Hillary Clinton is the Nicki Minaj of politics. Overwhelming name recognition accompanies a figure divisive inside and out of their own party. Sure she’s listed off a string of hits and is the most recognizable woman in her field, but there always seems to be another hill for her to overcome. Whether it’s people attacking her sexuality or accusing her of being insane she can’t catch a break in the public sphere. This wouldn’t be so bad except she can’t catch a break in her community either. You can get plenty to acknowledge she’s the most popular one doing what she does but what she does is what divides them. Some say she’s all flash and no substance. Others point to her success as proof unto itself. The fact that a man doing what she does would never be called out the same way goes without saying. The unspoken fact is that no man would HAVE to do what she does to in order to maintain relevance and popularity. In the end it’s probably not for the present day to judge her meaning and impact. She’s become a staple, but history will decide her role in the party annals. Whether that’s as one of the greatest to do it; one of the greatest women; or a pandering exploitation of style over substance is something no one will be object enough to decide for years to come.
Marco Rubio is the Fred the Godson of Politics. Right now you’re probably saying, “Who?” Exactly.
Glenn Beck is the Kanye West of American Politics. A loud and often self-important figure he has helped mold our modern discourse to a degree with which many are uncomfortable. Loved by those who share his paranoia, he is viewed as an unhinged annoyance by those outside of the bubble. A meteoric rise in the early 2000’s burst a brash figure onto the scene sending a new vibe across the airwaves. In the same way as West, a streak of successes landed him on the biggest stages in his industry and then he hit his groove. The election of Barack Obama was the perfect platform for Glenn Beck, catapulting his breakup with the mainstream into a production of screaming tantrums and self loathing.What would follow Obama taking office on his radio and television show were his own Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Plots within plots, decades of progressive secret cabals and nefarious plans were laid bare on chalkboards and tears flowed freely. Not one to rest on his laurels, this effort was followed up with his own website and television station, a pioneering in many ways of mainstreaming independent media. Whether you think he’s an insincere asshole, an unhinged maniac, or the only voice of reason left, it is tough to deny the track record of success and controversy that chases after the would be king maker. A strong insurgent streak combined with deep self absorption cause both men to always throw rocks at the establishment and we see mirror portraits of an interesting man. A craving for acceptance warring with the intrinsic nature that bids him live outside the mainstream, always on the fringes commenting with derision of those inside while salivating over potential inclusion. The proverbial fox and grapes fable come to life. Never wanting to repeat any phase of life, the only constants are reinvention, resurgence, and revolution. This great flux of jekyll and hyde proportions may not make for a very stable person and is no doubt exhausting for those in their inner sanctum, but no one can deny they both put on a great show for the rest of us.
Donald Trump is the Future of Politics. Each is supported by a dedicated base of fans who relate to his emotional outbursts and take joy in his ability to say what they are thinking. Both are problematic, though pointing it out will bring down a torrent of rebuttals from his fans. “He tells it like it is!” “You would be angry too!” “He’s the voice of the people.” Despite all that you aren’t even sure if he’s any good. Sure you love his hits and he’s the best you’re getting at the moment, but let’s not forget that anyone with a little effort and a bunch of cash can sound just like him. He does have hits in his own right though. “If Young Metro don’t trust ya…” but all in all what does it add up to? An admission that he doesn’t live the lifestyle he portrays and a set of the thinnest skin money can buy. Don’t tell his hive that though. You’ll reap the whirlwind as they call you PC, a lame. He’s the voice of the people! Known for misogyny and being sued you have to wonder how this is something to aspire to. In the end they aren’t selling what they produce or even their personality. No what people are buying is a lifestyle. They’re buying freedom, being in charge, and doing and saying what they want. In the end they’re aspirational. Not that they inspire their fans to be more, but that their fans aspire to live the lurid and freewheeling life they project.
Bernie Sanders is the J Cole of Politics. He’s always been on the edges, an independent you think you may have heard of before, with a loyal core group of fans who knew him when he was underground (a fact they are very proud of). Then suddenly he’s burst on to the mainstream scene. You didn’t quite understand it, but before you knew what happened they were one of the hottest tickets in town and were all over your TV and Radio. Now there’s no getting away from them. They’re doing what no one else before them has! Or so your friends tell you. And sure you don’t even understand how them reaching national stardom with no major backers is a big deal, but if everyone says it’s special it must be right? Besides it’s easier to go along with the narrative than go against it. Say too many cross words about either and the Cole Miners/BernieBros will be in your mentions decrying your love of the mainstream and reminding you that he’s leading a return to real grassroots ability. To a degree you even understand their point, but it seems like they mostly talk about the same thing over and over again. No matter the topic it always comes back to their one or two points of reference, but his fans eat it up so why wouldn’t he? In the end you aren’t sure if he has the staying power of more established artists, but who know maybe he’ll surprise you.
If you’re a faithful listener of the show, you’ve heard a bit about our sh!t list. Ya know, the people we hate like R.Kelly (always and forever). Well, we’re going to start keeping track of all of the people we despise and why we can’t stand them via a series of blog posts. I was gonna do a Google doc but that isn’t as sexy as publicly shaming them on our corner of the internet. This week, I am featuring the politicians that are trying to keep Syrian refugees out of the United States. Several governors, including my own, have vowed to block them from entering their states despite not having the legal right to do so.
The House of Representatives has passed a bill that could block them from entering the States altogether. Basically, good ole American xenophobia is working despite all of the Paris terrorists being European nationals and the French actually allowing refugees to cross their borders. Move over Mexico, there are new jerb takers in town!
Hey politicians, on the behalf of Three Fifs Podcast, fuck you.
Dishonorable mention: Piyush “Bobby” Jindal who dropped out of the Presidential race this week.