Sometimes commentary is real work. Other times all that’s necessary is to let facts speak for themselves.
For example, in the last two weeks:
- 10 presidential candidates all stood on a stage and pledged to make U.S. taxpayers — who would lose their private insurance under most of their plans — subsidize health care for illegal immigrants.
- One candidate promised to make the selfsame taxpayers pay for abortions for men who become women.
- A prominent United States Congresswoman — who had previously referred to border detention facilities as “concentration camps” — charged that detainees were told by immigration officials to drink out of toilets. After which a group of Latino pastors and immigration advocates toured the facilities, with one insisting that there were “no deplorable conditions and no lack of basic necessities.”
- A leading athletic equipment company recalled an Independence Day commemorative shoe that displayed — no, not the Confederate Stars and Bars — but the Betsy Ross version of Old Glory. According to reports, a paid endorser, infamous for his National Anthem protests, complained that the flag seen by many as one of the last emblems of national unity was instead “an offensive symbol because of its connection to an era of slavery.” An MSNBC commentator raised the stakes by comparing the flag to a swastika or burning cross.
- Meanwhile, the latest “Pride Month” was capped by now familiar parades in which participants shamelessly march down the streets of our largest cities in various stages of undress — including “full frontal.” These days, barely an eye was batted at such seemingly unlawful behavior, including by event sponsors that encompassed, in New York City alone, T-Mobile, MasterCard, Hyatt, TD Ameritrade, Target, Coca Cola, Procter & Gamble, Chase, Nissan, American Airlines, Airbnb, United Airlines, IBM, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, New York Life, the NBA, Uber, Lyft, Microsoft, Kellogg, Johnson & Johnson and Starbucks. (Message: resistance is futile if you plan to converse, charge, compute, lodge, launder, invest, bank, fly, drive, drink, eat, medicate, spectate or be transported.)
- The President of the United States engaged in a spur-of-the-moment summit meeting with the world’s most unstable and murderous dictator, taking an unprecedented stroll into North Korean territory that he called a “great honor.” After decades in which successive administrations had withheld such a prized photo op as the ultimate diplomatic bargaining chip. And took along his daughter and a Fox News commentator while dispatching his hawkish National Security Advisor on a trip to Mongolia. All days after joking with Russia’s president on-camera over the former’s interference in U.S. elections. And barely a week after the same Commander-in-Chief recalled a retaliatory attack while planes were reportedly in the air. Then publicized the fact of the aborted assault in a tweet and interviews that certainly misrepresented the facts about what the president knew and when he knew it. Followed up by leaked accounts of White House conversations that didn’t just throw that very national security adviser under the bus, but backed it up and ran over him again. In the same time frame that the chief executive was making and then withdrawing a promise to round up undocumented immigrants, just as he previously threatened and withdrew a threat to close the border. And dealt with yet another accusation of sexual assault.
- Not to mention a brazen Antifa assault on a journalist in front of police. A married gay candidate again lecturing Christians on Christianity. The Supreme Court disallowing a citizenship question on the Census because it subjectively doubted a Cabinet official’s perfectly legal rationale for it. Special Counsel Robert Mueller rolling over and agreeing to appear before Congress to testify on the report he previously insisted must speak for itself. Charlottesville, Virginia — during the week of Independence Day — replacing a holiday celebrating the author of the Declaration of Independence (who lived in their town) with one celebrating the emancipation of slaves.
As I wrote, to paraphrase Walter Brennan, no commentary. Just fact.
Oh, heck. Maybe one piece of commentary after perhaps the most mind-boggling two weeks in my memory (and that covers some tumultuous periods).
Stop the U.S. I want to get off.
Bob Maistros is a messaging and communications strategist and crisis specialist. He was
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