against a walking cartoon, one who continually grabs the paint brush, as Warner Bros characters are want to do. As speaker after speaker has said at the DNC, Hillary is the most qualified presidential candidate ever. I would add that her opponent is the least. And the worst-suited temperamentally…by a long shot.

Trump is even worse than Richard Nixon, from whom he’s cadging his campaign’s theme. At least Tricky Dick was a devotee of realpolitik. Trump follows the philosophy of realitytvik.

Tonight, Hillary Clinton will give the most important speech of her life. No matter what reservations you may have about her, I believe the US faces an existential threat in man who rejects basic standards of decency and even advocates violating the law. A man who promised to violate the Geneva Convention and invited a foreign adversary to engage in illegal cyberspying against his opponent.

It’s as if Dr. Evil threw his hat in the ring.

Secretary Clinton will lay out the case why the American people, as Bernie Sanders said, MUST elect her president. And tell Donald Trump, as he so enjoys saying, you’re fired.

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