Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A blast from the past

A few years ago I declared my candidacy for President of the U.S. Turns out I didn't have the organizational skills to effect this. BUT - I think I did have the appropriate rhetorical skills. Here's an excerpt from my coming-out speech:
We, the People… who are we?

My esteemed Republican opponent will need to be reminded that America has ALWAYS been a land of immigrants!... and there has ALWAYS been a fear of immigrants. Benjamin Franklin deplored the presence of lazy, indolent, non-English-speaking Germans in 18th-century Philadelphia. Germans, Irish, Chinese, Poles, Italians, Japanese – all have been the targets of anti-immigrant hysteria. All were at one time viewed as “The Other” who threatened the American Way of Life.

Today, these “Others” are “Us”! – they are our fellow citizens, competing for – and winning – public office. Running Fortune 500 companies. Teaching our children.

We are today all Americans.

My Republican opponent, whoever he or she might be, will almost certainly be the descendant of immigrants. But when he or she goes to the grocery store, the mall, the ballpark, he is frightened by what he sees: LOTS of folks who look DIFFERENT! Many of them speak English with a FOREIGN accent… some of them don’t speak English at all. This frightens him … or her. He sees his world crumbling before his eyes, and again yearns for a mythical “Golden Age” in the past – a “Golden Age” that has NEVER existed.

I am the descendant of Welsh coal miners, German craftsmen, and Polish farmers. When I go to the grocery store, or the mall, or the ballpark and see folks who don’t look like me, who speak English with a foreign accent, or who perhaps don’t speak English at all – what I see is the source of America’s greatness.
After more than 200 years, WE are still seen as the “Land of the free and the home of the brave”. We – America - … this is still THE country to which people aspire – to build for themselves a better future, to become Americans.

Finally, my Republican opponent will seize on “FEAR” as the basis for his or her campaign. Fear of “illegal immigrants”. Fear of Iran, or of North Korea… Fear of “The Other”.

My Republican opponent will cast “The Other” as Existential Threats to America.

I believe America is stronger than that!... and by building his campaign on Fear of “The Other” my esteemed Republican opponent will demonstrate just what he REALLY thinks about America: he - or she - believes the United States is a weak, vulnerable, beleaguered country, on the brink of failure, defeat and collapse.
I think I pretty much nailed that.

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