Why don’t we try normal for a while?
“In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.” — George Orwell
It is but one more indication of the insanity that is contemporary America that we as would-be serious sentient beings are not only discussing, but practically pre-mortem dissecting a presidential election that will not take even place for 16 months, but if we are going to insist upon such folly, we might as well establish a few landmarks of truth that might, if we remember them, keep us from becoming hopelessly lost in so doing.
One of those truths, upon which I am qualified to speak due to the time I have spent on this Earth and the amount of that time which I have dedicated to things political, is that nobody alive today has ever seen an American president quite like Donald J. Trump. Now, opinions certainly can and do vary as to whether that is a good or bad thing, but those of all political stripes, I believe, can agree that Trump, in both style and substance, is different, as in deviating from the presidential norm.
And since all elections involving incumbents are, at least in part, referendums upon that incumbent, so will be the next upon Trump, his America and vision of its future. My guess is that Trump is going to try mightily to make that election about something else, but ultimately, referendum upon him it will be.
And unless the opposition party — in this case, the Democrats — are breathtakingly stupid (something of which they have demonstrated time and time again they are perfectly capable), they will employ a little political jujitsu and use that which both Trump and his loyal to a fault supporters view as his strength against him.
Trump wants to “Make America Great Again?”
Democrats should counter that with a candidate and platform to “Make America Normal Again.”
And that does not mean nominating a candidate and adopting a platform that Trump can successfully brand as socialist.
Time to remember another truth, folks: This is the United States of America and just like Trump ain’t normal, neither is socialism and while it might be tempting and self-satisfying for those who recognize the destructive nature of the right wing extremism Trumpism represents to “fight fire with fire,” with equal extremism from the political left, fighting it instead with the water of moderation always has and will again prove far more effective.
This isn’t three-dimensional chess, folks. Not brain surgery. Not rocket science.
You want to beat the boisterously rude, tacky unto cruelty, lie telling, truth denying outright craziness that has been and continues to be the Trump presidency, then nominate someone who is soft-spoken, sane, morally upright, demonstratively decent, whose platform is one of common sensical, realistically doable approaches to this country’s myriad problems.
I keep hearing “this is a base election,” and hell, all elections are, to the extent that a party and its candidate need to maximize turnout, but like most elections, this one will also be about appealing to, rather than frightening off the independents and moderate-thinking people of both party persuasions in the middle who end up deciding things, more often than not.
The out-and-out crazies on both ends of the political spectrum in both of the major political parties in this country have been feeding the rest of us daily doses of super spicy jalapeño politics for going on four years now, and we not only need, but are crying out for some cold water and ice cream like grandma used to make to soothe our palates and put out the anger fed fires that threaten to consume us and all we have ever held dear.
We need somebody to unify this country, not further rip it asunder. We need somebody who knows the good guys from the bad guys on the foreign stage and whose discernment of that is based on something more than compliments and love notes. We need somebody with the wisdom and stature to work with those in the other party and we need somebody with enough common sense to understand that Americans want the same thing they always have, a fair chance, a good job at a decent wage, the ability to go to the doctor when they’re sick and be able to afford it, a decent education for their kids and somebody — for the love of heaven, somebody to fix the national potholes.
Americans want a president who earns their respect through manner and deed, not one who demands or claims it as birthright.
And it is really pretty simple, when all’s said and done. Either the Democratic Party can nominate and unite behind somebody like that or the Democratic Party can sentence America to four more years of an emboldened and validated Donald Trump, after service of which said America may no longer be recognizable in any of the senses in which we have come to know it.
Ray Mosby is editor and publisher of the Deer Creek Pilot in Rolling Fork