Sleeping with the Enemy

Look, I get it—that half the Republican electorate is either unbalanced, selfish or so ill-informed that Trump looked like a reasonable pick; but why do some Democrats insist on sleeping with (sorry Joe) the enemy? Almost immediately this weekend, the winners fell for the media's attempt to sow dissension. Over and over, the quote from Virginia Democratic Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger was quoted, and the audio was replayed, “We lost races we shouldn’t have lost,” that “Defund police almost cost me my race,” and “Don’t say socialism ever again.” Unfortunately, one of my heroes and probably the king-maker in this election, James Clyburn, House Democratic Whip from South Carolina fell into the snare laid by CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Tapper led Mr. Clyburn down the road of Democratic socialism, “sloganeering” and the ever-elusive quest to win back the lost white Reagan Democrats. One of the attractions and strengths of the Democratic party is the understanding of nuance. During an almost 5 minute discussion of Ms. Spanberger’s comment condemning the slogan to defund the police, Clyburn likened it to the sixties protest chant “burn baby burn.” The misuse of the idiom defund the police is the new death panel and Black Lives Matter was last generation's burn baby burn. Turning a slogan into a fear phrase is a calculated strategy to end the discussion by defining an idea by a buzzword instead of a movement. You are never going to dial a defunded 911 emergency line with no response, just as burn baby burn is more famous as a disco song than as a revolution.

I protested in the 60s and 70s, my first march was to protest the assassination of Dr. King. I was in junior high and chanted ‘learn don’t burn,’ as did many of us but equity in education was ignored. This period of a worldwide pandemic that has hit America the hardest has exposed something else in the United States, an endemic of selfishness. People willing to expose the old, the vulnerable, and even our children to a deadly disease because they have defined their freedom in a piece of protective cloth. I watched a touching hopeful film clip on one of the silo news channels over the weekend, of two young women one a Trump supporter the other a Biden supporter smiling together over their shared youth, and optimism. They were interviewed and talked about how they did not agree with each other’s choice of candidates but were proud of not being disagreeable.

As the camera pulled backed an older white man dressed in camouflage, sunglasses, and a semi-automatic rifle on a sling around his neck approached. In fairness, the man seemed peaceful enough, but I thought to myself, how sad these two colorfully clad smiling women with matching dyed hair had their picture of unity defiled by a cosplay toy soldier.        

This weekend in the parking lot of a landscaping business called the Four Seasons, before introducing a convicted sex offender [Daryl Brooks], Rudy Giuliani told America that the press does not call elections, he was right. His mistake was that he followed up that statement by saying “judges do,”  you were wrong Rudy, the voters do. I denounced the misuse of slogans as the definition of reality but one does apply here, “ a mind is a terrible thing to waste.”  

You Voted for Change in 2020