Political speeches: the ability to use compelling and empty language to bullshit people sufficiently about the truth of the world to sell them on your platform and get yourself elected to powerful positions in government.
For the last two weeks (this article was originally written during the end of the Democratic convention but apparently WordPress didn’t like the timing or I never clicked ‘publish’), the Democraps and Rethuglicans have monopolized the media’s attention as they cast their votes for who would represent each party in this country’s last election before descending into total anarchy fall’s presidential election. And as is wont for political ‘leaders’, each of these gatherings of the nation’s most feckless degenerates in the political establishment tend to have an abundance of ‘speeches’. You know, mouths open, sounds come out, emotions are evoked, blah blah, who cares at this point?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of words. Without them, this rant would be meaningless scribbles on some internet cave wall that will be discovered by our advanced successors who will smirk at the crude graspings of ‘primitive intellects’ and wonder at how advanced we were, how we lived, and whether the Kardashians were the leaders of a cult or somehow elevated to godhood for being self-absorbed, shallow, half-witted whores. (I’m sorry, ‘high class consorts’. I don’t mean to offend!)
The point is, words are useful for conveying thoughts. They paint an understanding of the world on the canvas of other individuals’ minds. It’s a very valuable tool. But tools can be used for good and ill and this is where we start running into problems. The biggest problem I see with these political speeches is that we, as a society, don’t guard that canvas from dangerously deluded Picassos who are looking to smear delightful filth across our pristine understanding of the world. We let them do it and we don’t wipe it off. ‘We don’t wanna, it’s so beautiful!’
In Trump’s speech, there was a lot of blustering and self endorsement as the ‘savior of the American Middle Class’ and how the world was a ‘dark place filled with countless threats to the American way of life.’ (I’m paraphrasing here, not direct quoting him, as far as I know…)
A lot of this is factually accurate. It’s not uplifting, it’s not filled with happiness and rainbows, nor does it paint an overly optimistic view of the state of the country. I mean, come on… the U.S. is $20 TRILLION in debt. Economic growth is tepid at best, real wages have stagnated for the past 30 years, and inflation has skyrocketed, sapping the retirement funds and wealth of the overwhelming majority of the population of the U.S.. Trade deficits with China and Japan have been staggeringly one way for quite some time, few economic opportunities exist for those without the means to attend college or some form of trade school, the cost of education has exploded while the intellectual fitness of those who complete that education has fallen drastically, health care costs have gone through the roof, Real Unemployment (not the phony number issued by the Department of Labor) is frighteningly high, the world is awash with terrorist attacks, mass shootings by nutbags, and police brutality is on the rise, as is the brutality against police; these are all relevant and completely honest appraisals of the world. All in all, a fair display of Impressionist art. A little too egocentric for me, which is why I detest Trump, but I can appreciate honesty.
So, the world has problems. Good. Admitting there’s a problem is the first step in addressing it. The second step is taking action to address them. Or maybe it’s the third step after ‘figure out the best way to address these problems’? Yeah, that sounds better…You should probably think your way through a problem before just acting. That’s how mistakes are made. Like thinking before blow-drying your hair in the bathtub before it leads to electrocution in the tub and subsequent frizzled hair at the funeral. This whole ‘thinking’ endeavor is a fairly useful tool. Being honest about situations is another.
Which was something that was conspicuously missing from the Democrapic Convention. First, that twit Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who was Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager for Hill-dawg’s failed 2008 campaign, resigned after it became common knowledge that she and the Democratic party rigged the primary race against Bernie Sanders (don’t worry about her wasting away on the Unemployment Line, Hillary hired her back on immediately after Little Debbie resigned). Then, Tim Kaine, who resigned as the DNC chair in 2008 so Wasserman-Schultz could step in and rig this year’s primary race, was revealed as Hillary’s vice presidential running mate (one hand washes the other….too bad neither can wipe the filth off). Then, Sanders supporters were systematically silenced and escorted out of the Convention, then paid actors were brought in to show a more ‘unified’ and ‘enthusiastic’ crowd than was actually present as camera crews repeatedly panned to about 6 different areas in the crowd (only to repeat and shuffle the cycle) to obscure how sparse the crowd was in attendance (yeah, I saw the footage. Try again, MSNBC, I’m not THAT stupid) and all this occurred before the Big Name speeches even started.
