To see what is in front of one's nose, George Orwell wrote, takes a constant struggle. So let's talk about that struggle.
Probably we all can remember Michelle Wolf's star turn at the 2018 White House Correspondents' Dinner. No? Here, watch it.
If you're short on time these days, here's the key bit:
This bit here:
Look, the organizers only pretended to be upset about what their invited comic had to say about the White House Press Secretary. What really got their goat was what she said about the press, above. That had to sting.
Now, it's less well remembered, but Michelle Wolf wasn't the first to land that particular punch. Remember the 2016 Dinner, by any chance? The marquee name was a fellow named Obama.
Here's what he said about the Trump-news media pas de deux:
It says a lot about us that Trump's stock-in-trade of braggadocio and grievance sells. It says a lot about the news, certainly the 24-hour cable channels, that they have so little purpose beyond giving the people whatever they want.
But I'm not here on my home-office soapbox tonight to chastise anyone. Well, not too much. Instead, I'd like to praise someone who go it right.
It's now early April 2020. Starting in late March, our world more or less fell apart. Thousands of Americans are dying, and the only question is whether the total "excess" deaths will number in hundreds of thousands or millions before all this is over.
And why? We have an anti-president, perfectly comfortable with living in denial and even with failing catastrophically, as long as there's someone else to blame. Our system enabled someone like this to get into office and stay there. It has basically decapitated the government.
Both works challenge us to imagine what happens when a presidential system of government is presided over by a drastically unfit leader in our times, when natural, technological, financial, and other risks are so pervasive.
What's harder to answer is what's to be done about it. But with stay-at-home orders shutting down so much of the economy for an undefined period, we'll have plenty of time to think about it. (end)
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