Saturday, June 29, 2019

The First Night Debate | Lefsetz Letter

Answer the damn question!

I support Elizabeth Warren, but when asked about guns, she veered into gibberish and never tacked back. Why couldn’t she just speak English? Guns are a big problem in society but they’re here forever, we’re never gonna take guns away from licensed owners, but our goal is to increase public safety. BINGO!

I’ve got a friend who agrees with a lot Warren has to say, but is literally afraid she’s gonna take his gun away, therefore he won’t vote for her. I tried to convince him his gun is going nowhere, but he doesn’t believe it. Living in the mountain west he believes firearms are necessary for protection out in the wild and he’s been convinced by right wing rhetoric that Warren is gonna round up the guns. That would be fine with me, but that ain’t America, in the land of little pink houses guns are part of the fabric, seen as freedom, as for the Second Amendment and rising militias, that’s just hogwash, people just love their guns, end of story.

Politicians. I know it’s a long road to the nomination, never mind the election. But when you waffle, when you won’t own an idea, people lose faith in you, and what we need now more than ever is faith, belief.

Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon
Going to the candidates’ debate
Laugh about it, shout about it
When you’ve got to choose
Every way you look at this you lose

That’s the song that’s been going through my head this week, “Mrs. Robinson,” by Simon & Garfunkel. Released back in ’68, that was when rock stars were bigger than politicians, speaking their truth to the younger generation, and after its inclusion in “The Graduate,” the older generation too. Come on, it’s decades later, and when someone graduates from college you immediately say PLASTICS! And if they don’t know what you’re referencing you tell them to watch the movie.

And the movie is all about rebellion. Moving away from what’s expected of you. That was the sixties, when it was truly about personal freedom, trying to find yourself. Today there’s no time to find yourself, you go straight from college to plastics, or Wall Street or Facebook or Google, sit on the sidelines and your career, your income, might be hampered forever!

But there was a rebellion back in ’68. Against the war, against business as usual. The government was the enemy, not because it was bloated, but because it wasn’t seen as being on the individual’s side. We wanted to wipe the slate clean, inject some modernist thinking, instead all we were getting was Nixon and Checkers, from fifteen years before, it was like the sixties never existed.

And it’s like they never existed today. Hell, the right wants to wipe the decade from history.

If you were alive back then it’s amazing to see the transition from questioning authority to believing in authority, from individualism to groupthink, from advancement of the rights of minorities to denials thereof.

We had a bit of hope back then, with Eugene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy, but one lost traction and the other got shot and we ended up with Nixon, who ultimately blew himself up, but not before wreaking havoc overseas. Then again, it was Milhous who opened China.

The public wants to feel empowered, optimistic.

And we haven’t had that spirit here since…1969!

But at least give Trump credit for energizing those left behind, the angry, the racist, the…

Trump won because he had charisma. Among other qualities. Nobody on the dais last night evidenced any charisma.

Bill de Blasio was the biggest surprise. Possibly the most hated man in New York demonstrated that he’d grown through power and had a grasp on the issues and could articulate his positions with passion.

As for everybody else…

Beto was like a high school kid who’d failed to memorize the poem, he wanted credit for speaking Spanish, but everybody with a brain was wincing.

Tulsi Gabbard is too young to have watched the Nixon/Kennedy debates, wherein it was proven that makeup was everything. Couldn’t she have gotten a better job?

Booker kept telling us he lived in the hood. You almost expected him to rap. Somehow, he comes across as inauthentic, as if he gets off stage and tells his buddies it was all an act.

Klobuchar didn’t appeal to anybody. She’s the girl who got straight A’s looking for attention not knowing it’s her personality that alienates people.

As for everybody else… They looked like they were not seasoned, did not have enough practice, were out of their league. At least Warren and de Blasio looked comfortable.

And it’s less about substance than image at this stage anyway. You’ve got to be believable, when the wankers with no chance talk about when they become President, you wonder if they’re on drugs, they’re so delusional.

Trump threw out the rulebook. He had no problem going on record. He was playing to those at home, not the hosts or those on stage. He threw a spanner into the works. No Democrat did that last night.

Actually, it’s Bernie Sanders who is famous for that. He’s impassioned, you can tell he believes what he says. There’s no doubt he’s fighting for the little guy, the same way Trump fought for the disenchanted on the right.

That’s right, we’re selling emotions.

If an act goes on stage and plays the material by rote, it does not resonate. You want a unique experience, not a canned one. You want this night to be special. And mistakes only make the performers more human. And sure, politicians don’t want to make mistakes, but they do need to be seen as human.

As for pundits boosting Julian Castro… That’s like someone from an indie label telling you their record will go to number one, even though you’ve never heard of the act and when you listen you can see glimmers of hope, but are instantly aware the track is lacking the whole package.

Let your freak flag fly.

Be honest.

You’re convincing the public, not the press. And the internet era allows you to do this, go directly to voters.

Right now it’s looking like Trump will win.

Let’s see if some stones are turned over tonight.


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