The cover image for both posts in this series are two variations for a Nordic Flag design that’s meant to represent the world. I used blue, green and white because they’re the three colors of our planet as seen from space. The circle with a cross is the astrological symbol for Earth.
These are some mini-analyses of campaign stump speeches which I wrote in 2016. (I left them as-is, so they will refer to that year in the present tense.) During that election, when I still had hope for this country, I tried to learn as much about our heritage as I could. I wanted to know how on Earth we got to the point where Trump was a viable candidate. I also wanted to be informed about political science and history in case this knowledge could help my peers and possible future political allies. I read about every Presidential election, each candidate including significant third parties plus independents, and watched all the debates/speeches I could find. I saw the general election, primary and third party debates. I saw the convention, inaugural, farewell and VP convention speeches. And, for the candidates I thought were particularly interesting or sympathetic, I tracked down stump speeches.
I originally wrote reactions to at least one campaign trail speech for every left-wing candidate plus any right-wing candidates who had some kind of crossover appeal for me. However, I have opted not to post many of them to theCarbonFreeze because I’m not happy with what I wrote in hindsight and life’s too short to slog through all of those speeches again. I could do something like that in 2016 when I thought we were about to see a positive shakeup of the status quo. Now, I’m just depressed and exhausted with all things US politics. So anyway, these are the speech reactions I felt were worthy of sharing.
RFK, The Last Viable Progressive (1968)
I’m glad I could track a speech from his campaign down, I just wish I could find more. For whatever reason, it’s very hard to find any stump speeches from RFK or Ted in their ’68 and ’80 campaigns.
Along with McGovern, RFK is my favorite “what if” candidate from the Democratic Party. He largely paved the way for the Civil Rights movement by taking up the cause, was even more left-wing than his brother, and is just so damn adorable 🙂 . He was, in my estimation, the last mainstream progressive Democrat, at least, the last one with establishment backing and a real chance to get elected. I may be projecting my own fantasies onto reality here, but I really think a Kennedy/McGovern ticket would’ve been the greatest in history. It would have been perfectly balanced between the Midwest and east coast, the adorable old man from South Dakota and the dashing young man from Massachusetts. And it’s not too hard to believe either, when you consider George served as Chairman of Food for Peace under JFK, was close friends with the whole family, and led RFK’s delegates into the convention after his death.
When Bobby Kennedy died, the party never really recovered. It was a slow descent to our modern neoliberal, neoconservative monster. There were still progressives in the party, and one of them even got the nomination in ’72…and was abandoned by his party for it. And after that, they’d always get snuffed out in the primary. It’s hard to tell while living in it, but I will stick my neck out and say that the two Kennedys are America’s Gracchi brothers, Tiberius and Gaius. The former was killed, which inspired the latter to speak out with even more passion himself, only to get tragically cut down too. When Rome killed the Brothers Gracchus, they assured the eventual death of the Republic. I hope I’m wrong, but I predict the history books will say the same about the USA. (I don’t think Ted was ever in the same league as his brothers, but that’s neither here nor there.)
Speaking of Rome, RFK even makes a reference to a famous quote about the Romans here while talking about Vietnam. He says he doesn’t want us to be the kind of nation that makes a desert and calls it peace. Admittedly, it’s kinda hard to judge this speech objectively due to the fact that we can’t see him (this is pure audio). But honestly, it doesn’t matter—enjoy it for what it is: a beautiful look at an amazing young man with great ideas taken long before his time. I like the joke about how “when it comes time to vote, remember it was a Democrat who got you out of class.” I like how RFK makes allusions to lesser-known anecdotes/quotes of US history, such as Daniel Webster, as opposed to the endless Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln quotes that get thrown around a million times in every other politician’s speeches. (That’s one of my big pet peeves, the unimaginative regurgitation of the same historical lessons and cliche quotes.) I love the way he calls us all to a higher standard, how he emphasizes that anything is possible. It’s a far cry from the dead-weight losers we have now, in office and in the public, who shoot down every reformist policy as “not realistic.” You can hear the passion in his voice, that he’s genuinely pissed off at the mismanagement of the US. He speaks in terms of lived experiences (“I’ve seen…”) rather than just facts and figures to evoke the same passionate reaction in his audience.
