Why so much outrage about Tuesday’s debate? Was someone expecting a sensible discourse on policy? Really? Moderator Chris Wallace expressed his own surprise. “I never dreamt it would go off the tracks the way it did.” How could he have forgotten all the staking and name-calling in the Clinton/Trump debates?
In other words, it isn’t hard for Biden to beat Trump with words. All he has to do is shake his head at Trump and deliver a zinger or two. Not “clown” or “shut up”, but “Behave, Donald” or “Your wall is a swamp.” Trump’s racist rants will do the rest.
Ranting isn’t enough. Neither is reason nor wit. We need more. We need vision. We need fury. We need the Anti-Trump. While the comedians do try – Bee, Colbert, Oliver, Noah – they always fail in looking for a laugh, such as Trevor Noah’s recent quip to alt-right spinster Tomi Lahren’s stating, “I don’t see color”: What do you do at a traffic light?
Elizabeth Warren is on the right track: Trump is not draining the swamp, nope. He’s inviting the biggest, ugliest swamp monsters in the front door, and he’s turning them loose on our government and our economy.But her rhetoric is too measured, too precise. The Anti-Trump must stare into the hateful void to find the words to break the spell.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie seems to have the right stuff: The election of Donald Trump has flattened the poetry in America’s founding philosophy: the country born from an idea of freedom is to be governed by an unstable, stubbornly uninformed, authoritarian demagogue. Now is the time to confront the weak core at the heart of America’s addiction to optimism; it allows too little room for resilience, and too much for fragility. Now is not the time to tiptoe around historical references. Recalling Nazism is not extreme; it is the astute response of those who know that history gives both context and warning. (The New Yorker Magazine, Nov.30/16)