A ZOMBIE EXPLAINS THE 2016 ELECTION Trump is right. I am dead, and I voted, me and more than three million other dead people. Unanimously for Hillary. Our neglected demographic turned the popular vote in her favor. With better organization we will win in the congressional races and in the Electoral College next time.. Dead people may be the most neglected demographic, but we are the wave of the future.
It wasn’t easy getting out the vote. There are a lot of apathetic people in these apathetic graves down here. Some of us had been Republicans all our lives. Mossbacks, not about to start voting for a Democrat.at this late date! More important, the system is rigged against us. For example, many of us found our names had been erased from the voter rolls by officious bureaucrats. But we did it! Over three million votes! Enough to give that so-called President of ours apoplexy (Not fatal, we trust, since no one wants him down here.) Are you surprised we went unanimously for Hillary, even though she didn’t pay much attention to our demographic? She treated us as if we were all straight working class white males from Wisconsin, with grease under the fingernails. .She never stopped in at her local graveyard. She didn’t, have to bring wine, milk, honey and lamb chops, as if we were running an ol’ time nekromanteion, Just sitting quietly for a few minutes would have helped. You don’t get to be a great leader without contemplating the limits of the self, including the big one there at the end of the road. We could have helped her, big time. We know some grave truths, recognize a fatal mistake when we see one, or a campaign that is dead in the water, or a policy speech that bores everyone to death. But.no!, she never came even for a quick visit,
Still we voted for her, all three million of us. You ask why? Come on! Readers of this blog are well educated. You have read your Homer and your Vergil. You have seen wily Odysseus and copycat Aeneas go down to the underworld to find out what was in store for them. We dead folks know, things. We hear things other people miss. Waiting there, hoping to hear her light tread, we heard instead the hooves of four horses galloping in the direction of Washington. We knew, what it meant. It’s the Apocalypse, Stupid.
(He is easier to manage when surrounded by non-stop adulation.)
Just one tiny point. Not a criticism. No, not at all. Far from it. It’s just that some old fogies were puzzled a bit, ever so slightly, by one feature of that brilliant speech- really brilliant. Very brilliant. Very.
It’s just a minor point. In ancient rhetoric the speaker has to decide the type of speech he is going to give. Will it be like the speeches one hears in a law court, a “dicanic” speech. You remember the term, I am sure, from your Ivy League education. In that kind of speech you could attack some public enemy, like John Lewis for ”talk, talk, talk, but no action.” Or indict someone for “carnage,” or some similar crime. You are good at that kind of attack. Terrific really. Really. Old fashioned orators, not nearly as brilliant as you, had to decide whether to give that kind of speech or another. Each kind with its own set of rules. Another kind of speech could, for example, call on people to vote one way or another on some matter of policy, or for one candidate in an election. You know, a “symbouleutic” speech. That way you could revive all the lovely slogans from the campaign and see if they still fire people up. You know the good old stuff, “Make America Great Again.” You’re great at that. Big League great!
But here’s the problem. You have to figure out what type of speech you are going to give, and the occasion you find yourself in dictates the choice. You were in a ceremonial occasion, so you had to use the third type of ancient rhetoric: which tells you how to give a ceremonial or “epideictic”speech.
You can’t mix and match.
But in a ceremonial speech you can still choose whether to praise or to blame. It has to be one or the other, otherwise the speech will fall flat on its face. -- Poor Number 45, how do we break it to him? He forgot thee basic rule of rhetoric .She oscillated between two of his favored ingredient, vitriol, and sweet self-praise. Which would be the recipient of his unrelenting hyperbole? He never seemed quite sure, and so, as any ancient rhetorician would have warned, his speech fell on its well-coiffured face.
The past cannot judge the present, but it can, if we are willing, provide a measuring bar by which we can make our own judgments.. So, as we approach the inauguration of a new president, it makes sense to read again Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural address. His words echo across the years – just seven hundred and three of them, without bombast, boast or bragging. Many of us know the concluding sentence by heart; surely it is time now to speak them once again, loud and strong: With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
Yet the sentence before this one gives, perhaps, a clearer sense of the mind behind the words:
Yet, if God wills that [this war] continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."
The theology of the passage I do not fully comprehend, but I think I recognize English prose when I hear it, and the connection between speech and thought; the ability to comprehend complexity underlies both. The two go hand in hand, supporting, nourish one another, sustain the mind of the speaker and the spirit of those who listen, then and now.
What is a tweet? It is the fusion of a literary form (crude though it be) with a technology. The fusion has a nuclear-like capacity, when used to destroy enemies. Trump was first to figd that out. Brilliant!
Had enough? Tweets are dangerously easy, buthas there ever been a technology that has so swiftly transformed American politics? They have sure worked brilliantly for Trump. But Why are they so powerful?
It’s all made up, phony, false, fictitious. Disgraceful. He changed all the facts just to make me look bad. But tell me this, Who won at Pylos? Not you, Thracian. Too bad!. Tomorrow: something new, a meta-tweet!.
Ivanka says only a wooden wall can keep us safe. Smart kid but I’m even smarter. Our wall will be steel, all the way from Oropus to Eleusis, very big, very high. Very. Peloponnesians will pay, maybe later but big time