This year is on track to be the world’s hottest on record, exceeding the previous hottest year, 2015, which exceeded the previous hottest year, 2014. For the news media, this campaign offers a teachable moment. If you want to tell the most important story in human history, if you believe that rousing your audience to civic action is part of journalism’s job, you might want to cover the 2016 campaign against the backdrop of brutal climate change, and to frame this election as a choice whose consequences could be irreversibly damaging for the rest of human history.
“Philly Is Hillary’s Kind of Town.” So enthused Philadelphia-based writer Jennifer Weiner in a guest opinion piece published in today’s New York Times.
As it happens, the Philadelphia Inquirer agrees. In an editorial published yesterday, the Inquirer declared: “Philly’s a great place for a party, but its Democrats are a disgrace.”
Trump may have fired up the crowd in Cleveland, and even those who watched the speech on TV, but such enthusiasm is ephemeral; it won’t last. Trump will get his post-convention “bounce.” Then Hillary will get hers. And then the campaign will settle down to kabuki theatre debates and a war of attrition between negative political ads.
That Donald Trump may believe we are living through another 1968 says less about the nation today and more about a man who may be our president. He admits to getting his news on cable, which creates a virtual 1968 with its constant images of unrest, violence, terrorism, and crime. But a virtual 1968 is not a real one, and we must expect any leader of our country to resist the emotional pull of gruesome television images and to think rationally and deliberately about the real state of our nation.
Trump could be the chief of state, just as Queen Elizabeth is chief of state of Great Britain. In that capacity, he could pose for photographs in the Oval Office, preside over state dinners, deliver the State of the Union addresses, and enjoy the limos, the helicopters, the Marine guards, Air Force One, “Hail to the Chief” and all the other ruffles and flourishes that come with being president. Such accoutrements ought to be enough to satisfy even a man of his colossal ego.