Act One

So. The circus begins all over again.

I’ve done enough shows to know that no stage performance is ever quite the same every night, but they are similar enough that they all start to blend together and eventually you forget all of them (and even where you are). Another day, another dressing room that stinks of talcum and musty sweat.

That’s all these grand political spectacles are: theater.

Of course, the vast majority of voters already know this. Pretty lights. Very expensive screens. Wardrobe. Scripts. People with RTs in their ears mouthing cues. Everyone thinks they’re the star. Not really real.

What makes the show different this week are two important things. Firstly, it’s now evident to everybody that leading Democrats tried to sabotage Bernie Sanders’ campaign. This shouldn’t really come as a big surprise – he’s not a Democrat. Indeed, as the primaries unfolded they were seeing the levers of power in their party swinging towards an independent and out of the hands of dyed-in-the-wool Dems. So they tried to knock him down in the same way that the GOP tried to knock down Trump (and for the self-same reason – Trump was a cynical latecomer to the Republican Party). Paint nobody shocked. However the Republicans just got to wear their division on stage as sulky sore-losers. The Democrats got it in writing… and in lots of chants.

The second, and most important thing, is that it’s increasingly clear that Trump can win.

Even Michael Moore thinks so. The readership of the lefty Guardian think so. As Brexit should have demonstrated to every politician everywhere: this year you ignore the disadvantaged at your own peril. It doesn’t matter if the polls have you ahead. It doesn’t matter if your opponent is a lying scumbag who’s playing on everyone’s fears. It doesn’t matter that they’ve profited hugely from the blue collar decline they now claim to oppose. It doesn’t matter that they won’t be able to deliver on their false promises. Just as it seems that every day this month has had a murder rampage on my front page, there is clearly a simmering mass of people who hate the hand they’ve been dealt, don’t care about the consequences, and just want to burn the fucker down. That’s enormously dangerous. To everybody. These people… to some degree, my people… they can vote.

abandoned-detroit-zombieland
“Don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country is not great, that somehow we need to make it great again. Because this right now is the greatest country on Earth.” – Michelle Obama

See, I know that she has to say that. Her husband has worked hard for 8 years. She’s hardly going to say that he’s failed in all his promise. But seriously? This is Detroit. Who looks like the out-of-touch elitist now?

However.

Trump is far from unbeatable. Clinton is carrying some enormous disadvantages into this race which she needs to address, yet Trump was born into wealth. His father built affordable housing, but Trump squandered that inheritance on vanity projects. He’s been declared bankrupt four times, and you know who loses their jobs when a big company goes bankrupt? It’s apparently not the owner, who is still sitting in his giant, eponymous golden tower in a literal throne. Puncturing this man’s image as a man-of-the-people shouldn’t be difficult. It’s other people, ordinary people, who have had to pay the piper for his poor decisions.

Tomorrow, I’m going to start laying out what she needs to do…

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