By MICHAEL DAVIDOW, Radio Free New Hampshire
For today’s column, I am being joined by Chloe Schlagobers, a reporter for an unnamed daily published in New York City (mostly on-line, but also available on fine silk cloth). Chloe will be interviewing me about the New Hampshire primary.
Moi-meme: Hi, Chloe.
Chloe Schlagobers: Hi, Michael! Before we go any further, my preferred pronouns are she, her, mine, mine, mine, and mine. What are yours?
MM: Umm. The usual ones?
CS: [censorious frown]
MM: Sorry. Let me see. Pancakes, ice cream, and Squirtle.
CS: I respect that. Okay then. First, I want you to know that I am a huge fan of New Hampshire. Where I went to college, which is Princeton, which is part of New York City, we used to go to Harvard for football games all the time.
MM: Harvard is in Massachusetts.
CS: I also like Montreal.
CS: Kennebunkport can be nice. But not in tourist season. Too crowded.
CS: Help me out here.
MM: We have that whole primary thing?
CS: Right you are! Plus you have those lovely Green Mountains, and all those cute kangaroos. So let’s get down to business. According to the New York [bleep] Style Manual, I am obliged to describe Manchester as “gritty.” Why is that?
MM: You guys always come up here in wintertime, when there’s a lot of sand and salt on the roads.
CS: I saw grit once. It was in a museum. Apparently, Brooklyn used to have some.
MM: Imagine that! Manchester also has a sizeable working class, just like Brooklyn used to have. With many different ethnicities. So we all rub elbows and put up with each other.
CS: How strange! It must be the elbows thing. Because that sounds gritty to me. Anyway, so what does Hillary have to do, to win the election here? Is there syrup involved, or should she learn how to ski? If the latter, please let us know where you keep your champagne powder.
MM: I didn’t know Hillary was running again.
CS: Oops. I think it’s a secret. But that’s why our editorial board threw its support behind both Klobuchar and Warren. Because none of today’s candidates have the whole package. They are all half-candidates, at best. You know, like Warren’s progressiveness, combined with Klobuchar’s appeal to moderates. We figure that people will eventually beg Hillary to come back, because she is neither progressive nor appealing, and those things sort of cancel each other out, and we can finally recoup our investment in her.
MM: Wow. That just made my head spin.
CS: So the [bleeping] Style Manual also mandates my describing New Hampshire as quaint.
MM: Quaint and gritty! Sort of like…
CS: Exactly. Warren and Klobuchar! But then there’s Mayor Pete. I am pretty sure that he was the valedictorian of his high school class, you know. Plus he is a veteran, so there’s that.
MM: Wow again.
CS: I know. Impressive. Just like Kennedy.
MM: Only minus the years that Kennedy spent in the House, and the Senate, and everything that he learned about politics and finance and diplomacy by virtue of growing up as a Kennedy. Not to mention how his heart had been tempered, by great personal losses.
CS: See? Hillary in 2020! I knew you’d come around.
MM: You know, Chloe. I sometimes fear that the presidency has become an irrelevance. That in a world of unbridled corporate power, where people are literally able to make billions of dollars, go to Davos on private jets, wear solid gold hats and sterling silver pants, while at the same time do the most important work in today’s world, creating entirely new ways for people to connect and make sense of their lives, without any oversight, without any responsibilities other than to themselves and their checking accounts, the very notion of public service has become outmoded. Only suckers care, or think that the government can make a difference. So rather than attracting our best and brightest, we instead get people who consider politics to be a hobby. We get the second career types. We get Donald Trump, who is in the process of proving that this country can not only survive, but thrive, without a functioning presidency altogether.
CS: You sound sad.
MM: There is no percentage in sadness. We need a good leader, though, with vision and human decency. Welcome to the sucker brigade, Chloe. And remember. Mayor Pete for Congress, Sununu for President!
Michael Davidow is a lawyer in Nashua. He is the author of Gate City, Split Thirty, and The Rocketdyne Commission, three novels about politics and advertising which, taken together, form The Henry Bell Project. His most recent one is The Book of Order. They are available on Amazon.
Views expressed in columns and opinion pieces belong to the author and do not reflect those of InDepthNH.org.