Raise the Bar in Philadelphia (2016 Campaign Series)
The Republicans set the bar so low last week in Cleveland that it seemed impossible that anyone could go lower – but the Democrats are off to a bad start, with another email scandal and the tooth-pulling resignation of party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz – long overdue in the opinion of Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski (and me). Despite the widespread distrust of both candidates and the damnation of both parties, there is a difference, particularly in this election. While America has never had a woman president, it has had several male ones who have been equally and perhaps deservedly vilified, including some who turned out to be pretty good.
But we have never had a candidate like Donald Trump, and I hope we never will again. Why it seems so hard for so many to see through the dangerous emptiness of this man is beyond me; but the ugly world – and country – he paints seems to resonate with those who are angry and fearful. Even as he has demanded us to surrender all hope, he has not offered a single idea, a single program, a single solution. As Gertrude Stein said of her childhood neighborhood that had been razed and replaced by an industrial park, “There is no there there.”
Last week ended on the 167th birthday of Emma Lazarus, whose words are inscribed on the Statue of Liberty:
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman . . . Her name, Mother of Exiles . . . "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
We haven’t always lived up to those words, but we have not yet erased them.
P.S. Check out these two intern photos . . . And then tell me there is no difference between the parties.