This is what a champion looks and sounds like. Not Hillary Clinton. Not 2000s-vintage Gore. Not Dukakis. Not Mondale. Not Carter. What the hell happened to the Democratic Party?
Dukakis’ Goose Egg (1988)
Man, look at those faces in the crowd; they look bored as hell. And really, why shouldn’t they be? Dukakis is one of the least exciting orators I’ve ever seen. He just lacks the charisma and personality of a Bill Clinton, Obama or even an Al Gore. Very similar to Carter and Mondale, though he’s a small step ahead of them. Hillary I think is a step back to this dark period in the Democrats’ history when they were hopelessly outmatched by the Republicans who understand that a showman is what the people want, not a dry policy “wonk” (that’s another stupid political term I hate.) You’d think by now in 2016 they’d have extensively studied the dreary ’80s period and come up with a comprehensive plan to never fall back into those traps, but they refuse to learn.
Anyway, admittedly this is anecdotal evidence, but on several Reddit threads dealing with this election I’ve read commentators who claimed to have been residents under Dukakis’ governorship and say that he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing; they say he was just as happy to slash budgets as any Republican. Take that with a massive grain of salt, but considering the shift of the Democrats in the 80s, I believe it. Still, my chief complaints with the Carter thru Dukakis trifecta of weak nominees is mostly in their abysmal oration and campaign skills. Just listen to the way Dukakis keeps talking over the first woman to ask a question “yeah, yeah, yeah” all with a scrunched up, almost annoyed looking face. It’s disrespectful and very off putting. He comes off like he really doesn’t want to be there—and I’m sure no politician totally likes giving a million speeches and listening to often ignorant people ask questions. But that’s the name of the game, putting on a convincing act as if you do, and getting them to believe in you. You are signing up of your own free will to be these peoples’ voice and champion. If you can’t be bothered to do that, or cop an attitude about it, then stand aside and stop wasting everyone’s time.
I think to give Dukakis and Mondale their dues, the former genuinely believed in treating prisoners like human beings, and the latter was serious about women’s rights. What they had both given up though, was the progressive economic leftism of New Deal era Democrats up to good old George McGovern. Both were more similar to Rockefeller Republicans, or what would later become Clinton’s Third Way Democrats, than they were to the proud legacy of FDR and laborism. Sadly, like McGovern’s loss, each time one of these guys got blown out the Democrats learned the wrong lessons. Post-McGovern, they abandoned leftwing economics, like the Basic Income program he championed. Post-Mondale, it took over 30 years to put another woman on the ticket. Post-Dukakis, Clinton took a hardline stance on crime. The super-predators, three strikes you’re out, executing a mentally disabled man in a sick show of “toughness” and giving up the fight against the death penalty as well as taking on the war on drugs. By the time we got to Clinton then, we had a Democrat who was largely a yesteryear Republican in all but name.
Joe Biden, When He Wasn’t Ancient (1988)
He gets some decent to good jokes in, has a warm smile, talks very bluntly, and has great eye contact. Comparing him to Hart, Babbitt, Dukakis and the rest from this cycle, he comes off so much better. I think he would have won the primary if Dukakis hadn’t gotten him knocked out of the race on a trumped up, technicality plagiarism charge. I think he would have won over Bush too. Even Dukakis was ahead in the polls at the start of the general and only collapsed because he was attacked for being soft on crime and his ruinous tank photo-op. Biden wouldn’t have had that baggage or stupidity. And more importantly, Biden wasn’t a rightwing governor in what used to be the leftwing party.
Al Gore, When He Was Actually Good (1988)
Even though they didn’t win the general election, the 1988 field of Democratic primary candidates was strong. While there are a few I’d favor over him, Gore was still a really good candidate in his own right. He did great in that primary debate I saw—he was like a straight, no nonsense attack dog and his hard-hitting question to Gephardt was one of my favorite moments from any of the primary debates I’ve ever seen. At his VP debates from the ’90s too, I thought Gore did extremely well. 1992 with Quayle and Stockdale was maybe the most bombastic and tense back and forth I’ve ever seen in any political debate and he came away from that as the unquestionable winner.
