We’ve been treated to a couple under-reported presidential campaign ironies in the last week that are really worth reviewing. They’re both amusing and instructive.
The first involves highly anticipated speeches made by Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. In an effort to poke fun at Republicans, Mrs. Clinton, the self proclaimed “people’s champion” made what she thought would be a clever, populist reference to the Beatles iconic tune “Yesterday”. Given Hill “came of age” in the midst of Beatlemania it is was odd to see her, in the few seconds it took to woodenly recite several short lines, glance down and check the lyrics some 7 times! Check It Out
Meanwhile, Jeb Bush, who, based on both his and his family’s history, appears to be about as far from “everyman” as anyone could get, took the opportunity in Miami to address his audience in both English and fluent Spanish. He didn’t look down once. Check It out
The second paradox links two men who are ideologically, light years apart.
Senator Bernie Sanders is a proud, avowed, socialist who, naturally, caucuses with Democrats. Donald Trump is a proud capitalist who, after some party hopping, is currently registered with the GOP. The irony isn’t just that the duo are at opposite ends of the political spectrum. It’s found in how they’re being treated by the press.
Bernie, who by virtue of his label, supports government ownership and control over the means, production, and distribution of goods, has for the most part, been treated with great deference, and even fawning coverage. Trump, an unapologetic, extremely wealthy entrepreneur has been the object of endless ridicule from virtually every corner of the media.
Getting past some of the grins in all this, there is something to be learned.
Hillary, even under the most controlled, scripted environment cannot fashion the “commoner” image she craves. Mrs. Clinton fails, because she long ago deliberately removed herself from the every day lives of working class Americans.
Jeb Bush, despite a preconception and pedigree working hard against him, was able to do something most assuredly she could not. Jeb added an unexpected common touch by reaching out to a critical constituency, easily and in their own language. So much for those uppity Republicans.
While our Clinton, Bush comparison is relatively gentle fare, the dissimilar treatment of Sanders and Trump has a more troubling feel to it. Even taking into consideration that “The Donald’s” preening bombast makes for a tempting target, keep in mind Sanders is running for president to advance a form of governance that has led to the enslavement and murder of hundreds of millions of innocent people.
Folks might find the press assaults on Trump amusing but the pass being given to socialist Sanders is instructive, and kinda scary. Donald fires people and rubs a bunch of folks the wrong way. Socialism is much, much worse. You’d hope reporters would understand that. Apparently, up to this point, sadly you’d be wrong.
We’ll keep an eye out for more “campaign ironies”.