Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Response to The Proper Insult

(See: Just Above Sunset: The Proper Insult)

Let's face it, Hillary Clinton couldn't insult her way out of a paper bag.

But maybe that's a good thing!

Maybe Hillary should proceed instead by differentiating herself as the candidate who's not hurling cheap shots and personal low blows. If she doesn't denigrate him, she reduces his opportunity to strike back with denigrations of his own, which he's not only very good at, it's really the only thing he is good at.

Maybe she can concentrate not only on what we, as a country, need to do, but how to do it, in a way that demonstrates her command of knowledge -- something he lacks. For example, she could show that his policies would contribute to the impoverishment of Mexico, and that would actually hurt both countries -- if they don't have jobs down there, we can neither sell to them, nor buy from them, and will force Mexicans to go back to those days when they actually were flooding across our borders. How does Trump counter that?

She should bombard him with facts. He's not really very good at those. Besides, hardly anybody ever counters his misstatements of fact anymore -- for example, that rather than immigrants being responsible for so much crime in America, studies have shown that the incidence of crime in immigrant neighborhoods is actually lower than in other neighborhoods.

And she shouldn't be afraid to show us how much she knows. The people who don't respect intelligence will be voting for Trump anyway. She needs to remind the rest of us why we should go to the polls on election day.

I know that that's a hard game plan to succeed on, considering how little it helped those other Republican candidates who tried it, but maybe the fact that the general election voters will be so different from the primary voters will help her with support from so many non-KoolAid-drinking-Republicans that those GOP candidates couldn't avail themselves to. At least I hope so.

But one more suggestion:

Maybe Hillary should even announce ahead of time that she'll be doing this, maybe even in her acceptance speech at the convention: 
"My Republican opponent isn't very good at much, but it's impossible to deny that he's very, very good at insulting and belittling other people, especially his opponents -- mocking them for being shorter than he, or insinuating that they lack his energy. 
I guess being good at insulting people is a skill that comes from a lifetime of practice, and I'm happy to confess that I've not had any reason to develop, much less perfect it, since showing a lack of respect for those you disagree with is not an ability that is of very much use in public service -- which is what I've spent my life doing. In this sense, my Republican opponent, who has lived his whole life outside of government, has a big head start on me. 
And this is why I want everyone to know right now that I don't plan on playing that game with him. 
I realize it will be hard to resist countering his abuses, but that's what I plan on doing during this upcoming election season. Instead, I will try to stay focused on telling you what I think we, as a country, should be doing, and also, how I believe it can be done. 
But don't get me wrong! I don't plan on refraining from ever criticizing my opponent, or holding back from expressing my heartfelt belief -- and it's a belief shared by millions, if not billions, around the world -- that Donald Trump is not in the least qualified to be president of the United States! 
Even if you think he is a plain-speaking man who "tells it like it is", he isn't. In fact, when expressing himself about world affairs, he plainly hasn't any idea of what he's talking about. But saying this is not to insult him, especially in a snarky way, nor to belittle his appearance, nor is it meant to humiliate him -- it's merely to point out his serious shortcomings in regards to the office that he's seeking.
Will I be "going negative"? 
Well, yes, I suppose I will, but only in the sense that I do plan on showing why I think I'm qualified to be president, and why I think Mr. Trump is not. But I do not plan on "going negative" with personal insults or speculative innuendo about things that have nothing to do with my opponent's capabilities to be the country's Commander in Chief.
And so on.

But if possible, just to maximize full impact, they should not leak either the text or the general contents of the speech ahead of time. Otherwise, they will rob the speech of its ability to pull the rug out from under Trump. This way, everybody gets to watch Trump to see what he does in the coming days, but also to watch her, just to see how well she stays to her word.

The better she does, the better she will look.

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