You know Paul Rudnick from his work on movies like Addams Family Values, The First Wives Club, In & Out, and his play Big Night\. His observations on Facebook have turned to politics, while his hilarious Twitter feed is a must follow. This is his latest on staying sane for the next 12 months.
“Here’s my advice, for what it’s worth: at this point, trying to predict the Democratic Presidential nominee will drive you insane. The debates are always frustrating free-for-alls, and of course, it’s still very early. There are many worthy candidates and the score card changes minute by minute.
Channeling your rage over Trump into grasping for certainty will only lead to increased despair.
Trump’s rise was always due to only one thing: his cheerleading for open racism. When his supporters claim
“he tells it like it is” or “he sounds like a regular person”,
that’s what they’re talking about. The Trumpites no longer even bother disguising their aggressive hatred with blather about jobs or the swamp; they’re jubilantly all in with white supremacy as their definition of America.
Persuasion or discussion are beyond useless. Over the past two days, mass shootings have been the direct result of Trump’s policies. Ivanka tweeted the need to decry violence, while tirelessly supporting her father’s bigotry. Saudi Arabia has begun to relax its hateful Guardianship laws, which require women to secure a male relative’s permission before traveling or holding a job. Ivanka tweeted her approval of the Saudis’ progressive action, which is odd, since in America she’s waged war against women’s reproductive freedom and doesn’t make a move without her Dad’s permission.
All the Democratic candidates oppose Trump’s rhetoric, and have presented platforms with intriguing ideas. At this point, the candidates’ decency and thoughtfulness will always read as weakness, against the Trump voters’ full-speed-ahead war on immigrants, women and LGBTQ people. The Republicans will always portray Democratic morality as elitist nonsense.
That’s why I’m paying attention and waiting. Once a candidate emerges, Democratic solidarity will become at least a possibility. Of course, that person needs to be a viable choice, but the concept of “electability” is always in flux. Both President Obama and Trump were both considered niche longshots. [Kamala] Harris and [Pete] Buttigieg and [Elizabeth] Warren can all feel like exciting choices, because they are, but no one is a sure thing.
Trump may very well be re-elected, but there’s one aspect that makes this less certain. As many people have pointed out, during the last Presidential race, Trump was an outsider and even a question mark. Now the world knows exactly who he is and what he stands for. He’s not an underdog or a wild card. I believe that the majority of Americans truly despise Trump, and if they get off their asses and vote, a change could happen.
I’m not advocating passivity, or a lack of involvement in the process. I’m only saying that a constant need for definitive answers, while understandable, will cause exhaustion and breakdowns. It’s a long game and both sides are worried, which is encouraging. Vicious nightmares like Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell are up for re-election in the Senate, and defeating them, as well as Trump, while difficult, needs to be an all-consuming goal.
And at least the stakes are clear.” – Paul Rudnick, 8/4/19