Well, it’s all over but the crying. Hillary Clinton officially became the presumptive nominee for the Democrats, and Bernie Sanders says he will continue to fight to the convention. I think that means he’s somewhere between denial and anger on the grief cycle.
But let’s face it. Hillary and Bernie have been chasing each other around a Monopoly board where all the color groups were blocked except Boardwalk and Park Place, which Hillary owned with hotels on them. Sooner or later, Bernie was going to land on one of them. So, Bernie, you can declare bankruptcy or you can mortgage all your properties, in which case you will go bust when you land on a railroad and can’t pay the $200 rent. (Yeah, Hillary owns all the railroads, too.)
But that’s not really the most interesting thing to happen this week, historic as it is. When Muhammad Ali died, it was interesting that there was precious little coverage of how vilified he was by a large part of white America in the 1960s, particularly in the segregated part of the South in which I was reared. He converted to Islam (code for “rejected Jesus”) and refused to be drafted. He paid a high personal and professional price for it.
As a child, I didn’t necessarily understand why Ali got under the skin of so many people, but I liked him because he seemed to agitate the people who needed agitating. And he embraced being “pretty”…and I really liked that, too. He bragged about being the greatest, and he may have been the first unapologetic narcissist we ever saw in the celebrity spotlight. But his braggadocio was not empty…he backed it up.
Back in 2016, we have another case study to consider. For weeks now, reputable people (or at least people who get paid to talk on television) have opined about what’s wrong with Donald Trump…and narcissistic personality disorder gets a lot of votes, with pathological liar coming in second. Now that kind of armchair psychology is not something that the presumptive Democratic nominee should engage in, so we need some new code. Is “nuts” too harsh for you? Well, substitute “dangerously incoherent.” Do you find “crazy” to be politically incorrect? Use “temperamentally unfit” instead.
And I find it hugely…or “bigly”…ironic that many people once thought women, by definition, were temperamentally unfit to be president. And that wasn’t too many years ago. In that context, “temperamentally unfit” meant too emotional and probably hormonal. So for the first female presumptive nominee of a major political party to change the code meaning of that expression amuses me greatly…or “bigly.”
(By the way, I recently took an online test: Are You a Narcissist? Based on the results, which I did not share on Facebook, I should either have my own reality show or be in a maximum security prison.)