It’s just really unfortunate then, that Gore seemed to lose his spark when it mattered the most in 2000. Not that his debate performances were terrible, but they were very flawed. The sighing and approaching Bush in the town hall are now legendary errors—and they were entirely self-inflicted. I think Gore needed to have had (a) stronger primary opponent(s) to warm himself up again. Bradley was so uncharismatic that beating him was a cakewalk–Gore easily won all 50 states. With that, combined with his early lead in the polls against Bush, I think Gore got cocky and went on auto-pilot a little.
As far as this speech goes, it’s really touching seeing him give shout-outs to MLK and RFK. I also like the way he criticizes the Reagan/Bush years, not by just saying “they did this, and that’s bad!” but rather, going in depth to put you in a scene and SHOWING you how ridiculous some of their decisions were. I think he’s right to criticize the direction and failure of the Democratic Party in then-recent years, but dislike how he threw McGovern (not by name, however) under the bus by riling against the two recent 49 to 1 losses. In the case of 1984, that condemnation might be justified—the party insiders favored Carter’s VP right after the Carter administration got thrown to the curb the very previous cycle. And it’s not like Mondale had any special charisma or qualities to warrant the gamble in the first place. However, McGovern’s own loss was far more complex and nuanced as I’ve gone to great lengths to describe. And the fact that Gore calls upon the Democrats to stand up for the legacy of FDR, JFK and learn from Vietnam…I hear that and can’t help but think: “Isn’t that exactly what McGovern wanted to do?” But I digress.
An interesting moment is when Gore worries aloud if the Democratic Party might descend into a purely opposition party who does nothing but complain but cannot actually govern anymore. This has been exactly the case with the GOP post-Obama, who actively lost interest in governing. Nowadays it seems to be true of Democrats by proxy, since they’re too weak to overcome such obstructionism.
It’s interesting to hear Gore mention an “economic bill of rights” just as FDR called for in one of his state of the union addresses. That’s really impressive, and had he mentioned that in the ’88 debate I saw I might have even put him over Biden and Jackson as my favorite of that cycle. I’ll have to look into that more and see what it consisted of. I dislike his healthcare plan which would only cover people with jobs (and expanded Medicare for kids.) Basically, it’s a precursor to Obamacare, which was the GOP’s half-measure scheme in the ’90s. I like his employee ownership plan for business administration as well. Sounds a lot like the tenants of Democratic Socialism, which I’m hugely supportive of, and again what I perceived Babbit’s “workplace democracy” to be a re-branding of. I’m now curious why Gore didn’t join in on that in the primary debates–maybe he did in a later one and I just didn’t see it.
Now, where Gore loses me again is when he says “I’ve called for an all out war on drugs, if it means using the military […] let’s do it. We need tougher sentencing, less parole, more prisons.” Holy shit is that draconian as hell. I mean, I know social conservatism and morality policing were popular in the ’80s and ’90s but this is freaking scary. Even if you support the war on drugs (which at this point has proven a costly failure in both human suffering and money) this rhetoric is so bald-faced authoritarian that I don’t think it ought to be tolerated by any candidate on either side of the aisle. I criticized Bush the First for his awful drug war speech where he callously said to the nation that he’d build more and more prisons and throw any amount of people in jail over drugs. Turns out, Gore was just as bad and possibly worse in that regard. This is a great example of right-wing rhetoric invading the Democrats in the ’80s and ’90s, something I’ve mentioned elsewhere. We’ve come a long way from McGovern wanting full decriminalization and the Nixon committee recommending legalization of marijuana from just over 15 years prior.
So, overall…a very interesting mishmash of left AND rightwing ideas made up Gore’s platform. I think he would’ve been a better President than Bush and possibly Clinton overall, but not by much. I’d still prefer Jackson, Babbit or Biden from this cycle. I like how he outlined a lot of his positions in this speech—it’s been very rare, looking at old campaign speeches, to see a candidate just go down the line and give all their major ideas. (McGovern did the same in 1984, just to give the man his due credit 🙂 ) For someone like me trying to work backwards in time, learning by watching, it’s a great help. Gore’s oration is steady and passionate enough to hold your attention, though maybe slightly monotone. When he has to answer questions, he kinda slows down to a robotic drawl and its clear he’s thinking of his response as he says it.
