Like an ear worm or a bad tape loop, certain themes keep surfacing among the Pundit and Media class that make me want to shout at television screens, computer monitors, and publications alike: “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” They send me scurrying away from those who repeat these themes. Here they are, in no particular order:
1. Obama/the RNC/the Establishment/the Tea Party/political correctness/Krispy Kreme donuts/bacon/vaccinations…created Donald Trump. I’m really tired of these stories, even when they’re true. Yes, I believe that President Barack Obama’s arrogant attitude angered a large section of the electorate, making them more than open to persuasion by a powerful tough guy who was willing to say what they were thinking. Ditto on political correctness run amok. It’s not that I don’t agree with a lot of these theories, it’s just that I’m tired of them, especially when I see a liberal writer or pundit using their pet peeve about conservatives to say, “See, see, see what all your extremism has wrought, hmmmm?” We don’t need these stories anymore. The Donald is here. His supporters — the one-third of the primary electorate voting for him most of the time — are enthused for a multitude of reasons. Mostly, they’re angry. We get it.
2. The Establishment…whatever. Does anyone know what the Establishment is anymore? It seems to keep changing. If it was the party “insiders” who wanted Jeb Bush as the nominee, that didn’t quite work out for them, now, did it? So whoever the Establishment is, they don’t seem to be wielding much power. So, let’s stop throwing that term around and just describe who we really mean when we’re talking about people doing what people do to get their guy/gal elected — RNC leadership? Congressional leadership? Donors–and which ones? Lobbyists–which ones? Stop using the ill-defined term the “Establishment” unless it is followed by an explanatory clause describing precisely what group of people you’re talking about.
3. The Anti-Establishment Candidate or Outsider: This, like “Establishment,” seems to change as the election season drags on. Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, for example, were both seen as anti-Establishment types, having come out of the Tea Party movement. But now, Sen. Cruz is sometimes seen as the insider, as part of the Establishment, when it’s convenient for the person writing their thesis on …see Point Number One. Sometimes it seems as if “outsider” and “anti-establishment” are now solely reserved for someone with a bad comb-over, a spray tan and tiny hands.
4. The nominating process is rigged. Okay, we can talk about that as it relates to Democrats. After all, they have more super-de-duper super delegates than Hillary Clinton has emails about yoga. Their system seriously is rigged. But on the GOP side, the process has always been straightforward, with a certain number of unpledged delegates, governed by each state’s rules. No mystery. No lack of transparency. Colorado’s delegate process, for example, dates back to 1912, with repeals and reimplementations on the books well before this or the last several presidential election seasons. We can have erudite discussions, yes, about the best way to nominate someone from a political party for president. But we can’t talk about the GOP process being rigged. Let’s bury that, shall we?
5. The horror of a contested election. As much as I love seeing the folks at MSNBC’s Morning Joe program head to the fainting couch, I’m awfully tired of their faux gasps of outrage over the possibility that Donald Trump might not get the nomination even with a big plurality of delegates in his pocket when he arrives in Cleveland– and convention delegates will–gasp!–actually choose the nominee. The conventions have turned into incredibly boring television spectacles that people don’t like to watch anymore. They should be gatherings of the party workers at the grassroots level, voting on behalf of their brothers and sisters in their states back home for the party nominee. Guess what? They might actually get to do that this year and have it mean something. I actually think that process could go smoothly, as I’ve said before. But even if it turns out to be a free-for-all, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
6. John Kasich is the most electable GOP candidate. This seems to come most often from liberal commentators who just can’t wrap their minds around the fact that the vast majority of Republican primary voters don’t really care for a dude who has no problem criticizing conservatives if it makes him appear morally superior. It always amazes me when liberal writers think they can drill down in the Republican voters’ psyche and dole out advice on the direction of a party most of them loathe.
That’s my list of things I’m tired of hearing. Feel free to share yours.
Libby Sternberg is a novelist who is featuring a lot of stuff about Charlotte Bronte and her most famous novel, Jane Eyre, on her blog right now if you’re interested.