The State of Political Discourse [VIDEO]
The State of Political Discourse [VIDEO]
Two pasty septuagenarians got into a tiff recently. “I would have beat the hell out of him in high school,” said the first old guy. The second one replied, “He would go down fast and hard, crying all the way.” This all would be really hilarious, especially when you visualize two flabby old guys with plaid pants hiked up to their armpits and white golf shoes, bumping chests on a well-manicured lawn in Florida. It’s not so funny when it’s the former Vice President of the United States and the current President insulting one another – one in a public speech, and the other on Twitter.
This is the state of political discourse today, boys and girls. The current leader of the Free World responding on social media to a classless, slack-jawed yokel, fighting to remain relevant after playing #2 to Barack Obama for eight years, “I would kick your ass, man!”
During the 2016 election, this type of puerile namecalling had become fashionable. We had “Lyin’ Ted,” “Crooked Hillary,” and “Little Marco” dominating political discourse, and the public seemed to be eating it up, even as some of us cringed.
Today, in Virginia, for instance, bombastic populist Corey Stewart, who has styled himself to be a sort of “Mini Trump,” created a website to advance the narrative that his political opponent for the GOP nomination to oppose US Senator Tim Kaine Nick Freitas is a #NeverTrumper, and his derping Neanderthal supporters have latched onto the trope like Oprah on a baked ham.
This is probably to detract from the fact that the Trump campaign dumped Stewart in 2016 after the latter staged a stunt protest outside the RNC headquarters and called establishment Republicans “pukes.” The childish namecalling is likely also a ploy to distract from the fact that Nick Freitas – a US Army Veteran and Special Forces Soldier – is running on issues and principles, while Stewart is running on “I support Trump.”
Another Virginia politician Republican Barbara Comstock has earned herself the nickname Beltway Barbara, along with a Twitter hashtag of her own. Now, I would say Comstock is probably one of the worst establishment Republicans out there, and the nickname is well-deserved. That said, the Virginia GOP is eating itself from the inside, with politicians attacking one another, weakening the party, and leaving openings for the Democrats to exploit those vulnerabilities that are as cavernous as Stormy Daniels’ hoohah.
The infantile namecalling isn’t just limited to Virginia.
I recently giggled when I saw the news that “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon, who is running for New York governor, was recently attacked by former New York City council speaker Christine Quinn as an “unqualified lesbian.” Nixon is married to a woman, and Quinn is apparently gay, and in today’s “let me smack you in the face with my genitalia” identity politics environment, it seems to be perfectly acceptable to denigrate your political opponents with juvenile monikers, instead of discussing actual issues.
To her credit, Nixon had a sense of humor about the attack.
“I just want to say tonight that she was technically right, that I don’t have my certificate from the department of lesbian affairs – but in my defence there is a lot of paperwork involved.
But other New York politicians have gotten vicious toward one another.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is “the hag” to frenemy Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal.
The Democratic Upper West Side pol has been routinely using the snide nickname to gossip and complain about Brewer behind her back for years, according to former Rosenthal staffers and emails obtained by the Post.[…]
In one email from Rosenthal’s private Gmail account, the assemblywoman complains that the New York Times “Mentions the hag in the article but not me!!!” A few months later, she asked whether Brewer was going to a press conference: “Ugh. When, where, with the hag?”
In another email, she mocked Brewer’s “shameless pandering” to a state senator and wondered if “the hag” would attend an event where Rosenthal was being honored the next day.
Listen, I’m no one to castigate others for their language. I’ve been known to use a raunchy turn of phrase or twelve, and I admit to having sent a spray of coffee at my monitor when I first heard “Fauxcahontas” used in reference to Elizabeth Warren.
But the namecalling continues unabated, and what was funny the first couple of times (Crooked Hillary, Fauxcahontas, etc.) has gotten old after a couple of years, especially when the RNC trots out the invective again after Warren was notably absent from the National Congress of American Indians Tribal Summit in Washington this year.
It may be playful and pithy, but as a voter, I’m tired of it, and I’d like to more substance and less stupid in political discourse, especially as we approach the 2018 mid-terms. My kids are grown and gone from the house, ferpetessake! I don’t need to be listening to puerile bickering from the nation’s leaders too!
Hell, even I don’t always lob the F-grenade! What can be an appropriate and effective tool becomes unwieldy, immature, and simply irritating when used all the time, which is why I also try to get creative with my insults. And frankly, it’s not always appropriate and it gets tiresome after a while – especially when the current POTUS and the former VPOTUS are acting like screaming toddlers.
Additionally, much like I privately giggle and munch on metaphorical popcorn when liberals eat their own, don’t think for a moment that the Democrats aren’t pointing and laughing every time GOP candidates begin to insult one another and exploiting any weak spots they can find!
It’s time for the GOP politicians to come together as a party, stop frivolously attacking one another with childish epithets, and focus on defeating the real adversary.