Gary Hart, Dead Man Walking (1988)
My impression of him at the 1984 debates was that he was a worthless empty suit candidate. He won me over, ironically, in the 1988 debate after he had already been disgraced by scandal. It’s like he knew his back was against the wall so was giving 200% to compensate. His closing statement in that debate was one of the best, and sadly unknown, moments in modern political history–at least among those I have yet to witness. It was like that moment in The Great Gatsby where he comes clean about his record and Nick feels a renewed sense of faith in him, ironically after hearing more of his shortcomings.
As far as speech making, I’d put Hart above Babbitt but under Jackson. He’s no Bernie or Trump or Jackson or even McGovern—all of which had varying degrees of fire and power in their voices when they spoke. I don’t like how he keeps looking down at his speech, then making an effort to look up for a second before going back to read off the page. It’s like he can’t develop a natural connection with his audience. At the presidential level, you need to be better than that. You need to memorize and/or have enough knowledge and charisma to be able to speak off the cuff. The occasional glance, or pause to catch your place is ok, but when it’s so often that it’s really noticeable, like here, it’s a bad look.
Larry Agran, The Martyred Mayor (1992)
The 1992 field for the Democrats was a surprising step down from the quality of 1988 (though they did win, of course.) The two most interesting candidates by far were Jerry Brown and Larry Agran. Brown was like Sanders in how he was vehemently opposed to special interests and only accepted small donations. Agran was like Sanders in how he wanted to stop funding all these overseas defense expenditures and bring the money home. However, unlike Sanders, he didn’t want that money for some grandiose public works or social programs budget, instead he just wanted all our cities to be adequately funded. While I think his campaign ideology didn’t go far enough (I support those same grandiose ideas as Sanders) I think Agran could’ve been a great compromise candidate between both parties. His message would resonate well-enough with both Sanders and Trump supporters today, and with events like Flint’s lead water, his message is just as relevant now as ever. His campaign was tragically ignored by the media just as Sanders’ would be. If he had come a few cycles later he could have been a great internet-sponsored underdog.
I wish I could find an actual campaign speech. But just going by these interviews and forums, I would compare Agran to Lincoln Chafee. They’re both clearly well-intentioned men. They have a charming, kindly demeanor but they lack gravitas or bombast. I’m drawn to them because I appreciate this gentleness, but I can’t see them firing up a crowd. Their platforms are reasonable and focused on sensible if unexciting reforms–essentially the mid-point between the modern Republicans’ “privatize everything!!” and the Progressive Democrats’ “single payer, legal weed, reign in the banks.” Their positions are what the Third Way (if it had to happen) should have been, rather than caving in on economics and foreign policy to focus solely on social wedge issues.
Overall, my favorite candidate from 1992 was Ross Perot. And my favorite Democrat from that cycle was Jerry Brown. But Agran would definitely round out the top three. And whether you like or hate his ideas, he deserved to participate in the debates.
Kucinich of the Purple Prose (2004)
I’m not a big fan of this speech. Dennis spends a little TOO long thanking a bunch of people, and then launches into this weird tirade about miracles and overly flowery rhetoric about “this moment!!” It feels more like he’s giving a religious sermon or prose poem than a call to arms for progressives. Kucinich doesn’t have that gift of Obama or Bernie or Dean where it feels like he’s speaking directly to you. Those three talked very bluntly about the problems America was facing. You knew the struggles they described and so you felt inspired listening to them talk. I don’t really feel like that with Dennis. He’s kinda like Gephardt or Hubert Humphrey, trying to be this great eloquent wordsmith when none of them were, and no one cares if they were anyway. When he goes into this spiel where he describes the sculpture outside the House of Representatives “peace protects genius! Not with nuclear arms! But with maternal love!” I just start rolling my eyes.
