So many political commercials include heavy background music, bombastic overstatement delivered by a gravelly voice-over, cliched grainy footage of an opponent walking in slow motion away from the camera. I’m convinced that such snark and bombast is usually self-defeating. Good political communication is generally more straightforward and intelligent than that.
This Hillary Clinton ad is a straight-up attack on Trump’s sexism, using his own voice to tell the story. We watch various girls looking in the mirror, while we hear Trump in the background offering various coarse sexist comments that demean women. There’s some subtlety operating there, too. Watch each girl, and listen carefully to each comment Trump offers.
I have two wonderful daughters. Maybe some of you fathers do, too. If so, you’ll understand why this one lands like a punch to the gut. We can’t allow this coarse, grifting demagogue to get anywhere close to the presidency. Our mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters especially deserve much better this campaign season.
Senator Cruz has announced that he will vote for the man who had, as the New York Times‘ Matt Flegenheimer noted,
…questioned Mr. Cruz’s eligibility for the presidency, citing his birth in Canada; seemed to disparage the appearance of Mr. Cruz’s wife, Heidi, in a Twitter post; and insinuated that Mr. Cruz’s father, Rafael, was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Then there was the Trump-branded nickname: “Lyin’ Ted.”
As it happens, Winston Churchill offered a cogent analysis of Senator Cruz’s announcement many years ago:
I remember when I was a child, being taken to the celebrated Barnum’s Circus, which contained an exhibition of freaks and monstrosities, but the exhibit on the programme which I most desired to see was the one described as “The Boneless Wonder”. My parents judged that the spectacle would be too demoralising and revolting for my youthful eye and I have waited fifty years, to see the The Boneless Wonder…..
I have similarly seen the boneless wonder today. To coin a phrase, it’s sad to see someone–even Senator Cruz–debase himself in this way. I hope and expect that public figures who support Donald Trump will be remembered the way we remember public figures who supported segregation or Joseph McCarthy.
I attended a lovely event for Bright Star Community Outreach last night. The event commemorates the launch of a new Turn Center to provide trauma-informed services. Congratulations to Pastor Chris Harris and his colleagues in this important effort. Congratulations also to my University of Chicago Medical Center and Northwestern Hospital colleagues who have taken lead roles in this partnership, particularly my SSA colleague Deborah Gorman Smith and her team, who lead the effort in our school.
The event was held at Martin Luther King College Prep at 45th St. and South Drexel Boulevard in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. Bronzeville is by no means Chicago’s toughest neighborhood. But it’s tough enough. Many in the audience last night had lost children, siblings, partners, parents, or other loved-ones to gun violence. Hadya Pendleton was only the most well-known of the precious people who have been lost.
This memorial to Ms. Pendleton may be the first thing that catches your eye as you enter the school’s front door. Pardon my poor photographic composition. You get the point there.
Cable TV pundits commonly charge that African-Americans communities are reluctant to acknowledge or face the high rate of “black-on-black crime” occurring in Chicago and across the United States.Remember this picture when you hear such claims. That charge displays the insulting psychological distance between these pundits and the communities they are discussing. Nothing could be further from the truth. No topic is more widely-discussed than the incredible toll of gun violence among Chicago youth.
People are desperate to make progress in reducing the violence. I hope and expect that the new Turn Center will be helpful in this effort. During the ceremony, Pastor Harris commented: “Don’t talk about the violence until you are doing something to reduce this violence.”Indeed.
David Dagan, Steve Teles, and I have a piece in the Washington Post‘s PostEverything section today:
In the past decade, two major movements for criminal justice reform have arisen: the push against mass incarceration and Black Lives Matter’s mobilization against police brutality. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has attacked both, arguing that the movements would touch off a new crime epidemic.
He’s wrong. The research we have shows that we know how to fight crime without using more handcuffs and prison cells.
We didn’t always have the evidence we do now. When crime began to spike in the United States in the 1960s, experts were caught flat-footed. Most criminologists thought crime was driven by sociological factors, beyond the influence of the police. They had little to say about how prevention measures short of fundamental economic, educational and social reforms might curb the violence.
This was hardly a message politicians could take to their voters. So legislators came up with their own…
Time to get busy to defeat this grifting demagogue. This from today’s Washington Post.
Today’s Chicago Tribune exemplified the problem. The news that 700,000 more Illinois residents had health insurance happened to hit on a day where a more important economic story broke: “Wrigley hotel to downplay baseball.” That story got its own box and everything, with an artist’s color rendering of the snazzy proposed 175-room hotel. Meanwhile an important and well-written story about how Illinois’s marketplace and Medicaid expansion dramatically reduced uninsurance since 2013 got basically bupkis.
More here, at healthinsurance.org.