Yesterday, Hillary Clinton brought out the big guns. She accused Donald Trump of being unqualified to be president. From another candidate the charge might have resonated. From Hillary, it fell flat. While touted as the most qualified candidate in modern times—a lie so flagrant that only Hillary's lovers believe it—Hillary herself has shown herself to be so manifestly incompetent that she is poorly placed to call anyone unqualified.
So, we have the Unqualifed facing off against the Incompetent. You pay your money; take your choice.
You probably noticed that the New York Times published a hit piece on Donald Trump last Sunday. If you did not notice, you did not miss very much. Of course, the paper was trying to shame Trump, to accuse him of having behaved in an ungentlemanly fashion toward women.
The piece failed because the alternative to Trump is Bill Clinton’s primary enabler, Hillary herself. Since the Clintons have for years been living shamelessly, they are in no position to criticize anyone for being vulgar, oversexed and meretricious. Name me another former president who has so flagrantly cashed in on the American presidency, as Bill Clinton.
Someone might accuse Trump of having flown on convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s Lolita Express and of having potentially been sexually involved with underaged girls. And yet, whatever we do or do not know about Trump and Epstein, we now know that Bill Clinton flew down to the Epstein private island on numerous occasions.
Nothing sticks to the Donald because Hillary and Bill have made the world safe for shamelessness. And, lest we forget, the mainstream media, the same that is horrified at the prospect of a Republican of any stripe in the White House, has been more than complicit in the oversharing and overexposure.
Some less-than-astute commentators are firing back on the Times for its Trump hit piece by saying that the paper should do as much for the Clintons. And yet, in a strange way, it already has. If people could raise their eyes from the world’s genitalia they would have noticed that the Times piece about Hillary’s leadership in the Libya campaign completely undermines her claim to be competent. It portrays Hillary as a blustering phony, someone who pretends to be macho because she is looking to establish her credibility as a strong leader.
One can say that Trump, beyond the bluster, has never really shown political toughness, but, compared to Hillary Clinton…
And, if Trump gets facts wrong and seems to be making it up as he goes along, we now have, available to all on Youtube, a video of Hillary Clinton lying and lying and lying.
When she read the Times hit piece on Trump Camille Paglia was thrilled. In her own inimitable way she seized on why the piece fell flat. We recall that Paglia believed at one time that people were drawn to Trump because of an atavistic yearning for a more pagan life, a life where people could freely worship Aphrodite and Eros. Now, she believes that the Times Trump story is the best thing that had happened to American sexuality since Sharon Stone uncrossed her legs in Basic Instinct.
But I digress. Paglia appreciates the Trump phenomena, in Paglian terms. But, she remains skeptical of his ability to lead the nation or to conduct the presidency. She wrote in Salon:
If momentum were a surge of electromagnetic energy, Donald Trump against all odds has it now. The appalled GOP voters he is losing seem overwhelmed in number by independents and crossover Democrats increasingly attracted by his bumptious, raucous, smash-the-cucumber-frames style. While it’s both riveting and exhilarating to watch a fossilized American political party being blown up and remade, it’s also highly worrisome that a man with no prior political experience and little perceptible patience for serious study seems on a fast track to the White House. In a powder-keg world, erratic impulsiveness is far down the list of optimal presidential traits.
Next to Hillary, Trump appears to at least have a certain vitality, perhaps not a true manliness, but a reasonable facsimile thereof. By contrast, Hillary Clinton has long since turned in her woman card in order to embrace her inner tough guy. Yet, her attempts at manly toughness inevitably fall flat.
Hillary is a stodgily predictable product of the voluminous briefing books handed to her by a vast palace staff of researchers and pollsters—a staggeringly expensive luxury not enjoyed by her frugal, unmaterialistic opponent, Bernie Sanders (my candidate). Trump, in contrast, is his own publicist, a quick-draw scrapper and go-for-the-jugular brawler. He is a master of the unexpected (as the Egyptian commander Achillas calls Julius Caesar in the Liz Taylor Cleopatra). The massive size of Hillary’s imperialist operation makes her seem slow and heavy. Trump is like a raffish buccaneer, leaping about the rigging like the breezy Douglas Fairbanks or Errol Flynn, while Hillary is the stiff, sequestered admiral of a bullion-laden armada of Spanish galleons, a low-in-the-water easy mark as they creak and sway amid the rolling swells.
As for the New York Times hit piece on Trump, Paglia thought that the paper was hoist on its own petard:
Can there be any finer demonstration of the insularity and mediocrity of today’s Manhattan prestige media? Wow, millionaire workaholic Donald Trump chased young, beautiful, willing women and liked to boast about it. Jail him now! Meanwhile, the New York Times remains mute about Bill Clinton’s long record of crude groping and grosser assaults—not one example of which could be found to taint Trump.
What went wrong? Paglia has a thoroughly reasonable explanation:
Blame for this fiasco falls squarely upon the New York Times editors who delegated to two far too young journalists, Michael Barbaro and Megan Twohey, the complex task of probing the glitzy, exhibitionistic world of late-twentieth-century beauty pageants, gambling casinos, strip clubs, and luxury resorts.
Here, she is entirely right. Newspapers, among other American institutions, have so little respect for experience and wisdom that they often enlist people who are nearly children to navigate the complex waters of a difficult story. It’s called a cult to youth. The younger you are the less experience you have and the more you see the world through ideological lenses. This time the Times got burned for its dereliction. Good.
Naturally, Camille was anything but offended by the picture of Trump with his girlfriend:
The supreme irony of the Times’ vacuous coverage is that the early 1990s banquet-hall photograph of the unmarried Rowanne Brewer and Donald Trump illustrating it is the sexiest picture published in the mainstream media in years. Not since Melissa Forde’s brilliant 2012 Instagram portraits of a pensive Rihanna smoking a cigarillo as she lounged half-nude in a fur-trimmed parka next to a fireplace have I seen anything so charismatically sensual.
Small and blurry in the print edition, the Brewer-Trump photo in online digital format positively pops with you-are-there luminosity. Her midnight-blue evening dress opulently cradling her bare shoulders, Rowanne is all flowing, glossy hair, ample, cascading bosom, and radiant, lushly crimson Rita Hayworth smile. The hovering Trump, bedecked with the phallic tongue of a violet Celtic floral tie, is in Viking mode, looking like a triumphant dragon on the thrusting prow of a long boat. “To the victor belong the spoils!” I said to myself in admiration, as seductive images from Babylon to Paris flashed through my mind. Yes, here is all the sizzling glory of hormonal sex differentiation, which the grim commissars of campus gender studies will never wipe out!
This ought not, Paglia hastens to add, qualify a man to be the president. For what it’s worth, I agree. And yet, Paglia makes a more important point. The academic intellectuals and media barons who have been trying to obliterate sexual difference are facing an election where the boys are competing against the girl… except that while Trump might be a bit over-the-top on the manliness scale Hillary barely registers on the womanliness scale. In fact, she turns off young women.
In Paglia’s words:
But I applaud this accidental contribution by the blundering New York Times to the visual archive of modern sex. We’ve been in a long, dry-gulch period of dully politicized sex, which is now sputtering out into round-the-clock crusades for transgender bathrooms—knuckle-rapping morality repackaged as hygiene.
For having tried to repress masculinity and femininity, the culture is facing the return of the repressed, in caricatured form. Call it the death of subtlety. In the currently repressive atmosphere you might have to be outrageous to be heard.