Kucinich understands the importance of altering your volume at key moments to draw in attention. But he sounds really awkward when he yells, like he’s forcing it. It’s hard to describe, but listen to this speech and then listen to McGovern or Bernie’s respective DNC speeches and you’ll know exactly what I mean.
My other big issue with Dennis is he goes on and on with all this nice, big ideas–world peace, end global pollution, education reform…but we all know he’s not gonna be able to do even half of that. It’s great he’s shooting for the moon and I commend his noble goals. But this is why candidates need to have ONE key, signature issue they push above all others. That way everyone knows exactly what you’re about, what your biggest priority is and what to hold you to if elected. With McGovern it was ending the war in Vietnam. With Perot it was anti-NAFTA. With Bernie it was breaking up the big banks and taxing the 1%. Dean’s seemed to be healthcare and ending the division of the Bush years. Even listening to this I still don’t really know what Dennis’ big priority is, what he’d make sure to fight for above all else.
Howard Dean “The Power is in Your Hands” (2004)
Howard Dean is one of my favorite 21st Century candidates, despite his flaws. His campaign was the precursor to Obama and Sanders’ online mobilization. After the boring as hell Bill Bradley from the previous cycle, this guy was a breath of fresh air in terms of his charisma and should have been the nominee in my opinion. I think Dean represented the perfect blend of hope and optimism that Obama 2008 ran on (and abandoned in office) and Bernie represented in 2016. Like Bernie, he may not have won the skewed primary race but he was the clear people’s choice–just listen to that excitement from the crowd here. This is the lesson the Democrats NEED to learn if they want to survive. Stop hugging the Center by putting up these boring lukewarm Center-Right candidates like Kerry and Clinton whom no one is excited for.
Dean’s a compelling speaker and was tough as nails at the debate where he weathered through everyone trying to take him down. However, I dislike his “chorus” here, the “and we will” after every other line. It’s no “yes we can” or “Come Home, America” or even Bill Clinton’s “we can do it!” Also, he kinda pauses a few times mid-sentence to catch his train of thought which can be momentum-killing. It’s a small but noticeable flaw in his oration.
I also think it’s interesting he focuses so much on how GWB is a divider, rather than a war criminal and enabler of the surveillance state. I mean, he’s not wrong, but its somewhat like criticizing Hitler for his mustache of all things. This may have been the more sound strategy for 2004 though. Being relatively far removed from it now, and young when it happened, it’s easy to forget how insanely patriotic America was for a long time post-9/11. It’s totally possible that criticizing the War on Terror/TSA/PATRIOT Act/Surveillance would have gotten you run out of political life so close to the attacks. But either way it’s a shame nobody could or would be the lone voice of dissent when America needed it most.
I think Dean’s emphasis on how “the power is in YOUR hands, not mine” is also really nice to hear from a politician and an interesting precursor to Bernie’s “political revolution” rhetoric. It’s a far cry from “I’m with her”/”Hillary will do it and I’m with her” from 2016.
Obama’s Keynote Address (2004)
Obama begins by summing up how he ended up on the stage, going into his paternal and maternal lineage, how humble his origins are, to make the point that in America anyone can rise to prominence as well as accentuate the Democratic Party’s role as the inclusive pro-minority, pro-immigration party. I usually hate when speeches begin with shout-outs to family, but here it actually serves a point. It’s not just “oh how proud my parents would be!” or “I’d like to thank my wife and kids” where the speaker needlessly humanizes themselves to try to look more sympathetic. Here, it’s more a celebration of America as a place where people can get a fresh start and anyone can rise to the top. THIS is what the American Dream is all about.
It’s actually kinda sad in hindsight when he goes into his name, what it means, and how his parents believed it wouldn’t be a barrier to his success. Obviously he still succeeded, but he got a LOT of shit for his name. I remember seeing “Obama Bin Laden” T-shirts, people making fun of “Hussein” and all kinds of underhanded attacks like that. As someone who’s also been teased relentlessly for their (dead)name, I sympathize with this as well.
There’s a lot of talking about how great America is because of freedom of speech and democracy and all that. It’s the usual platitudes, but delivered well. Basically Obama in a nutshell, really.
