The Big Picture –
By Glynn Wilson –
The Democratic National Convention was a HUGE success, to borrow a term from Bernie Sanders.
Compared to Trump’s D-list convention, the show in Philedelphia was a star studded Hollywood affair complete with fireworks, red, white and blue balloons with stars on them, and with Sanders himself placing Hillary Clinton’s name into nomination for president.
Of course for the rest of the week he sat in the balcony and looked tired and ill at ease. But at least he did not walk out along with some of his delegates.
Even David Brooks of the New York Times and PBS said the Democrats won the summer, and he’s supposed to be some sort of a conservative or libertarian Republican — or at least play one on TeeVee.
But in a line that will not go down well with the philosophical left intent on calling Hillary Clinton’s campaign part of the new “neo-liberalism,” Brooks said this: “If you visited the two conventions this year you would have come away thinking that the Democrats are the more patriotic of the two parties — and the more culturally conservative.”
Wow. That’s a real shocker, and not really true. Can you believe this guy replaced William Safire on the op-ed pages of the New York Times? Safire was a real wordsmith. Brooks is Mr. Purple America milktoast moderate. His game is all part of the “pretense” of the mainstream media that has the radical left and right totally disgruntled with the American press.
If the public wants politicians to stop pretending and talk to them about important issues like real people without the slogans, the same public wants journalists to stop the pretense and tell it like it is. That’s what I’ve been doing every day since the spring of 2005, when I wrote my last words for the New York Times.
Or course it’s hard to convince people of that on Facebook, where people are so used to the pretense of objectivity that they have a hard time recognizing the truth when it’s placed right in front of their noses like a snake ready to bite them in the face.
But I’m going to continue doing it until enough people are convinced.
Let me start with Hillary Clinton’s speech. If you are a woman and have dreamed of the day when we would elect a woman president, you probably cried your eyeballs out and thought this was the best speech you ever heard in your life. For you, it was, and for good reason. This is a great day for the women’s rights movement and the human rights movement and I for one look forward to the impact women can now have on our politics by hopefully getting some of the testosterone out of the decision-making process. Maybe we won’t mis-calculate ourselves into bad decisions so much in the future. That is your hope, and my hope.
But if you are a truth-telling objective observer like me, the fact is it was just an okay speech, what some on PBS called a “work horse speech.”
If you wanted to see a great orator at work, you had to tune in to President Obama’s speech Wednesday night. Watch this and listen close and you will see the best orator to occupy the White House since John F. Kennedy.
BUT FOR NOW we will take what we can get, and do whatever it takes to keep Trump from getting his grubby hands on the keys to the White House and the nuclear football.
While Brooks admits “the Democrats had by far the better of the conventions,” he raised the specter of another scary possibility.
“…the final and shocking possibility is this: In immediate political terms it may not make a difference. The Democratic speakers hit doubles, triples and home runs. But the normal rules may no longer apply. The Democrats may have just dominated a game we are no longer playing,” he writes.
“…The fear of violent death is on everybody’s mind — from ISIS, cops, lone sociopaths. The essential contract of society — that if you behave responsibly things will work out — has been severed for many people,” he says. “It could be that in this moment of fear, cynicism, anxiety and extreme pessimism, many voters may have decided that civility is a surrender to a rigged system, that optimism is the opiate of the idiots and that humility and gentleness are simply surrendering to the butchers of ISIS. If that’s the case then the throes of a completely new birth are upon us and Trump is a man from the future.”
Only the final tally of votes on November 8 will tell us if he is onto something. I have my doubts. There is certainly a reason to fear what could happen over the next three months, and even the left has legitmate fears that Trump really could still win this election.
But for today, for this moment, I am going to take a stand with the New York Times editirial board and say what needs to be said: Hillary Clinton Makes History.
Love her, hate her, fear her, it is her turn now.
We can only hope she does not let us all down — on war, trade, the environment, etc.
She has our attention, but like Norman Solomon the California activist says , we’ve got to keep up the pressure — by being part of the system, not walking away from it.
© 2016, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.