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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Dear Hillary – Please Read This Before Your Next Debate

This article has been posted also to Huffington Post.

Let me start by saying that I need, We the People need, Earthlings really really need Hillary to win this Presidential election. I’m not going to dwell on the obvious reasons.

The points of this article stem from witnessing the First Presidential Debate and realizing that Hillary needs help. Yes, I am sure Hillary has plenty of savants coaching her. These people are clearly clueless.

Hillary’s advisors, running the gamut from top aides, economists, legal experts, communications specialists, and questionable stylists, are obviously established and experienced political advisors. Here’s the problem. Trump is not your typical politician or Presidential nominee.

It’s like having Phil Jackson coach the 2002 Lakers in the NBA Finals, against the Blob. For those unfamiliar with the sci-fi/horror classic, “a growing corrosive alien amoeba that crashes from outer space in a meteorite and engulfs and dissolves citizens in the small community of Downingtown, Pennsylvania” (thanks Wikipedia). Anyone who knows anything about horror classics, knows the best triangle offense won’t take out the Blob! No, you need Steve McQueen, “The King of Cool,” to freeze and dispatch that monster to the Arctic.

My point: Hillary and her people are no match for the Blob. They are literally what Blobs feed on. It’s total ecological disturbance, you know like that Mashable article about goldfish in the wild. Here, the Vasser river in Australia is the 2016 Presidential Campaign and discarded into that river, the teeny tiny goldfish no one took seriously, Trump. Except, now, the goldfish has grown thousands its size to that of a sea bass (but way gnarly and not tasty whatsoever), introducing disease, breeding rapidly, wreaking havoc on the native fish, i.e. regular politicians, and threatening the entire ecosystem, aka, our world as we know it.  

Whether you look at it as a monstrous Blob or an overgrown goldfish, Trump is an alien invading an environment in which he has no business existing, and yet he is thriving, infecting the rational decision-making of American citizens or feeding off the lack thereof. He will continue to thrive until, as with a pandemic, he is properly inoculated against and eradicated. Basically, you can’t treat small pox with Nyquil… or politics as usual.

This article does not offer the cure sadly, but attempts to better define the Beast and to critique current response measures within the First Presidential Debate.

TIP: Hillary, answer the goddamn questions, directly, to the point, without rambling.

Let us examine the very first question of the debate: “Secretary Clinton, why are you a better choice than your opponent to create the kinds of jobs that will put more money into the pockets of American works?”

Hillary’s Answer: “Well, thank you, Lester, and thanks to Hofstra for hosting us. The central question in this election is really what kind of country we want to be and what kind of future we’ll build together. Today is my granddaughter’s second birthday, so I think about this a lot. First, we have to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. That means we need new jobs, good jobs, with rising incomes.”

What is happening here? Why are you wasting time stating the obvious? Of course, everyone wants a better economy. And so what if it’s your granddaughter’s second birthday? REALLY? Who CARES? If Chelsea didn’t pop out a baby, would you be any less concerned?

What was the question again? Oh that’s right – Why are you a better choice than Trump for job creation?

Hillary’s answer continues: “I want us to invest in you. I want us to invest in your future. That means jobs in infrastructure, in advanced manufacturing, innovation and technology, clean, renewable energy, and small business, because most of the new jobs will come from small business. We also have to make the economy fairer. That starts with raising the national minimum wage and also guarantee, finally, equal pay for women’s work.”

Hillary, guuurl, you are just stringing along a bunch of buzz words and phrases that sound great. However, you still haven’t answered the question!? You only get 2 minutes!

I can’t help but wonder why you’re not answering this question.

Now, if you were Trump, I can see why there would be a struggle to actually articulate credentials, experience or accomplishments that would irrefutably establish oneself as the better choice. However, Hillary, you are not Trump. You are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than Trump. You were a United States Senator, a current Secretary of State. Why are you hedging here?

I think I have an idea. The foundation of Trump’s campaign is that he is a political outsider who therefore can comfortably pull no punches lambasting the current establishment for every disgruntlement of unhappy Americans everywhere. This is weird, right? Because usually in a Presidential election, you have career politicians from each major party duking it out, firmly entrenched in the establishment within which they “Frank Underwood” their ways up the ranks to Presidential nominees.

Trump’s mantra is that he is “not a politician.” He peddles “change” like it’s snake oil to cure all maladies and make “America great again.” It is the classic magic elixir ruse of a charlatan and disturbingly, Americans (and the Republican Party shamelessly) are buying.

Therefore, perhaps you are reluctant to identify as a political insider. However, being vague does not counteract the notion that you are part of the establishment, Hillary. All it does is make you sound shady, which is the hallmark of virtually every established politician.

Now’s let examine how Trump answers: “Mr. Trump, the same question to you. It’s about putting money — more money into the pockets of American workers. You have up to two minutes."