What follows is a series of adulation on Kerry, which is what Obama’s there to do. He accomplishes this very well, so there’s not much to really say.
Obama ends by talking about the unity of the states, and how there is not a liberal or conservative America but one country we all share. Again, tragic looking back now and seeing that we’re more divided than ever. But at least from a purely rhetorical point of view, this part of the speech is incredibly effective. And its a strong contrast to the rhetoric of the right and now in particular Donald Trump trying to divide us by race, sexuality and political leaning. Republicans are scared they’re no longer the majority, and that they might someday be treated as they treated the rest of us for decades (or centuries I should probably say.) Obama I believe is sincere in trying to alleviate such worries. I truly believe he must be devastated by the current division in this country and often racist blowback from the GOP. The fact that they nominated Trump especially has to be a slap in the face considering he (Trump) was the chief proponent of the birth certificate bullshit. In fact, it never really occurred to me before but that might have been one of the factors that gave Trump an edge during primary season.
Overall, a very good speech. Not earth shattering. Not particularly innovative or unique. But effective, and delivered very well. Say what you will about Obama, but he’s an amazing public speaker. Probably the best since at least JFK. I think his Presidential legacy overall is average at best, and I don’t believe he lived up to the hype of ’08, but his speeches will be looked to for inspiration for a long time.
Lincoln Chafee Announces Candidacy (2016)
An unviable candidate I admit, but a sweet and honorable man who deserved a lot more respect than he ever received. Like McGovern and Babbit before him, Chafee’s got a likable smile and a distinct twinkle in his eye. You can literally sense the pure intentions in his heart and just want to give him a hug and a pat on the back for being an honest man in politics with the strength to put himself out there. God knows he received an unwarranted and shameful amount of grief for it. I still maintain that the way Wolf Blitzer treated him in that early primary interview was nothing short of a national disgrace. That may even be the single worst thing the press did this whole cycle which is saying a lot considering how they gave Trump free publicity and covered up Hillary’s scandals. But the press has NO right to bully someone out of the race like that, especially a decent man whose only crime was having a bad debate performance. By that time, Trump was literally calling for torture plus a border wall, and Hillary’s emails were known, yet nobody felt the need to attack them on the air to drop out. That really says a lot about the sorry state of our Republic.
As far as this speech itself, I’d say Chafee’s about on par with Babbit and Bradley in terms of speaking ability—he just has zero gravitas or charisma. He has no sense of timing or building excitement and is too soft-spoken to inspire the crowd. But if you listen to the words and put aside our flawed human need for a strongman, then a lot of what he’s saying makes sense. I’d even say it’s a well-*written* speech, just badly delivered. I don’t think he was quite cut out for the top job, but I think his voice deserves to be heard on the national level in some other manner. The way he goes about openly calling out the neocons reminds me of 2008 era Ron Paul and Mike Gravel. There’s another great video you can find on YouTube where he hammers Paul Wolfowitz about his role in pushing for the War in Iraq. He’s an absolute badass in that video, in stark contrast to his soft-spoken, grandfatherly nature here.
Chafee calls for the end of drone strikes and torture, wants to bring home Snowden as a hero, require a warrant for the government to read our phone records, end capital punishment, transition to the metric system, end the disparity of wealth, and more. He supports LGBT rights, including transgender people’s right to serve in the military. Is it the most far-reaching progressive platform I’ve ever seen? No, not quite. And I would like to see him go into more specifics as well. But still, that’s not a bad agenda at all. That’s a platform of basic decency and personal autonomy that could have united both parties if they were still operating in good faith. It’s a better platform than Hillary or Trump put forward, and while not as exciting it’s probably more realistic than Bernie’s.
Another flaw of Chafee’s oration is his answers to the questions are often vague. But again, he brought up a lot of points here and at the debate which the other four didn’t, and that includes Bernie. I think the neocons, as the most twisted and detrimental ideology in America (besides the new alt-right) need to be called out loudly and often. This isn’t a baseless attack either when I say Hillary is one herself, and the way she’s been ratcheting up for war in Syria and increased tensions with Russia has me very, very scared for the future.
