The Winner of the Debate

Here is a fellow at the Atlantic who thinks the debate was won by. . . Rand Paul.

To me, Rand Paul did the worst at the debate, sounding whiny, incoherent, and weirdly resentful. His foreign policy is that of Pat Buchanan (who somehow made his way into my blogroll and now haunts my news intake). And what is staler than Buchanan?

GOP Debate #5: Conclusion

Not a word on the economy, not a word on education, not a word on the plummeting life span of the white working class (which is supposed to be the Republican base, by the way), not a word on crime, not a word on poverty, not a word on healthcare. Not a word on anything that is relevant to the daily lives of actual voters.

Are these people running for President of the US or President of the Middle East? I’m sitting here, between Illinois and Missouri, listening to candidates who don’t seem to be aware that Illinois and Missouri exist and face problems that are not connected to the Middle East or even North Korea.

The debate is good entertainment but it’s completely divorced from the real issues facing the country.

Republican Debate #5: Liveblogging

19:34 – Reince Priebus is not even remotely managing to live up to the hypnotic beauty of his first and last name. What a waste of a name on such a poodle-like fellow.

19:44 – I would look sensational in Fiorina’s suit. What a stunning piece of clothing.

19:46 – during the anthem, everybody held their hand to their heart except for Cruz who was grabbing his wallet.

19:48 – when asked to introduce himself, Rand Paul immediately started attacking others.

19:51 – Kasich is being reasonable once again. And Christie is fear-mongering pathetically. The extreme anxiety he keeps talking about doesn’t seem to have spoiled his appetite.

19:53 – Fiorina’s cross is so enormous and flashy that it’s embarrassing.

19:59 – if I were still a drinking person, I could play a shots game with the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.”

20:01 – Trump brings up cell phones with ISIS flags pouring across the border. What’s that even about? I like Bush’s line about Trump being a chaos candidate.

20:06 – enough with the “radical Islamic terrorism”! Boring!!!

20:18 – why is everybody piling on poor little Rubio all of a sudden?

20:36 – Trump has been completely marginalized in this debate.

20:41 – Carson was asked the stupidest question and gave the stupidest answer.

20:46 – no, Trump never heard of the Geneva convention. Why would he, he’s not even an actual politician!

20:57 – Cruz is going all Putinoid in his pro-Assad fervor.

20:58 – Rubio finally brings some reason to the discussion reminding that Gaddafi was removed not by the US but by the people of Libya.

21:14 – why is Rand Paul getting so much air time? He’s an idiot, everything he says is ridiculous.

21:20 – and Carson is a Leninist with his citizen – statesman theory. But he said something smart about Putin, wow.

Fanaticism and Dogma

An illustration of what I was talking about this morning didn’t fail to appear. A Liberal blogger wrote an extremely mildly worded post that questioned whether the concept of trigger warnings was necessarily entirely always completely useful and asking students maybe, possibly, if they would be so kind as to consider maybe possibly doing the kindness of accepting that professors don’t always object to administration – mandated trigger warnings because of being horrible evildoers. Maybe. Possibly. Or not.

The post sounded even more tentative and apologetic than my retelling. Still, it departed by a hair’s breadth from the dogma that trigger warnings are good. As a result, the post’s author got terrified of his own enormous daring and deleted the post.

This kind of thing happens all the time. The moment Bernie Sanders began his campaign, the very Liberals whose interests he was trying to promote descended on him like a flock of angry crows for not using the exact PC terminology of today back in the blethering 1970s. This is not even about censoring ideas. It’s complete intolerance for anything that departs from rigid formulations that have to be reproduced photographically. And of course, the politicians who try to appeal to this audience sound like broken records.

The Mysteries of Laundry

Since I started working from home, it feels like I’m doing a lot more laundry than ever before. Mind you, I don’t do more housework than normally. It’s just laundry that seems to be overrunning my life.

I can’t even remember what we did before I suddenly found myself running up and down stairs with endless laundry baskets. I’m sure we didn’t walk around in dirty clothes. And it seems logical that we wore more clothes when I had to change for work and then change back into house clothes. These days I can do one outfit all day long but laundry is mushrooming.

There are definitely more dirty dishes since I now eat only at home but I don’t do more dishes than before. I never did any, actually.

This is one of those little life mysteries that surround the process of laundry in a way they don’t any other process.

Ready for Another Debate

Who’s with me on watching tonight’s Republican debate? It promises to be quite animated.

What I wonder is whether Republicans are compensating for the lack of a single viable candidate with creating an animated, conflict-ridden field that attracts attention and produces the feeling that the party is alive, bustling and happening. 

I’m worried that the Democrats, with their two not very young candidates who never say anything unpredictable and don’t make it into the news very often + the idiotically scheduled Saturday debates, are failing to milk the moment for all the attention they could be getting. 

Hillary vs Trump

I listened to Trump on TV and here is the problem: he sounds sincere. Except for when he says “I’m an Evangelical” and “I like the Bible”, he sounds like somebody who believes what he says. 

Hillary, on the other hand, has once again started slipping back towards sounding fake and scripted. It’s clear that she is once again allowing focus groups and aides to write her lines, and that as somebody who is not a naturally good liar, she doesn’t know how to make this parroting sound passionate and convincing. 

There was a time when Hillary overcame the fakeness and started sounding sincere but now this new-found skill is disappearing. When she delivered the stale old “Trump’s words are a recruitment tool for ISIS”, she sounded so rehearsed and boring that I cringed. Trump, on the other hand, never repeats stuff that has been said on every website and in every newspaper in existence. He comes up with his own material, and this, once again, sounds more sincere.

Many voters are not intelligent enough to process and analyze content. They respond to visual stimuli and the vague feelings of comfort or discomfort those stimuli arouse in them. These are people who are baffled by the world’s complexity and become enraged whenever they realize that, once again, somebody is manipulating them. 

Hillary is, unfortunately, trapped in fakeness because the most engaged and activist part of her base is deeply into scripted, rehearsed statements delivered verbatim an endless number of times. And the voters who’ll come to the general election don’t respond well to that.

Don’t worry, Hillary will win the election but it will not be a super easy win. We can all help Hillary by letting go of the scripted pronouncements we tend to love so much. Let’s give her a chance to be competitive by allowing her to speak her mind every once in a while.