Way back in my younger days, I used to frequent a bar on the north shore of Staten Island. One of its claims to fame was the second largest selection of beers in New York City at the time, and my friends and I set out to try them all. I recall a Corona Beer poster that was hanging in the men’s room, upon which someone (I’m guessing one of the bartenders) had scrawled “Why care about quality? Be trendy!!”

This morning’s Facebook feed dredged up the decades-old memory of that poster. Yesterday was the first day of the Republican National Convention, a day that included a laundry list of speakers and speeches, a release of the party platform, a quashed attempt by the #nevertrump movement to change the delegate rules and deny Trump the nomination, the emergence of the theme “Make America Safe Again,” and a speech by Rudy Giuliani that supposedly brought the house down. But, amidst all that, what did I see time and time again from friends both political and non-political? Mockery of the alleged plagiarism of Michelle Obama in Melania Trump’s speech.

TaggartReally, people? Of all there is to talk about, your collective focus is on that?

It’s a sad but expected reflection of this entire election, where soundbites, “gotcha” politics, cults of personality, whitewashing of unpleasant histories, and shallow platitudes have supplanted substantive policy discussion. It’s also a demonstration of how social media has made bandwagoning and dog-piling the go-to response to any blip of news, and it’s how we’ve ended up with Clump running for president.
I am depressed.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.


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