Hillary’s stumbling episode at last Sunday’s 9/11 memorial event in Manhattan dominated the headlines this week, raising questions about her long-term health. It was a major embarrassment, especially due to its association with a tragic national event. Dilbert creator and persuasion expert Scott Adams pointed this out on his blog:
If humans were rational creatures, the time and place of Clinton’s “overheating” wouldn’t matter at all. But when it comes to American psychology, there is no more powerful symbol of terrorism and fear than 9-11 . When a would-be Commander-in-Chief withers – literally – in front of our most emotional reminder of an attack on the homeland, we feel unsafe. And safety is our first priority.
Following a big blunder like Sunday, a shrewd politician would immediately look to change the media narrative, projecting strength. Hillary could have made a major public appearance, announced a new policy, or laid out a speech projecting an inspiring progressive vision.
Instead, her team chose to spend the week attacking Donald Trump in the pettiest of ways — by mocking an internet meme. The Wall Street Journal explains:
Hillary Clinton’s campaign has published a parody of Vox, the liberal news site for young adults. Headline: “Donald Trump, Pepe the Frog, and White Supremacists: An Explainer.” Subheadline: “That cartoon frog is more sinister than you might realize.”
It seems that both Trump adviser Roger Stone and scion Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a “meme” (a picture with a slogan) the other day. It depicts a row of gun-toting, black-clad male bodies with faces superimposed over them. They are labeled THE DEPLORABLES. Front and center is Donald Trump père; to his immediate right is the face of Pepe, drawn with a Trumplike mop of yellow hair.
Anyone remotely familiar with meme culture would find it absurd to call Pepe racist. The meme has been around since 2005, typically to express existential frustration. In fact, pop singer (and major Hillary supporter) Katy Perry tweeted a Pepe meme in 2014 expressing frustration with her tour travel schedule:
The fact that Clinton chose the week after a medical incident to attack her opponent on something so juvenile makes her look desperate. She seems like she’s running out of ideas at precisely the time when projecting strength and confidence is needed to continue as a serious presidential contender.
Republicans loved to make fun of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama’s vague 2008 slogans, “hope” and “change.” But, that vision of a better future is precisely what voters crave, not bizarre, elitist deconstruction.
Unsurprisingly, Trump has now taken the lead in Florida and Ohio — two major swing states that could decide the election. Unless Hillary changes her tune fast to one of strength, Trump may score a major upset in November.