Friday, June 10, 2016

"...Tweet Liberty Ain't Sweet Liberty..."

Campaign time again.

Lots of words already flown and plenty more words fixin' to fly.

Here's a word you're not going to hear much.


noun: oratory
  1. the art or practice of formal speaking in public.

    "Dr. King was noted for his oratory"

    • exaggerated or highly colored language.

      "learned discussions degenerated into pompous oratory"
"The art or practice of formal speaking in public".


You can practically smell the mold on that golden oldie, can't you?

This time out, the two that the process has boiled down to have shown very little, thus far, in the way of any intention of following in the finely articulated footsteps of such iconic orators as, say, Thomas Jefferson.

Abraham Lincoln.

Franklin Roosevelt.

Or even, more recently, Ronald Reagan.


If you're looking for spellbinding, inspirational, life changing phraseology, you're just wasting your time tuning into CNN or MSNBC or FOX News, etc, et al to hear what the presumptive, potential wanna be leaders of the free world have to offer up in the way of words of wisdom.

You'll need the History Channel to feed that need.

This time out, all signs point to the Presidential Election of 2016 being played out in what purports to be the new tech technique of moving the masses.

The tweet.

The majesty of verbalizing the hopes, dreams, goals and aspirations of an entire nation.

In 140 characters or less.

Not so much a flowing river.

More a squirt gun.

And, how, you might understandably wonder, is it possible to express the means to achieving those hopes, dreams, goals and aspirations in a mere 140 characters?

The answer, turns out, requires only 15 of those 140.

It's not possible.

Which, as it also turns out, is just as well because, judging by the opening Twitter torrent, the tone and timber of this race for the White House is going to be very short on lofty and very long on lambast.

Short burst lambast, of course.

Keep in mind...140 characters.

Donald has been a devoted tweeter for quite a while now.

And while Hillary came a little late to the party, she apparently has some Twitter savvy surrogates on staff who have minimized the length of her learning curve.

Let's have a look at a little of the high brow back and forth we can expect from the two presumptives.

This exchange prompted by the President's endorsement of the former Secretary of State.

Well, it ain't exactly "four score and seven years ago".

Hillary didn't let any grass grow getting down with the D man.



The few remaining kids who haven't moved onto Kik and left Twitter (like Facebook and Instagram, among others) to "old people" would explain that what Hillary "said" translates out to "you're irrelevant and so lacking in savvy that you should just shut it down and give it up".


Donald, predictably, volleyed venomously.

Well, as the Church Lady would suggest, isn't that special?

The presumptive nominees of the two major political parties for the office of President of the United States snipping, sniping, bickering and bitching at each other in a format that puts the level of discourse somewhere just south of Nicki Minaj throwing shade on Miley Cyrus and only just a tiny tad north of the snipping, sniping, bickering and bitching more commonly heard at the cool kids table in the middle school cafeteria.

No naivete' or rose colored glasses anywhere to be found in my take on things but, seriously, I really had hoped that "we, the people" were, at the very least, going to be afforded the common courtesy of spirited debate and discussion.

As opposed to spiting and dissing.

It was obviously too much to ask that we might experience, say, Lincoln and Douglas.

Or even Kennedy and Nixon.

But, really, Pee Wee and Francis?

Backbiting, pinching and pulling hair aren't new techniques when it comes to political campaigns.

In 1800, Thomas Jefferson offered up that his opponent, John Adams, was "a hideous, hermaphroditical character which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman".

English teachers across the land today, of course, feeling both aghast that campaigns were that dirty that long ago and nostalgic for a time when those dirty campaigns employed the kind of intellectual vocabulary that included words like "hermaphroditical".

"Crooked Hillary" is really more Kim and Khloe than Kipling, don't you think?

Speaking of Lincoln and Douglas, meanwhile, their 1860 war dance included Douglas' description of his soon to be immortalized adversary as "the leanest, lankest, most ungainly mass of legs and arms and hatchet face ever strung on a single frame".

Well, emancipate that, dude.

Couple of things worth noting, though, when it comes to presidential potshots of the past.

In Jefferson's case, he, at least, had the good sense to hire somebody to print with poison pen making, at least, an effort to appear statesmanlike as opposed to street fighter like.

And Douglas? Well, the fact that 150 years later, almost everyone can tell you who Abraham Lincoln was and who the Kardashians are, but, bet your lean, lank, ungainly mass of legs, nobody has a clue as to who Stephen Douglas was.

Food for thought.


I'm admittedly a romantic when it comes to ye olde quests for ye olde castle at 1600 Pennsylvania and, as a result, tend to feel a little extra cheated that campaign 2016 can't be more like, say, campaign 1960, when the young, dashing, upstart junior Senator from Massachusetts crossed swift, but civilized, swords with the swarthy, someday to be disgraced, Vice President of the United States.

And even if Nixon and Kennedy had had the technology that we all enjoy (or have inflicted upon us, as the case may be), I have a hard time picturing an exchange between the two along these maximum number of character lines.

Admittedly, the now revered days of "asking not what your country can do for you" were neither as lofty nor as literate as we would like to remember or as our parents and grandparents probably would have liked them to be.

But, in 1960, not to mention 1860 and 1800, the venom and vitriol and low blow, cheap shot shit stayed pretty much on the down low, if only because America had yet to become a nation of websites and blogsites and logging on and instant access to posting and tweeting and biting and pinching and pulling hair

In 2016, America has become that nation.

And rather than being inspired with articulate visions of the realizations of our collective hopes, dreams, goals and aspirations, we're looking at five more months of shade throwing where there should be lights shining, diss where there should be discussion, upmanship where there should be uplift.

@donaldthedemogogue and @crookedhillary

As the other nations of the world, as well as our own kids, the future generations of leadership log on and check out wazzup with Decision 2016, all they're apparently going to find is a throw down where a best man, or woman, winning should be.

Lots of words already flown.

Lots more fixin to fly.

The whole sad sorry state of this page in our history book, though, can be summed up in just 11...of 140 characters.

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