Saturday, July 30, 2016

And Then, Democracy Died

My latest newspaper column (they're giving me one a week now):
I’ve watched many presidential conventions, and have viewed images from before my time. Never have I seen the name of the nominee emblazoned in fifteen-foot letters above the stage. Always there’s been at least the pretense that conventions were about ideas, “democracy” in action. In Cleveland it wasn’t “Yes we can,” it was “Yes YOU will.” The same Foxified people who spent eight years imagining President Obama is a dictator gave themselves over like cats in heat to a con man who promises to be exactly that. I’d call it irony, but the word isn’t in their lexicon. Besides, to everyone else, it’s obvious. 
Without irony, Donald TRUMP promised to end crime and insecurity on day one. Yes, he did. “Yes,” sang the choir. “You will.” (There’s only one way that could happen, of course: change the definitions. And why not? He changed the definition of “factual” months ago.) Without irony, the man who made his fortune by scamming others and by not living up to contracts calls his opponent “crooked.” Without irony, the man who’s gone bankrupt multiple times asks to manage our economy. And without irony, the same people who scream about Obama’s budget deficits (far lower than Bush’s) would elect a man whose economic plans, as judged by impartial economic analyses, would add tens of trillions to the debt, hugely more than Hillary Clinton’s. In what world does this make sense? 
In the one, I guess, where there’s no climate change; the one in which tobacco doesn’t cause cancer (says TRUMP’s veep), and the one in which coal is “clean energy” (per the platform coughed up in Cleveland). The one where the best approach to ISIS is to “bomb the s#!t out of them” and kill their children, and in which demonizing all Muslims is the way to guarantee their help in the fight against terrorism. It makes sense in a world in which it’s normal when the candidate of a formerly great political party calls for cyber-attacks on his opponents by a foreign adversary; when his businesses are evidently beholden to Russian financiers, and when he practically invites Russia to invade NATO countries. In a world in which it’s fine that Putin and other tyrants are his idea of “strong leadership.” In one where the hopeful rhetoric of Barack Obama could transition to the vile tweets of an incoherent bully. Lovely world, that. 
Confident his supporters wouldn’t care, Donald TRUMP told at least twenty-one documented lies in his acceptance speech: about taxes, crime, immigration, and, of course, Hillary Clinton. His rapt audience loved every one of them. 
Recalling history, this is how it begins. First come preemptive efforts to discredit anyone who might call out their falsehoods: the media. Intellectuals. Experts. Then come the lies: enemies are everywhere, aiming to destroy the country from within. Immigrants. Muslims. Mexicans. Liberals. Jews. Gays. Stoking flames with their bellows, they warn of imminent annihilation. “Be afraid,” scream their rudy(!)-faced minions. Only then, having suppressed resistance by fear and mockery, do they, self-anointed saviors, mount stages festooned with idolatry, asserting, to grateful acclamation, their singular ability to save us. “I alone can fix it,” they declare. “Yes, oh yes,” beseech the affrighted believers. “Save us from those monstrous things of which you speak.” (The only thing I have to fear is lack of fear itself, smirks the despot.) 
When not inciting existential terror, the RNC was a primal hate-fest. Bereft of positive ideas, it became a nonstop attack on the opposition, and the audience, uninterested in policy, gobbled it down. Calls for shooting or hanging Hillary Clinton were met with delirious approbation by an enraged mob. The shouts of “Lock her up, lock her up,” called to mind the savage children of Lord of the Flies. By the book, the one of his idol, the megalomaniac accomplished his mission, rationality vanquished. “I alone can fix it,” said he, and those in attendance thrilled in gratitude. “I alone,” he beamed below the fifteen-foot letters. “I alone will save you from the not-you.” 
There, at the hands of Donald TRUMP’s enraptured disciples, democracy died. And then, deaf to lies and dumb with fear, they danced on its grave.
[I don't remember the image source. But it was everywhere.]


  1. Funny how the party who at every opportunity compares Obama to Nazi's, Forrest/trees, well you get the idea.
    Goebels in Hell is moving to sue for copyright infringement.

  2. Great writing, Sid. I especially like "... scream their rudy(!)-faced minions." Giuliani's over-the-top, hateful tirade was utterly outclassed by the energy and message of Reverend Barber, who left his audience energized with love.

    I read this online first and just opened the Herald a few minutes ago. I was delighted to see the cartoon that they paired with your column. It isn't on the Herald's site this morning, so, for your non-subscriber readers, here it is:

  3. Yeah, I figured if I didn't put that (!) in there, people wouldn't get it or would think it was a typo.

  4. Been watching FOX for 2 days. Yesss...2 friggin' days.

    The usual crap...Hannity(Lumpy), Watters, O'Reily and a thousand more people. (It seemed like a thousand) told a story that can only be seen from an alternate universe.

    Dude...It was really something. The humdinger??? The one above all others??? Watters "I'm still in diapers" doing "Watters World". So what was it that he said to make him numero uno???

    Watters said that Trump had big stars and the DNC had "B-D list" celebrities. The token Dem. says " Meryl Streep ", if she is not "A List", who is???

    Watters mumbled something and turned his back to her to talk to the 2 TTpubs(formerly know as Tpubs). They reaffirm that "overall" Trump had the star power.

    Now, we all know Streep is a national treasure. Katy Perry was there. Yunno, D lister city...

    Dana White was the only person that made me want to vote for Drumpf. The rest of the speakers? Would it be too tasteless if I said Scott Baio no longer gives women the urge to buy Tiger Beat.

    The best thing about the DNC???

    Drumpf and his entire Brown shirts got their asses handed to them by....wait for it...Wait for it...A MUSLIM!!!! But that was just Kareem...

    THE mic drop moment that stole the whole show on any day of either of the conventions, and gutted the GOP soul you ask??? A Muslim mom and Dad who lost their son, a Captain. Bronze star, Purple heart and a crisply folded flag. The father asks if Drumpf had ever read the Constitution. Then it happened...The man pulled out a copy of the Constitution and offered it to Drumpf. Even under direct fire, the Muslim was Muslim like, and Drumpf was a radical.

    If anyone needs any reason at all to not vote Drumpf, I'd start there.

    *Grumble grumble grumble*

    Alicia Keys is not "A List"???...Yet Charles "Chachi" Arcola is an "A List" celebrity.

    Just my opinion...If your Mom and Joanie are the only ones who think you are "A List". You are "D List". Just my opinion.

    For those that want to see something whimsical as opposed to monkeys throwing poop everywhere? Watters World is on at midnight tonight on "D-List TV'.

    Homework question...What is the unspoken pattern throughout any of his bits?

    No...I am not proof reading today...This is what ya get

  5. Shoulda proof read

    Entertainment that would be on stage at my convention. They believe the same as any liberal to boot!

    Then close with these fellas...

    I WIN!

  6. As always, this is a spot-on article and I had to write to express my joy that you will be back contributing a weekly commentary. I have long felt that your voice is the voice for many of us who are not nearly as eloquent as you and voices like yours need to be heard among all of the screams of the right wing and the cowardly dribble from most of the MSM. Even though I no longer live where I can subscribe to the Herald, I will continue to enjoy your voice on this blog.

  7. The latest plan is to produce a column every Saturday. No more alternating Wednesdays. I think more people see them on Saturday, too.

  8. YEA!! for you and "us" who are your faithful followers......also what Todd said.


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