There once was a candidate running for the office of President of the United States who traversed this great nation from coast to coast, drawing throngs of onlookers and supporters wherever he appeared. He spoke to the country about its fears, its aspirations, its recently troubled past, and its very uncertain future in orations that were at once fiery, yet comforting. And he did all of that without uttering one syllable of detail about how he would address the country's many issues and move us to a secure future.
The year was 2008. The candidate was Barack Obama. During the Democratic primaries, the neophyte senator from Illinois crisscrossed America and spoke in the most general of terms to all who would hear him. He pioneered the art of insubstantial oratory and proved that specifics are but a minor concern when one is able to mesmerize an audience and the media with a strong presence and fantastic oratory skills. Watching Obama command a gathering was like turning back time and watching Ivan Pavlov make his dogs salivate on command. For those who didn't see him at the time, let me assure you--he was that good.
As we know, Senator Barack Obama became President Barack Obama, and he did it by campaigning on a platform of nebulousness, of vaporous statements and insubstantial utterances. The Democratic machine sensed that the presidency could be recaptured and he was thus embraced by the Party faithful despite his lack of substance. To be fair, candidate Hillary Clinton was equally non-specific, but she did not have Obama's speech-making brilliance. She did, however, have an utterly creepy knack for pointing and waving to imaginary persons around her whenever she walked forward to speak. Vacuous and JFK-esque eventually won out over vacuous and creepy, so with the former in office we again have a candidate who is a powerful speaker, yet whose diatribe is utterly vacuous.
Democrats, meet candidate Donald Trump. Meet a man who espouses "Hope and Change" as much as candidate Obama did, complete with a lack of information about how Hope would be met and Change would be achieved. Trump is the Conservative Obama in this instance, an excellent speaker whose passionate oratory addresses hearts, but whose lack of detail leaves the mind wanting. I am puzzled, then, as to why Democrats vilify Trump for following a playbook that was perfected by the current Democratic president and one of the two current Democratic front-runners. The likely answer, of course, is fear. Fear that Trump--the unapologetic anti-Muslim Birther and nativist--could follow the Democratic playbook and return the presidency to the GOP. If so, then I wonder if the gods of the Democratic Party will blame the People for falling for such tactics again or shame themselves for perfecting the tactics in the first place.
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