It was my privilege and good luck to tune in to the Democratic National Convention in the wee hours of the English morning just in time to catch Michelle Obama’s speech. A cynical man (not me, of course) would have called it an early preview of Melania Trump’s Republican National Convention speech. But seriously, Michelle was magnificent. I cannot listen to her and keep a dry eye. As a non-politician she reached out and touched me in a way few politicians ever have.
Donald Trump had many complaints about this sainted woman’s speech, of course. But, when asked about it by a reporter, Trump’s big complaint about her speech was that she mentioned that “More than 150,000 people have died [of coronavirus]” when everyone knows it’s 175,000. So I want to take this moment to correct Michelle’s error, even though the qualifier “more than” makes it technically correct, and point out that it’s not just 175,000 human beings who have died thanks to Donald Trump’s incompetence, but 175,074 as I write this, and more than that by the time you read this. Far be it for me not to give Donald Trump credit where credit is due for 25,000 more American deaths. I’m happy to help wherever I can.
Another complaint that Trump had was that she taped the speech, as if doing it live would have somehow made it better, or perhaps more daringly marimacho. That Trump must reach for this irrelevance reveals how irrelevant his criticism is.
Then there was the complaint that Michelle’s speech was “divisive.” I want to stop for a moment and remind the reader that Donald Trump complained about someone else’s alleged divisiveness. I regret that the reporter didn’t take the time to pursue that little irony, but perhaps she knew that Trump couldn’t wait to get back to his second favorite activity after golf: hate-tweeting.
Trump’s opening salvo was that Michelle was “out of her depth” in making the speech. Make special note of that, because Michelle said that Trump is out of his depth, which is entirely true. Donald Trump is uniquely unqualified to be president of the United States precisely because he is so far out of his depth. He is out of his depth both because he lacks any talent for the job and the requisite humility necessary to seek out experts who could help him. Therefore it’s obvious that Trump hates being told he’s out of his depth. A weak spot equivalent to Mitch McConnell’s distaste for being called “Moscow Mitch.”
“It was a heck of a contribution,” said Chris Wallace of Fox News of Michelle’s speech, “she really flayed, sliced and diced Donald Trump, talking about the chaos and confusion and lack of empathy especially, coming from this president and from this White House.” Yes, especially that. And remember, folks, this is Fox News speaking.
But I’m not here to defend Michelle’s speech. The speech did a magnificent job justifying itself all by itself, and it doesn’t need little old me to say so. What I am here for is to remind the fence sitters, the purity testers, the armchair disparagers, the sideline detractors, the “nattering nabobs of negativism,” that we are in a war between good and evil. We are dying of thirst in the desert of a toxic criminal administration. Isn’t it time for you to gratefully accept the canteen of water and stop bitching that it isn’t Evian?
In other words, cut the crap. Vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on November third. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.