Inspection- Of the Great (?) Duel and Rhetorical Judo (Part 2)
Now the rhetorical pistols have fired let’s see what carnage they have wrought. Wait. No, that’s not right. We only had a few actual pistols, no one’s dead, well ‘out of the race… And all the other ‘pistols’ were pop guns softly shooting out a sign that reads, “Bang!”
Bernie and Kamala ruled the day, while Mayor Pete lingered slightly behind with a slightly softer “bang.” If I had to pick one winner then it would be Bernie, because rhetorically he was an unstoppable force. Oh, the others tried but it was kind of like walking down a railroad tracks: they had to move over every time the express rolled through.
Pete was the intellectual, which with Trump as an opponent that could be a BIG problem. Biden spent a lot of time on the defensive and still seemed almost insignificant. Questioned by Kamala the second train on the tracks he shrunk.
We need no pop guns in 2020. That was almost all the other candidates, and for some: not their fault. They simply don’t have the rhetorical skills needed to meet 2020.
Here’s the problem. The others, like Gillebrand, did well, but they don’t have the stage presence needed for this specific challenge. Compare the phrasing offered by Kamala, like “I don’t believe in Science Fiction, I believe in Science fact,” to most of what the others said. They simply don’t come up to the challenge.
We desperately need those who can catch the ears and the minds of the public, plus snatch it away from the beast we must face.
A lot has been said about how hard it is to beat an incumbent. I believe that is overrated. This could be our Jimmy Carter moment, only Jimmy and Ron didn’t have the massive amount if election fraud being perpetrated all with the intent of repeating 2016. The hostage crisis doesn’t even come close to being the anchor hanging around Trump’s political neck: his severe shortcomings and horrific behavior. The challenge here is for our candidate to be able to do whatever he, or she, must to catch the media’s attention enough to push him overboard and out of the White House.
Will it be easy? Hell NO: the media has been puppy dogging Trump. Just one of a zillion examples: they would be covering his sex scandals with interviews of the accusers 24/7 if he had been a Democrat, or named Clinton, if news was truly apolitical in any sense, and not enabling creatures like Trump and the worst of the worst in his party: which these days amounts to at least 90%. Instead they mention it briefly at best, and then sneak away like a kid at the table who doesn’t want to eat his Brussels sprouts. To influenced by the FOX model: unfair and very unbalanced.
So: yes, it’s going to be tough. And the diuretic s**t show spewed from his mouth, and his tweets, will make it harder.
Can Bernie do it? Can Kamala? Can Pete? Can…? Well, the same problem exists for all: doing whatever to snatch the media’s attention away from the really bad orange circus clown.
If he couldn’t do it among fellow Democrats in a friendly, media staged, event, Joe can’t. Most of the others can’t. If we do the best rhetorical judo we can, take our best ‘shot:’ take what Trump says and ricochet it back at him like a bullet, I think Bernie first, Kamala second and maybe Pete, can. The others I fear, no matter how good, will be lost in the noise.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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