Visual Cues

I generally try to stay out of politics, primarily because they tend to be highly charged and particularly polarizing. One of the discussion panels I watch semi-regularly did a live viewing party of Biden’s speech last night in Philadelphia. Disregarding their commentary for the moment, what I saw and heard on that stage was extremely alarming. I now believe it’s a moral imperative to vote Joe Biden out of office as expeditiously as possible.

Framed in a deep crimson backdrop, Biden balled his fists and ranted about “MAGA Republicans”, shamelessly castigating them as some irredeemable evil. In reality, the backdrop was both red and blue, yet it wasn’t the calming azure which framed the podium, but an angry and foreboding crimson. This was either an intentional stylistic choice, or deeply ingrained ignorance of human psychology.

Not foreboding at all

Not foreboding at all

Did Biden address the troubling multiple-decade record spike in inflation that is threatening the savings of all Americans? Did he mention the drastic rise in undocumented migrants, exceeding a staggering 200-thousand per month at last count? How many of them have Covid, or could be enemy combatants slipping through as we fail to vet practically any of them? Did he say anything about Ukraine or Russia, the farming riots across Europe, or the dramatic jump in energy prices which will lead to catastrophic small business failures the world over? How about the Fentanyl crisis killing over 100-thousand Americans in the last year alone? No? None of that?

Instead he chose to focus on his political rival, the infamous Donald Trump, and any who still support him. “MAGA” they cry! Wishing to improve the state of their home country, clearly the bastion of scoundrels. Buy American, stop shipping jobs overseas, maybe put a tariff or two on imports competing unfairly with domestic industries. How awful. How scandalous.

Biden once claimed we needed a president who would choose unity over division.

His speech last night was anything but uniting. It didn’t have to be that way. He could have said something like this:

“We understand you have concerns; we all do! By coming together as a people, no matter the side of the aisle, we can bring America into a new era of prosperity. Rather than argue among ourselves, we can unite under a common goal.”

Instead, he said this:

“And here, in my view, is what is true: MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people.”

Why? Why is this rhetoric necessary? What does this achieve, but to frame 74-million people as enemies of America? These same people are so gung-ho about this nation that they’ll gleefully represent the MAGA slogan. They eat, breathe, and sleep Americana, and Biden claims they don’t support the Constitution? The same people who tout the 2nd Amendment like it was one of their own children? Those people? What? What is this chicanery? Who is he trying to fool?

Oh sure, ol' Joe tried to separate “MAGA” Republicans from garden-variety Trump voters:

“Now, I want to be very clear – very clear up front: Not every Republican, not even the majority of Republicans, are MAGA Republicans. Not every Republican embraces their extreme ideology.”

But Trump’s literal campaign slogan was MAGA. Trump received over 74-million votes according to the 2020 election results. Do we know how many people voted for him just because he was on the Republican ticket? How many were enthusiastic for Trump personally? Because there’s significant overlap there, and even though it’s likely not to be the full 74-million, it’s a short hop from demonizing that subcategory to the larger whole. It’s a subtle difference, and many are not so discriminating.

This is inflammatory and more importantly, hazardous rhetoric. I’m not a Republican, nor do I own any MAGA merchandise of any kind. But this? This is crossing the Rubicon in every sense, sending the United States careening down a dark path to bedlam I’m unwilling to follow. I’ll vote for ten Trumps before I stand by and allow a malicious figurehead to paint tens of millions of people as The Enemy, and everything that implies.

Enough. Enough.