Trump: “Thank you, Lester. Our jobs are fleeing the country. They’re going to Mexico. They’re going to many other countries. You look at what China is doing to our country in terms of making our product. They’re devaluing their currency, and there’s nobody in our government to fight them….
So we’re losing our good jobs, so many of them…..
So Ford is leaving. You see that, their small car division leaving. Thousands of jobs leaving Michigan, leaving Ohio. They’re all leaving. And we can’t allow it to happen anymore.
But we have to stop our jobs from being stolen from us. We have to stop our companies from leaving the United States and, with it, firing all of their people. All you have to do is take a look at Carrier air conditioning in Indianapolis. They left — fired 1,400 people. They’re going to Mexico. So many hundreds and hundreds of companies are doing this.
We cannot let it happen. Under my plan, I’ll be reducing taxes tremendously, from 35 percent to 15 percent for companies, small and big businesses. That’s going to be a job creator like we haven’t seen since Ronald Reagan. It’s going to be a beautiful thing to watch.
Companies will come. They will build. They will expand. New companies will start. And I look very, very much forward to doing it. We have to renegotiate our trade deals, and we have to stop these countries from stealing our companies and our jobs.”

Do you see what Tump did here? He actually answered the question. It’s seems to be of less consequence whether his answer actually stands up against fact checking. He has clearly identified a problem, the culprits, and his (totally bullshit) solution. It’s an answer that anyone, whether they agree with him or not, can follow. Even if it’s flawed in terms of examples used, rationale in resolving, clarity of resolution articulated, it is direct and to the point in terms of an answer.

So Hillary, what must you do?
You must start answering the questions, more plainly.

Many Americans are legitimately unhappy. Identify those reasons. When asked about jobs, don’t speak in terms of advanced manufacturing and clean, renewable energy. That’s like talking to a drowning person about how Michael Phelps overcame ADHD and that doofy face to become the greatest Olympian of all time.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t talk about advanced manufacturing and clean, renewable energy. Recognize however the distinction between their connection to job creation versus the argument that climate change is real, which is real and important, but not as compelling to people more pissed about eking out a reasonable living for themselves and their families who could care less about the plight of polar bears (I love polar bears and totally see the bigger picture).

People are upset about jobs, losing jobs, unlivable minimum wage, the diminishing of the middle class, taxes, the insane gap between the richest 1% and how the most rich exploit loopholes to find a way to beat the system and everyone else (probably, yourself included, so I get how this could be sticky for you).

You must address these issues plainly and be more specific about your solutions. Don’t channel Hillary speaking to members of Congress about NAFTA and CAFTA, or a bunch of other acronyms that are meaningless to most Americans. Speak to the people, tell them no lies and don’t patronize. Then maybe you can make (some of) them (especially in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, etc.) love you even if they don’t. And never, ever, plug your book to refer to your plans!

Herein also lies your combat strategy. Trump wants to liken you to the establishment that has failed the people; liken Trump to the 1% who has benefited from exploiting the system; a corrupt businessman with multiple bankruptcies, unfair labor practices and illegal workers, whose ties are made in China!! (Letterman 4-eva), who does not care about the average American. Don’t talk about his Dad. You don’t have to go there to take down the son.

Embrace your part in the establishment. Tell the people more specifically what you have done to effect change (fighting for 9/11 first responders; expanding health coverage to millions of lower-income children; pay equity act; international relations) and what you plan to change in the future. Trump is the outsider, who has no clue. You’re the insider who can work the system to their advantage. Lay out your plan. Destroy Trump’s non-plan. Reveal him for the quack that he is. You can’t do this if you don’t engage him or the issues directly.

TIP: Stop talking about your family.

Whenever you talk about your “immigrant” grandmother or your small business-man father who squeegeed relentlessly, you sound like you’re selling baloney. You are not the underdog. You’re never going to convince the unconvinced that you are anything but a very rich, very powerful white person. The good news, plenty of very rich, very powerful white people before you have successfully ascended into the Presidency. None of them however, was a woman. Bringing me to my next tip.

TIP: You are a woman and this country is sexist.

So stop talking about your grandkids also. If you are elected President, then yes, we will have a Grandma as President but until then, chill.

TIP: I love Bill but don’t praise Bill.

“I think my husband did a pretty good job in the 1990s. I think a lot about what worked and how we can make it work again...”

Statements like this, perhaps unfairly, make your Presidential run look nepotistic. The unconvinced voter will not be readily convinced that you are qualified to be President because of your husband’s presidency or the great things that he accomplished (even if you were responsible).

TIP: I love the Obamas but don’t praise the Obamas.

“But I like to remember what Michelle Obama said in her amazing speech at our Democratic National Convention: When they go low, we go high. And Barack Obama went high, despite Donald Trump’s best efforts to bring him down.”

When you make statements like these, you sound like a minion of the current establishment. You will not win the unconvinced minority vote this way either. It’s clear who Barack and Michelle support. However, you who too enthusiastically align yourself with the outgoing administration will not win favor with those less enthusiastic. You could have called out Trump on his incessant racist birther attack of Obama on the nonsense of the issue alone.

TIP: You are a woman and this country is HELLA sexist.

No more red power suits. Red is for harlots and the devil. You are already too intimidating, i.e. the primary reason articulated by successful women who remain single. Don’t intimidate potential voters. Blue suit, Empire or Jay-Z.

TIP: Win the first 15 minutes of the next debate.

There’s more I could get into when it comes to the first debate but my analysis here is largely based on your performance in the first 15 minutes. That’s about as long as the attention span of your average, undecided American voter.

God help you Hillary Clinton. God help us all.  Good luck and may the electoral college be with you.