According to its Twitter page, Turning Point USA is a student movement for free markets and limited government whose members are “the community organizers of the right.” According to Wikipedia, Turning Point is a 501(c)3 organization that took in $78,890 in 2012 and $5 million in 2016. Its tax status keeps it from participating in political campaigns, but it can issue broad statements of ideology like the meme above. The @TPUSA Twitter account tweeted it a little after noon in the One True Time Zone. It’s a picture of some labor protestors and some soldiers: one side “fights for $15 to flip burgers” while the other “fights for your right to be an idiot.” That’s what is written, but what does it say, man? It’s never an easy question to answer, but lucky for you, I’m a nearsighted palmist. That’s right: I like to do a close reading.
I think it’s safe to say we’re witnessing the most exciting presidential election of our lifetimes. First black president was pretty cool, but first woman president is similarly significant, and first fascist TV-star president and/or disintegration of the Republican Party pushes it right over the top. Surely this is not the most interesting US presidential election ever, though. The election of 1860 was pretty hot. So was 1924. In these lively times, when so much seems unprecedentedly awful, we are wise to turn to the even more awful stuff that already happened. Today is Friday, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. Won’t you peruse the lessons of history with me?
The most striking feature of the Republican debate last week was the candidates’ hostility to CNBC. In the course of not answering a question about the debt ceiling, Ted Cruz won cheers by saying no one trusted the media. The same audience booed Carl Quintanilla when he followed up on a question about Ben Carson’s involvement with the sketchy supplement company Mannatech, causing Carson to remark smugly, “they know.” The candidates were so upset about CNBC’s perceived hostility that they met Sunday to demand more control over future debates. Nearly all of them were mad at cosmic imp and Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus. The RNC had organized the debates so far, but according to one anonymous campaign manager, “Major question is if the RNC should be involved at all.” It would appear that the conservative Republican candidates of 2016 have lost faith in an institution.
Ted Cruz’s memoir, A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America, sold 11,854 copies in its first week—more than 18 of the 20 titles on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list. But the Times has declined to include A Time for Truth in its list, citing evidence of “strategic bulk purchases” intended to manipulate sales. Apparently the gray lady has an algorithm for that, and they’re standing by it, even as the Cruz campaign cries foul. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal and Publisher’s Weekly have included the book on their own lists—the latter, as the Washington Post notes, “in fourth place between books from former Playboy bunny Holly Madison and enthusiastic facial-expression-maker Aziz Ansari.”
The problem with this blog is that it’s not nearly folksy enough. Sorry—I meant to say, “dang old blog is dicty as all get out.” You’ll never win an audience by encouraging them to rise to meet you. Better to show that you’re just like them—more famous and wealthy, of course, but definitely not cosmopolitan or freethinking. The ideal senator, for example, would be a hog-castrating soldier mom who wore bread bags for shoes. Of course I am speaking of Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), who was chosen to rebut the State of the Union Address but still presented herself as a simple country
girl woman bumpkin. Today is Friday, and what this country needs is a few people who are just like everybody else. Won’t you pander to an imagined mainstream with me?