Sunday, September 18, 2016

Mein Furor Versus Cool Clinton

Okay, I didn't coin that phrase--Daily Kos did--and it fits the Republican candidate like a glove. His rages and sneers are all part of his shamelessness, and shamelessness seems to be a quality that people envy and wish to emulate. How lovely to be free of shame. Guilt, too. Free from those feelings that torture you, but keep our culture in line. From John Winthrop (the Puritan preacher who warned his flock that their new colonies would be a "city upon a hill" watched by the entire world--so be good!) to Freud, guilt and shame have played big hands in American life. We go for ideals and our punishments are medieval compared to those in enlightened Europe. 
And that, I guess, is why so many Americans love a guy who radiates shamelessness. He lies, he cheats, he's caught at both constantly, but he never shows a nanosecond of shame, because he doesn't feel it. He's a player and he loves any move of the game, and Jimmy Fallon got to rumple his hair, but did Mein Furor show embarrassment? No, and you'll never get him to do so. If he were caught red handed by Wikileaks, his fraudulent taxes all over the news, he'd be screaming that somebody faked it. He'd be blaming everything on Madame Clinton. He has no conscience. That's why he is envied.
Cool Clinton has nothing but conscience. She makes us feel ours. Ethical to the bone, she fights, righteous indignation sticking out all over her. She's funny, too--loved that "I get allergic" line, referring to Mein Furor. But CNN jumps on her for lying about her health, while no authority bothers to jail a man who's been cheating on his taxes since his first forays into business, if not before. Tax records! Health records! Birth certificates! Wham!  A German commentator noted that Germans would never ask for Frau Merkel's health records. Those are her business--entirely private, and privacy is big here. But Americans, he pointed out, are voting for tribes, not parties, and the healthiest body wins. We're back to the stone ages already, the pre-democracy ages. AND I SAY UNTO YOU: Don't let Mein Furor become Mein F├╝hrer. Vote for Clinton!

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