As September begins, I’d like to look back on a column I wrote in February, filled with good advice (if I do say so myself) for leftists who were struggling to find useful ways to respond to the new Trump presidency. Let’s re-visit my 5 tips, and see whether the left has taken any of them.
Tip 1 was not to over-react to every Trump miscue, no matter how small: “If you start with the outrage meter pegged to 11 for every garden-variety bonehead comment that Trump makes, you’re going to lose your voice, burst a blood vessel, and be thoroughly ignored when Trump does something truly egregious.”
To put it mildly, the left has not taken that advice. They built a new outrage meter that goes up to 27, and they have dialed it up and left it there. Trump compliment’s Macron’s wife? 27! Trump threatens nuclear war against the Norks? 27! Trump fires the third cousin of the assistant to the undersecretary of the department of weights and measures? 27!
Maybe the best recent example is shoe-gate. (27!) When Trump and Melania walked to the helicopter to visit the hurricane damage at Houston, did the MSM focus on weighty issues like the latest assessment of the storm’s strength, or how efficiently the Trump team was coordinating federal relief efforts?
No. They were flabbergasted by the fact that Melania wore stilettos across the lawn. (I’ll pause here so that you can gasp in outrage, and clutch your pearls, and shake your head mournfully.)
Remember when it was the height of sexist piggery to comment on – or even to notice – a woman’s clothes or appearance? It seems like just last election cycle – because it was just last election cycle – that Hillary’s clothing choices, for example, were off limits for discussion.
If a dashing, insightful male columnist happened to notice that her usual Mao-inspired blocky pantsuit made her look like a cross between a beige, deuce-and-a-half troop carrier and a Soviet brutalist apartment building, that columnist was harshly judged for giving voice to such an improper thought. (Even though I thought it was a hilarious comparison when I came up with it.)
But Melania’s stilettos were the lead story on all the networks and cable channels for several news cycles.
That’s not just superficial. It’s also misreading an audience.
Consider: almost half of the American population are males. And contrary to every sitcom you’ve ever seen, about 98% of those are males are heterosexual. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) When they watch video of Melania walking away from the camera in a pair of fashionable, snug slacks, do you know what they are NOT focusing on?
Her SHOES! She could have been wearing combat boots or ballet slippers, and we would not have noticed.
As the CO Roving Correspondent for Affairs (and stilettos) (…er, “stuff”), I am burdened by the professional duty to observe the news, so I forced myself to watch that video of Melania very closely and repeatedly, as if it were the Zapruder film.
On my 17th viewing, I detected that she has feet.
And I don’t think that makes me an evil, sexist creep. (Stop laughing.) Because I can turn the tables.
For all the straight women or gay men out there – do you remember when you saw the scene in which Daniel Craig walked out of the surf in his first turn as the new James Bond? How many of you were thinking, “I can’t wait until he’s all the way out of the water, so I can see if he’s wearing swim fins or flip flops?”
My point is that if your analysis of Trump’s presidency is at all centered on his ridiculous hair style or Melania’s choice of footwear, no one is going to take you seriously. And they shouldn’t.
By the way, would you like to see one of the lefty women who criticized Melania’s fashion sense? Google “Lynn Yaeger,” who is a Vogue fashion writer. But wait! Before you do, if you happen to be holding knitting needles, please put them down. Because you may inadvertently have the defensive, autonomic instinct to plunge them into your eyes. I’ll wait….
So…yeah. For those of you who have always said to yourselves, “I wonder what Ronald McDonald would look like if he was halfway through transitioning to a female in his late 70’s, and then had a grand mal seizure in the middle of cutting his own hair, and while he was unconscious on the floor cruel local teens came in and drew black cat’s ears on his/her upper lip?” Wonder no more, my friends.
And yes, this person does not approve of the way that Melania looks. So take that, Melania!
Tip 2: “Stop calling yourself The Resistance. It’s creepy, and self-dramatizing, and it makes you sound like a 15-year old. (And not a popular, well-adjusted 15-year old.)”
Well they certainly haven’t taken that one to heart, have they?
After 6 months of the ironically named “Antifa” – they really should be just “fa,” which would have the added benefit of being a word that their members might have at least a shot at spelling correctly – they’ve gone beyond self-dramatizing adolescence, and added thuggish violence to the mix. You can almost hear many millions of Americans being repulsed all over again by these creeps.
Tip 3: “Don’t think you are going to get any mileage with most Americans by pointing out how badly Trump is treating the press. Do you not know how despised the press is?“
I didn’t think it would be possible to hate the dishonest media more than we hated them back in February. But they’ve worked hard to earn even more enmity from all reasonable people, and they’ve succeeded. Just the words “Don Lemon” make me throw up in my mouth.
I would sooner get a fashion makeover from Lynn Yaeger than believe anything I hear about politics from the MSM.
Tip 4: “Consider not insulting everyone you are trying to persuade.” I know this one can sound rich, coming from a snarkster like me. But I’m not insulting anyone who is remotely persuadable.
And after the last six years, the right doesn’t need to persuade any new people. (I’m not saying that we shouldn’t always be trying to enlarge the conservative base by advancing conservative ideas, which work whenever they’re tried. I just mean that it’s the Dems who have lost 1000 nationwide seats since 2010, including congress and the WH; they’re the ones who need to change their ways if they want to get back into power.)
The last few months — pre- and post-Charlottesville – have featured leftists doubling down on their campaign strategy of trying to brand all conservatives as Nazis and white supremacists. You don’t have to know many conservatives to know how ridiculous that is. I’ve said it before: you could fit all the neo-Nazis and white supremacists in the country into a mid-sized community college gym. Pretending that half of the country belong to that group is a great way to keep that half of the country voting against you.
Why do you think that millions of people are proud to wear all kinds of “Deplorables” gear? Because your insults – like your tears in November – are sweet to us.
Tip 5: “We remember Obama. And we remember that you spent the last 8 years getting him his pipe and his fuzzy slippers…” This one was about the left and MSM’s obvious double-standards, and that’s another lesson that they haven’t learned.
After covering for the left 24/7 for 8 years – ignoring Lois Lerner and “voters are idiots” Gruber and Obama promising Vlad that he’d be flexible after his last election, and doubling of the national debt, and Obama’s bumbling, inadvertent midwifing of the birth of ISIS – their over-the-top smears of Trump aren’t fooling anybody who doesn’t desperately want to be fooled.
Crypt-Keeper Pelosi is still out there. Crazy Maxine Waters is too. We don’t have Pajama Boy Ossoff to kick around in GA anymore, but the Left’s first string is still on the field. They’ve got no bench, Kapernick is their QB, and the average age of their backfield is the late 100s.
All things considered, the left should be doing great. Though the MSM has greatly exaggerated the problems of Trump and the GOP, those problems are real, and they are maddening to the base. With control of all three branches, they’ve failed to repeal the disastrous flaming wreck that is Obamacare, they’ve not gotten to tax reform yet, the wall is not being built, and the number of White House firings (Comey and Bannon and Mooch, oh my) is dizzying.
Yet while Trump’s numbers are down and the GOP establishment is widely reviled, the left is in arguably worse shape. Even with Trump’s personal flaws, and the fact that the GOP congress’ best move has been to go on vacation, and my growing suspicion that McConnell is actually a chinless cartoon turtle, can you picture anyone who didn’t vote last time — or who voted for Trump — looking at the Pelosi/Waters/Durbin Dems and saying, “That’s for me! I can’t wait to vote for the Left in 18!”