Aloha Democratic 2020 Presidential hopefuls! Howz it going guys and gals? Y’all should be feeling your oats right about now. The eight of you who have already qualified for the September debates should be on top of the world. Your message is obviously resonating, and you’ve made it through the round of 64, the round of 32, and the round of 16. Time to start buffing your stuff up to military high gloss shine. After all, the world is watching. And for those of you departing us, we’ll see you again in four or eight years, and don’t forget your copy of the home game!
But please, you surviving candidates, do me a favor. Lighten up! Dear Lord, in these dark, cloying, racist days of Donald Trump, people want some hope that there’s a glimmer of light at the end of the white supremacist tunnel. It’s hard to look calm and reassuring when you’re scowling and yelling into a camera! Hell, I’m starting to think that I’m watching out takes from Paddy Chayefsky’s Network here.
Go ahead. Crack a smile. I guarantee that your cheeks will spring back afterwards, you won’t spent the rest of your lives looking like The Joker. Let ‘er rip. In the last two debates, I only saw a grand total of four “happy warriors” on that stage over the two nights. Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Yang, and Cory Booker. And only two of them, Klobuchar and Yang, refused to fall into CNN’s trap and trash their competitors. That’s it. Granted, Joe Biden actually cracked a smile, but that was in response to something Cory Booker said, so it doesn’t count. Hey, my column, my rules. The rest of you folks stood around on stage like you were waiting for your Metamucil to kick in.
You people should be having the time of your lives, after all, you’re running for the office of President of the United States, the ultimate prize. You’ll notice that I said that you’re running for President. You know what running means, right? It means that you’re in a race, not a demolition derby. When you run in a race, you’re not running against the people in the other lanes, they’re ancillary to the process. You’re running for your personal best. And that means putting out your top level, best effort. Either it will be good enough, or it won’t, but it’s your best. Besides, elbowing the guy in the lane next to you is a sure fire way to get disqualified, by the only judges that matter. Nobody likes a spoilsport, or they’d be Trump supporters.
Make your contrasts, but make them with Trump, and not so much with each other. Remember, sending the foul mouthed canary back to his gilt bird cage on Fifth Avenue is still the #1 qualification for Democratic primary voters. Talk about your healthcare plan, but then talk about how His Lowness wants to strip coverage from 30 million Americans, and put another 100 million back to the tender mercies of the mercenary insurance companies. Talk about criminal justice reform, and then make sure to talk about Tubby the Ewok, the paid shill that Trump has running the Justice Department. Talk about election security, and then remind everybody that we only have to talk about it because Trump is doing a Stormy Daniels on Vlad the Imp. Talk about immigration, and then rail against babies locked in cages on our southern border. And make sure you sharpen those elbows, but for Trump, not for each other. Because, the better of a blow that you land, the more stupid The $1 Store Caligula will look with his resultant Trumper tantrum.
But above all else, smile. And pssst: every one of you is either kicking Trump’s pasty troll ass, or within the margin of error in almost every poll. These are dark ties. And confidence comes through better when your expression doesn’t look like you’re ready to give the patient a terminal diagnosis. In the last two plus years, the one thing that nobody can honestly say that they’ve seen from their president is a smile. Hell, the shock value alone should give you a two point bounce in the polls. Give it a try, what have you got to lose. Remember my favorite slogan. Let a smile be your umbrella…And your dumb ass is gonna get soaked!