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You can call him Homecoming King, Prom King, King of Hearts etc etc - just as long as I get to call him Governor on Tuesday!
(article from the Atlantic Monthly)
Theres nothing quite like the cacophony of the homecoming parade at a historically black university. Here at Florida A&M, children run between floats, yelling and laughing as they chase down pieces of hard candy. Bass from car speakers and from roadside DJs rattle trunks and ear drums. Frying fish crackles and street vendors hawk orange and green shirts. And at the center of it all is the marching band, the legendary Marching 100. Shiny trumpets blare, drum majors strut, and dancers twirl. Thats what people come to see.
But this year, at Florida A&Ms homecoming, things are different. Its Andrew Gillum who gets most of the applause. Tallahassees mayor and one of FAMUs most famous sons has turned the Saturday-morning parade into his own campaign rally. Gillum, the Democratic nominee for the states governor, is at ease in the electrified atmosphere of his alma mater. He and his wife, R. Jai Gillum, take turns pushing their 1-year-old son, Davis, in his stroller, in front of dozens of volunteers who march behind. Children yell There he go! from blocks away. Gillum kisses babies, shakes hands, and takes selfies. Among the masses of black people lining the street, several tell me its been a decade since theyve been this enthusiastic about a candidate.
Lost in much of the national coverage of the Florida governors election is the fact that, well, its about Florida. In a bellwether election year, where the effectiveness of President Donald Trumps anti-immigrant, white-backlash-fueled nationalism is being put to the test as a top-to-bottom electoral strategy across the country, Gillum has emerged as one of the favorite figures among the opposition. A black man who has faced a slew of blatantly racist attacks and who, in a viral moment during a debate, said that racists believe that his opponent, Ron DeSantis, is a racist, Gillum reflects a new potential pathway for that opposition, one that sees combating racism and bigotry as an opportunity and not as a political minefield.
But here in Florida, his potential reflects the deeper possibilities of the states electorate. There are few politicians of prominencein Florida or otherwisewho share comparable life experiences with Gillum. Born in Miami to a lower-working-class family, he has intimate experience with the safety-net, health-care, and criminal-justice systems that he has pledged to reform. Four of his brothersTerrance, Eric, Chuck, and Patrickhave faced serious criminal charges and convictions. Most would say I probably shouldnt have made it out of the neighborhood, he told me. In the language common to many black working-class neighborhoods, where relatively few young men manage to maintain the escape velocity needed to leave, Gillum is chosen.
(Article from The Guardian)
For most politicians, this would be a frabjous day of well-nigh full employment and fatter paychecks. But there are no calloohs or callays in this Trumperwocky.
There are just rock-wielding caravans of disease-plagued murderers invading a fragile nation at risk of imminent collapse from the enemies within: notably the media and a bunch of radical leftwing mobs in cahoots with a suspiciously Semitic man called Soros. If you havent already spat out your dentures, youre not watching Fox News.
This is not a small challenge for Republicans across the country and for the Trump campaign as it looks to 2020. Much has been made of Trumps determination to play to his base and alienate suburban voters especially Republican women who could, you know, decide these contests.
But Trump has an even greater limitation than his love of his own loving base. He is the candidate of crisis: not just a smash-mouth street-fighter but a peddler of the impending apocalypse.
This type of candidate gains traction after a genuine crisis, such as a once-in-a-lifetime financial collapse whose suffering lingers on for many years into the recovery. Such a candidate might live off the fumes of crisis as long as distant terrorists unsettle us.
However, its hard to keep a good crisis going when your voters are feeling pretty secure, at a time of relative peace and prosperity. You end up grasping at Halloween ghouls that make you look weak and out of touch. This kind of populism is only popular when things are truly scary.
Trump thinks that shocking is a good thing. That sentiment echoed his tweet about the jobs numbers on Friday, which expressed his surprise at the data: Wow! The US added 250,000 Jobs in October and this was despite the hurricanes.
He could have said the jobs numbers were thanks to his own deficit-busting tax cuts or his environment-crushing deregulation. But no. He did tweet, two hours later, a photo of himself in a Game of Thrones design, warning darkly about sanctions against Iran. So let the good times roll!
In between tweets, he continued to stoke outrage and concoct crises by blaming the media for domestic terrorism and saying it was OK for US troops to shoot migrants who might throw rocks. Trump has neither political quality; he is a one-dimensional politician. He cant or wont keep the nation safe against domestic terrorists whose twisted ideology he has tolerated and even endorsed. He cant or wont inspire the nation to optimism because he is animated by a sense of impending doom. (read more)
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