This is the second of my posts trying to see the additional positive opportunities for the future that may be offered by the disruptions of the recent election.
The fact is that Trump, by tearing up the limits of prior political discourse may make it much easier for future candidates to “tell truth to power.”
Some examples of approaches that are now far less out of the mainstream for rhetorical questions by candidates or serious ones by the press, are:
Being much more explicit about the hypocrisy of candidates who change their positions with the wind.
Being much more direct in pointing out the implications of candidates personal interests in specific policy outcomes.
Being much more critical about the overall functioning of the political and economic system.
So, imagine these lines four years ago, and four years into the future. Would they have been acceptable in the past, and will they be now?
Ask him what stocks he owns in health care — how much will he earn from this change!
Why is he so frightened of gay people?
Why does he get such a kick out of interfering with other people’s sex lives?
So, sir, if you are not influenced by campaign money, why do people give it to you?
Can you honestly say that you have NEVER been influenced in any way at all by campaign money?
People have died. You are a killer.
Why are you so angry? Why do always appeal to the very worst in people? Do you see a psychiatrist? Has anyone suggested you do?
Did you tell you wives about your affairs? Would you tell the American people when you break promises you have made to them?
How did you get so rich?
Not hard to go on and on.
Now, it may be that for complex political reasons some of these may do more harm than good. Or it may be that some of these would provide rhetorical rebuttal opportunities that we would not want to provide.
But the fact is that these possibilities now have to be analyzed, whereas before they were just outside the realm of political discourse.
I am just not sure anything is beyond the pale anymore, and we have the opportunity to be much more creative.