It is DNC convention week and that means the Democrats are more insufferable than they normally are. The ratings aren’t in yet, as I write this, but I can’t imagine that the numbers will be as high as DNC convention organizers hope they will be. I admit I couldn’t stomach the thought of watching the coverage on Monday night. I did tune into CNN’s broadcast of it but I didn’t last long. Actress/activist Eva Longoria was standing in front of a big screen as she spoke with Biden supporters. The people were to represent ordinary working people – I listened to a farmer and a nurse.
In fairness, I will note that the farmer began his remarks to Longoria by offering his condolences to President Trump and the Trump family on the loss of Robert Trump. That was a nice touch. The nurse wore Cookie Monster themed scrubs, with a stethoscope around her neck. The Cookie Monster scrubs were a smash hit on Twitter. While the farmer admitted that the coronavirus pandemic wasn’t Trump’s fault (which is more than most Democrats will say) he did say Trump botched the response to it. The nurse wanted to emphasize her concern for her child’s safety when schools are reopened. You know the drill.
I read a transcript of Michelle Obama’s speech. Her appearance was much anticipated and the media was hyping her speech all Monday. There were two topics addressed in her speech that caught my attention. The first was her reference to a saying she often used while in the White House – “When they go low (Republicans), we go high.” Republican voters know that Michelle often goes low, as does her husband. The sanctimonious imperative issued by Michelle is a bit much, especially given the setting Monday night.
So what do we do now? What’s our strategy? Over the past four years, a lot of people have asked me, “When others are going so low, does going high still really work?” My answer: going high is the only thing that works, because when we go low, when we use those same tactics of degrading and dehumanizing others, we just become part of the ugly noise that’s drowning out everything else. We degrade ourselves. We degrade the very causes for which we fight.
But let’s be clear: going high does not mean putting on a smile and saying nice things when confronted by viciousness and cruelty. Going high means taking the harder path. It means scraping and clawing our way to that mountain top. Going high means standing fierce against hatred while remembering that we are one nation under God, and if we want to survive, we’ve got to find a way to live together and work together across our differences.
And going high means unlocking the shackles of lies and mistrust with the only thing that can truly set us free: the cold hard truth.
You may have noticed the racial undertone of some of her choice of words – “unlocking the shackles of lies”, for instance. Shackles? Remember when Joe Biden told Black Democrats that Mitt Romney would “put you back in shackles”? It’s all well and good to ask that people remain above the fray and be civil to each other but in reality, that is not the atmosphere in which we live. Today’s hyper-partisan political environment can be directly traced back to her husband’s administration. The corrupt Obama administration politicized every department in the U.S. government. Top intelligence officials colluded with the Obama administration to spy on Trump’s campaign in order to make sure he didn’t win the 2016 election. And, most recently, Barack Obama hijacked the funeral of Rep. John Lewis and turned it into a political rally. He called for an end to the filibuster, among other things, all totally political and not mournful of the loss of John Lewis.
Perhaps Michelle should stick to monitoring her own behavior and that of her husband’s before pontificating on how everyone else should act.
The second subject that (predictably) came up that caught my attention was her use of a classic Democrat scare tactic in election years – voter suppression. Maybe Stacey Abrams wrote it for her but she sure sounds like the other race-baiting Democrats who agitate Black voters in hopes of motivating them to get out and vote on Election Day. In this speech, Michelle also encourages everyone to request a mail-in ballot as soon as possible and then get their ballot mailed as soon as possible.
And if we want a chance to pursue any of these goals, any of these most basic requirements for a functioning society, we have to vote for Joe Biden in numbers that cannot be ignored. Because right now, folks who know they cannot win fair and square at the ballot box are doing everything they can to stop us from voting. They’re closing down polling places in minority neighborhoods. They’re purging voter rolls. They’re sending people out to intimidate voters, and they’re lying about the security of our ballots. These tactics are not new.
But this is not the time to withhold our votes in protest or play games with candidates who have no chance of winning. We have got to vote like we did in 2008 and 2012. We’ve got to show up with the same level of passion and hope for Joe Biden. We’ve got to vote early, in person if we can. We’ve got to request our mail-in ballots right now, tonight, and send them back immediately and follow-up to make sure they’re received. And then, make sure our friends and families do the same.
We have got to grab our comfortable shoes, put on our masks, pack a brown bag dinner and maybe breakfast too, because we’ve got to be willing to stand in line all night if we have to.
Michelle Obama isn’t stupid. She’s well-educated with Ivy League school diplomas, including a law degree from Harvard Law School. She knows that elections are run by state and local governments, not the federal government. If there are problems with voting, the local residents need to replace the current elected officials with people who are competent to run elections efficiently. Purging voter rolls, for example, is a record-keeping matter. And, if lines are so long at polling places that people are waiting several hours in line, that is on the county or city elected officials in charge of distributing voting machines and poll workers.
Michelle recorded her video for the convention at her home in Martha’s Vineyard. It is impossible to listen to her and not hear the racial grievance and her utter contempt for Republicans. She said that Trump is not up to the job. Funny, that’s what I kept saying while her husband was in office.