activist, writer, and founder of the Feminist Press

Florence in Words

Mindless Politics?

August 7, 2015

Tags: election

I watched the Republican debate last night and was appalled or mystified by the crowd, and not only because of the comic central (who was placed in the center) who seemed to be saying that he was going to run separately if the Republicans didn’t choose him as their candidate. He really does have delusions: thinks he can beat Hillary as well as any (or all) of the Republicans. How does a person get to live in such a delusionary world? Is it an illness?

The others were somewhat in awe of him, if not seemingly frightened. He is, of course, a bully, and they all understand the power of money. He seemed to indicate that he has contributed funds to most if not all of them, and his tone towards them was generally scornful. I wonder how many people, ordinary people like me, see him as a bully, a delusionary bully. He does have money and in this culture money is power. He also seems devoid of normal kindness, even towards those with less or no power, less or no money. His normal demeanor is scornful. Those who have less are weak; they are fools.

And the audience? They seemed with him, but I am hoping that someone has listened even more carefully than I, and that someone had had access to faces in the audience after some of the ugly things were being said. I hope someone is analyzing this, and that that person will tell us about the crowd’s response to him. Rachel Madow: are you listening?

As for the others on stage, the two sanest seemed to me to be the former governor of Florida and the current governor of Ohio. Jeb Bush stuck to his views on immigration; and John Kasich offered a vignette about attending a same-sex wedding, saying that, apart from human kindness, such weddings had become the law of the land. They seemed to this 86-year old political junky to be the only ones able to joust with Hillary. They’ve not had her international experience, nor her eight years in the White House. But they can brag about their hands-on management of state bureaucracies.


  1. August 7, 2015 11:29 PM EDT
    I refused to turn on Fox channel, so followed the seemingly endless punditry loop that accompanied the Fox debate. All the Repugs fear an independent run should they make the Donald mad. Except Fox where the agenda was to bring him down before he brings down the Party. Hence the rough questions that baited the bear. Successfully,
    - Shirley Lim
  2. August 8, 2015 9:23 AM EDT
    The scariest part for me was what seemed to be the large applause that appeared to usually meet whatever Trump had to say. I was left wondering if they were applauding him for being a buffoon or, even scarier, were they actually agreeing with what he had to say! Thank goodness, Atlanta has banned him from the Republican forum! He'll provide his own circus somewhere else. Hopefully, he'll step both feet in it so far some time soon that people will finally be disgusted enough to forget him and let him return to counting his bills.
    - Molly Trask
  3. August 19, 2015 2:42 PM EDT
    Thanks for commenting. I am more disheartened by now. The man doesn't even understand that we live under a Constitution. Florence
    - Florence Howe

Select Works

"Everyone concerned about global feminism, women’s contributions, and humanity’s future will be enhanced and enchanted by A Life in Motion.”—Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of Eleanor Roosevelt: Volume I and Volume II
Lecture delivered by Florence Howe on January 8, 2011, at the Modern Language Association Annual Convention
“It is impossible to imagine women’s studies without Florence Howe. Myths of Coeducation shows her vision and courage, insight and dauntlessness.”–Catharine R. Stimpson, Rutgers University
A revised and expanded edition of the classic groundbreaking anthology of 20th-century American women's poetry, representing more than 100 poets from Amy Lowell to Anne Sexton to Rita Dove.

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