Donald Trump professes confusion in response to Hillary's new slogan:
She wants to make America whole again and I’m trying to think what is that all about?Among other things, Donald, it means that when you unjustly or incompetently take people's money, you restore to them what they've lost. Something you've never done.
At the risk of stating the obvious: "make America whole again" is a double entendre* -- and I think a kind of brilliant one. Hillary is going motherly on us (or Bush Sr. on us), talking about restoring love and kindness as core political values. But "make America whole" has a hard financial edge, and speaks to 40 years of one-percenter capture of all the country's productivity growth -- as well as countering Trump's fascist scapegoating of Hispanics and Muslims. At the same time, it's a pitch to the rust belt and the white working class:
America is strong when we're all strong. We know we've got work to do. That work, that work is not to make America great again. America never stopped being great. We have to make America whole. We have to fill in what's been hollowed out.At the core of wholeness is breaking down, um, walls:
We have to make strong the broken place, re-stitch the bonds of trust and respect across our country. Now, it might be unusual, as I've said before, for a presidential candidate to say this, but I'm going to keep saying it: I believe what we need in America today is more love and kindness.
Trying to divide America between us and them is wrong, and we're not going to let it work. Whether we like it or not, we're all in this together my friends. We all have to do our part. Unfortunately, too many of those with the most wealth and the most power in this country today seem to have forgotten that basic truth about America.
We can break down barriers for families who have seen too many black children harassed, humiliated and even killed. We can break down barriers for voters in North Carolina who have been systemically disenfranchised. We can break down barriers for hard working immigrants who are too often exploited and intimidated. We have to defend all our rights, workers rights and women's rights, civil rights and voting rights, LGBT rights and rights for people with disabilities.And what better centerpiece than Flint, Michigan?
Let me leave you with a story that's inspired so many of us. By now we all know what happened in Flint, Michigan, don't we? Our city's children were poisoned by toxic water because the governor wanted to save a little money. There's another story in Flint. It's a story of a community that's been knocked down, but refused to be knocked out. It is hundreds of union plumbers coming from across the country to help install new water fixtures. It's students raising funds for water deliveries and showing up to distribute supplies. It's the united auto workers and general motors donating millions of dollars to help.That links up the fate of auto workers, union plumbers, and poor minority communities (some of whom may be auto industry workers.
When I visited Flint a few weeks ago, I went to the house of prayer missionary Baptist church. The congregation locked arms and sang. We've come too far from where we started from. They're not about to quit now.
We know there are many other Flints out there. Communities that are hurting and need help. We've come too far in this country to let us turn back. We're going to build on the progress that we've made. We save the auto industry thanks to President Obama. Now we've got to create new jobs and industries of the future.
I think Clinton's got her (pardon the expression) unifying theme. And is maybe finding a way to combine the warmth and the steel.
* or triple entendre, if you will: 1. heal/unify, 2. provide restitution; 3. defend against Trumpian scapegoating/hatred.