By MICHAEL DAVIDOW, Radio Free New Hampshire
We are hitting the home stretch. Perhaps you have already voted. Perhaps you have set aside an extra mask and a hazmat suit to hit the local elementary school on the chosen day. Perhaps you are too depressed to care anymore. It’s time to check in with Chloe Schlagobers again– my favorite reporter at the New York Bleeping Times.
Moi-meme: Hello, Chloe! Are you ready for the election?
Chloe Schlagobers: Hello, Squirtle! On the one hand, yes. I have already written an article about how people of color are discriminated against because the ballot itself is white. On the other hand, no, I’m not. I ran out of Xanax after watching that last debate. I was up all night, having bad dreams about Donald Trump’s tiny active mouth, and how exuberantly he moves his tiny hands when he speaks. He’s like a suction cup attached to a marionette being controlled by someone with Tourette’s Syndrome.
MM: He is certainly built to demand attention. Marshall McLuhan wrote about how different technological mediums support different kinds of communication. Live theater, for instance, requires flamboyance; otherwise people can’t see you in the back row. Television rewards subtlety, because it is all about the close-up. John Kennedy famously benefited from that. He seemed cool and controlled on tee-vee, whereas Dick Nixon seemed spastic. Trump is built for a new technology altogether. He is made for the internet, which you hold in your hands — the tiniest and most personal of all possible screens. No matter how small the available aperture, he will still grab you, make you watch, and make you feel something, whether you want to or not. And he does this by exaggerating everything.
CS: He is our first drag queen president!
MM: Wow. That almost makes me like him more. Except drag queens are sort of fun and they make people happy. Also they use less makeup than he does.
CS: True. But Trump makes people happy, too. Not his family and friends, of course. But complete strangers, who don’t know him, and don’t have to deal with his sociopathy except as it translates to entertainment. That’s been the problem since Day One. Because it’s cheap happiness, little-kid, stomach-full-of-Twinkies-for-dinner happiness. And what scares me most, is that he doesn’t just give other people Twinkies for dinner. Twinkies comprise his entire diet. He has this awful empty hole inside of himself, and instead of trying to tend to those needs with love and care and decency, he just shoves more crème-filling down there.
MM: Trump is so afraid of everything. He will do anything to tamp down his own fears. He is afraid of Covid. He is afraid of global warming. And most of all, he is afraid of elections. Joe Biden, on the other hand.
CS: Eat-your-veggies happiness?
MM: No, he has Kamala for that. What I like best about Joe Biden is how genuinely optimistic he is. Trump sees global warming, and he reaches for another Twinkie. Under Trump, we’ll keep burning coal. We’ll keep burning oil. We will hold onto those industries until there are no more cars left to fuel and no more cities left to light because everyone is covered by melted ocean ice. Whereas Biden is not just thinking ahead. He is also hopeful. He sees good jobs and brand new industries. He sees America leading the world into the future, not lagging behind it. He sees Americans as able to meet these challenges, rather than seeing them as babies who need to be coddled. He is a classic happy warrior. Trump is a classic coward.
CS: Can we mention her again? She who must not be named? Because I am afraid it will happen again.
MM: I hope not. I knew plenty of people who voted for Trump the last time, and it was often because they could not stand her. They were tired of her husband, they were tired of her personal bitterness, they were tired of her voice. It wasn’t a male-female thing. It was pure exhaustion. People just aren’t sick of Biden. He has been around a long time, but he has never made himself unwelcome. He is a politician, but that’s okay. We have tried the amateur route. It has been awful. I know. I am preaching to the converted here. Chloe, I’ve given up.
CS: Don’t give up, Squirtle! The best is yet to come. Drag Queens for Biden: Because Trump is Bad for Our Brand.
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.
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