Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton gave her long awaited first press conference of the year (video below), and in just one question she hit Donald Trump for maintaining an all too public man-crush with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin at last night’s widely panned, NBC News telecast:
“What would Ronald Reagan say about a Republican nominee who attacks America’s generals and heaps praise on Russia’s President?”
Hillary Clinton avoided the press for too long, but needs to use some of her opponent’s tactical strengths in her time with the media – namely using her time to ask the important questions – since the mainstream media which trails her literally moment by moment – will not. We saw how sadly weak a glitzy mainstream media outlet could question two people in a single election last night, as she was grilled over closed investigations and her racist opponent was feted by NBC’s Matt Lauer, a journalist who never questioned anything that came out of Donald Trump’s mouth.
So it was up to Hillary Clinton to do the work of an absent press, and she highlighted the real, and truly dangerous foreign policy implications of the Republican nominee’s propositions which would quickly destabilize the post-World War II diplomatic order, when she said:
Bizarrely – once again – he praised Russia’s strongman Vladimir Putin. Even taking the astonishing step of suggesting that he prefers the Russian President to our American President. Now, that is not just unpatriotic and insulting to the people of our country, as well to our commander in chief. It is scary. Because it suggests that he will let Putin do, whatever Putin wants to do, and then make excuses for him.
Clinton’s question about Trump hit the orange faced one’s true allegiances hard. Last year, Trump artfully (even the devil must get his due sometime) stole the mantle of Reagan in the Republican primary by trademarking “Make America Great Again” which not coincidentally, is pretty similar to “Let’s Make America Great Again” which was also debuted by Ronald Reagan, in 1980.
The tow-headed Republican nominee has channeled Reagan in a very deliberate manner throughout the campaign by performing political standup with paper charts in stark parallel to the deceased President who was known for skewed charts to make statistics lie in his day.
So Hillary Clinton was absolutely right to condemn her opponent as unfit for the Presidency because last night, Donald Trump proposed outright stealing on a national scale, the kind of which would open the doors to a return to the very worst old days, when nations waged frequent wars of conquest for territory or revenge, and millions needlessly died in battles which create failed countries, saying:
When asked how he would stop the spread of global terrorism, Trump’s answer was simply ‘take the oil.’ The United States of America does not invade other countries to plunder and pillage. We don’t send our brave men and women around the world to steal oil.
If Hillary Clinton continues to confront the press during the remainder of this interminably long election, and keeps reminding them that intelligent questions exist, and could even be asked to the Republican candidate too. Then maybe we will see the end of the 24-hour news cycle’s horse race coverage of politics over policy….. but don’t hold your breath.
But maybe we will see a more substantive discussion in the news media about important issues facing America or current issues involving factually substantiated, pay-for-play allegations, and at any rate to move on from the red herrings injected into our discourse by a party so intellectually bankrupt, they’d rather discuss anything but facts.
Clinton says Trump’s praise for Putin is “unpatriotic” and “scary” https://t.co/s2dsS7hN7V
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 8, 2016
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition