LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Posted September 10, 2020
When The Atlantic reported President Trump’s alleged remarks on fallen American soldiers being “losers” and “suckers”, I hoped that Joe Biden would delay judgement until we know more. No such luck.
Instead, Biden responded with fist pounding, stern-faced fury and applause-line oratory that prompts cheers when invoking our military. Would it have hurt his cause to show a little restraint before defaulting to all-out attack mode? Yes, it probably would have. I should know better by now.
My dad was frustrated by President George H.W. Bush’s tendency to “feign anger” when making a point, especially during election campaigns. “Righteous indignation”, I believe, was another term he used.
Most of us aren’t mind readers, but there seems to be a fine line between genuine passion and a well-rehearsed bit of theatre.. So many figures in sports, politics, and show business express “outrage” that the term has lost some of its sting.
Kamala Harris’ “That little girl was me” moment in a Democratic presidential debate drew a lot of attention and likely served its purpose. I don’t doubt that Ms. Harris has strong feelings about bussing, but I thought her remarks came off as a bit practiced. Maybe it’s just me.
I’m not naïve enough to expect this campaign to turn civil anytime soon. We all know this election is a referendum on President Trump’s character. If I had written solely about Trump’s typical campaign demeanor and tweets, this letter would almost never end.
I focused mostly on Democrats because they’ve promised us a return to civility. If they win in November, let’s hope they can deliver.