Overall…I reiterate that George McGovern is my personal hero and gold standard when it comes to politicians. I’d say Bernie Sanders represents his passion and progressive domestic agenda while Chafee represents his push for peace as well as his softer, more personable side. Put these two together, and you have the heart and soul of what the Democratic Party ought to be. The fact we overlooked both of them for Neocon, Third Way Clinton and Whiny Goofball Kaine is really upsetting.
Hillary Clinton “Fake News” (2016)
The only person in America who could have lost to Trump, and here we see a bit more why that is. I hope she bows out gracefully and does not try to influence politics anymore, because a) she looks tired, hollowed out and depressed in this speech. She can’t be enjoying it anymore, so why bother? And b) we made it clear we don’t want her. When you lose to someone like Trump, that’s a good indicator that you’re done. She’s so disliked that any cause she touches is radioactive. Every Republican hates her and most Dems who follow politics hate her for the Third Way and installing Debbie Wasserman Schultz who led the party to ruin in preparation for the campaign. So many resources and so much money were diverted from down-ballot elections to Hillary this cycle. DWS was given the position as DNC chair to clear the way for Hillary and local and Congressional elections were ignored. The party is now powerless with nothing to build on because of it, Obama’s accomplishments will be destroyed, vulnerable minorities endangered and that’s Hillary’s legacy. She needs to summon her last shred of humility and go away.
Now, regarding the speech itself. First of all, there’s the hypocrisy of condemning fake news when a big part of your campaign was the “Correct the Record” PAC. This was a project to astro-turf social media, especially Reddit, with pro Clinton shills who would post Clinton propaganda and downvote or harass any criticisms of her. As someone who spent a lot of time on Reddit, it was insufferable. The night of the election was hilarious thoough, as literally all of her “supporters” (read: employees) left immediately. Then the rest of us had a cathartic venting about what an awful campaign she ran. It was both a terrifying result, but also the only time that whole year where I got to speak my mind without being verbally castigated by her apologist supporters and their entitled attitude.
Second, her answer to everything, be it this or a shooting or the “alt-right” is some invasive big government action no one wants. She supported an Australian style seizure of guns, then blamed the alt-right on Putin as a pretext for a war/escalated tension with Russia, and now she advocates state censorship. I agree fake news is a problem, but some bill that gives the government power to decide what’s real and what’s fake is even more dangerous. That’s so blatantly unconstitutional and reminiscent of the alien & sedition acts passed by another unpopular Dynastic family, the Adams’.
Finally, her moralizing is just so obnoxious. All during the election it was “Trump’s offensive! Our children are watching! Do you want our children to see more of this??!!?” And now she’s yelling about how “lives are at risk!!!” because she lost a stupid election. She’s like that old lady in the Simpson’s who yells “won’t someone please think about the children??!!!” anytime a political issue is discussed. She championed a video game censorship bill as Senator for the same reason. Nobody is swayed by this nanny state, moral outrage crap. That’s not how you win elections, nor is it how you make change in defeat. Notice how Bernie, Obama and Biden aren’t partaking in this “tsk tsk, you failed the children! Lives are at risk! You set a bad example!” crap. Just Hillary.
During the election, her focus should have been on the economy. Bill’s own internal campaign guideline was “it’s the economy, stupid!” That’s *always* the number one issue for people. After the election, her focus should have been on some deep self reflection. You can blame Russia or Comey or sexism or millennials or fake news all you want, but this election was polling within 1 to 3 % the entire time. When you’re even that close to Trump (an admitted sexual predator as well as a vapid reality TV host who just took up politics last year for fun), you’ve failed as a politician and a person. People saw a lying, pussy grabbing, disabled-heckling, race baiting, teen-bullying, borderline incestuous conman and were so desperate NOT to vote for you that they chose him. It’s time to take the hint and go to some mountain retreat to never be heard from again.
There you have it. Overt nanny state authoritarianism. A desire to control people rather than understand them. Do as I say, not as I do moralizing. It’s been an overlooked staple of her career. Don’t like something the public does, be it video games, guns or certain outlets? Use the government to make it illegal! We absolutely dodged a bullet making sure she was never elected….unfortunately we jumped into the path of a speeding train to do so.