Then those speeches came. And remember when I said that ‘honesty’ was a useful tool? And how ‘thinking’ is also a useful tool? Well, this is where the ‘word’ thing managed to piss me off. Because honesty and thinking took a backseat to Wishful Portrayals of the World. This is where the warning about the Picassos painting on the canvas of your mind comes in from earlier. Because the Democ-rats laid down some really ‘inspiring’ rhetoric.
Appealing to American ‘exceptionalism’ (which they’ve never shown themselves, Obamacare is an utter joke, ‘It takes a Village’ is a breathtakingly stupid accusation that it’s a necessity for society to step in to raise children because, clearly, the majority of people suck at being parents and being good role models for their children(?), written by a woman who was never interested in becoming a mother herself (just look at the body language of Chelsea Clinton when she’s around her mother or when her mother speaks….this isn’t a girl who is looking at her Mother, this is a girl looking at some lady on a podium that she’s supposed to be related to and support. Don’t push your internalized failings as a parent on the rest of the country, wench)), appealing to Patriotism (which, again, they’ve never shown themselves, Michelle Obama denigrating America in her first few years as First Lady before she started facing a backlash, the pulling up on stage of the mothers of kids who were justifiably killed by police for attacking them, etc), all of this was carefully scripted…..Bullshit.
The DNC was an Expressionist masterpiece filled with all manner of delightful embellishments, omissions, and outright lies. Emotion THIS! Emotion THAT! It was all very inspiring. And utter shit.
Where were the Facts? Where was the substance? Where was the acknowledgement of the problems affecting America and the world? It’s like they completely forgot that America is still reeling from the last economic collapse. That the global economic engine is sputtering and faltering. That terrorist attacks are increasing around the world, not decreasing. That racially motivated violence has exploded since the President Barack Obama started egging on a Race War instead of waiting for the facts to emerge about any number of national incidences. That income inequality is crippling the world. If avoidance and denial are your drugs of choice, the DNC speeches got you High as Hell. (Go seek medical attention, you may have overdosed.)
Then I got to read about the post-reaction commentary. ‘How much more ‘inspiring’ the DNC was relative to the RNC’, according to a group of prepubescent conservative jerkoffs pundits, commentators and ‘great thinkers’ (*sarcasm alert*). Yes, it did sound nice….to a 12 year old. This is the difference between being an Adult and being a Child.
Children require happy endings and delightful fantasies to keep them ignorant of the world and safely swaddled in warm clothing. Adults address the world, in all its Horrible Glory. Adults have to grow up and Face The Facts and Make Tough Choices. They have to pay the bills and put in the work to make that a reality. They have to clean up after themselves and face the consequences for their actions (unless you’re Hillary). And this is what the RNC speeches have finally graduated to: Being an Adult and Facing the Facts instead of Hiding From the Truth. And conservative commentators were upset by this? WTF?
They’re upset about having to grow up. They’re upset that they liked the DNC’s fantasy bedtime story about a world that isn’t anywhere close to being as good as they make it out to be more than they liked Trump’s rendition of the Truth. (They never liked Trump in the first place, they aren’t about to let up now…) ‘Read us another story, Grandma Hillary, we like it when you tell us how we’re great and special and nothing bad will ever happen to us because of love and tolerance and how those 30,000 emails you deleted (while under investigation) didn’t have anything in them about selling influence at the Department of State to fund your lavish lifestyle at the expense of the people of the World!’
And this is why I don’t like words. Because idiots, crybabies, and the emotionally shallow buy into them sooooo damned easily. Words blind people to The Truth. They lie to us and boy, oh boy…..do we ever love to be lied to. It’s infuriating how much we, as a society, prefer to put so much stock in empty words over concrete actions and Certifiable (but hard to palate) Truth. Its why, time after time, these elections end up to be nothing more than meaningless political theater. We see the acts, believe the actors’ words, and then act ‘shocked’ and ‘surprised’ that the real people behind the production are such utter and complete scumbags who have poisoned and sold out this country and the future of our planet. We want to believe the charade and that’s what’s killing us. And we just….can’t…stop ourselves from believing in the peddlers of empty uplifting words. It’s all we know.
So, I guess, if you can’t beat ‘em, join em. Now, all together: ‘I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys R’….’