Susan on Medium

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Remember that charisma can be just as dangerous as it is compelling. Charisma is subjective. It’s also the appeal of cultists and authoritarians, as well as our greatest leaders. Jim Jones and Hitler, to their followers, were seen as charismatic. And Incredible as it may seem, Trump supporters see him as charismatic.

Gabby Giffords said that sometimes it’s a fight for her to find the words. That’s how I feel this morning. How to describe what I feel? It’s a struggle, and that’s unusual for me. But I can say some of what we were given last night.

It really was just a debate. Ever since the Kennedy-Nixon debate, the debates have held an absurd amount of power in electoral politics. What happened then is legendary: Kennedy had been well-prepared with a set of talking points, and was instructed to turn the questions around (nowadays, we call this a “pivot”) in order to get them out no matter what the question was.

So I finished Mary Trump’s book late last night, and here’s what I think is so important about it.

It took the pandemic to show me “a room of one’s own” is much more than a spatial allocation

The following is excerpted from my latest collection of essays, Imagine Bernie Sanders as a Woman and other Writings on Politics and the Media 2016–2019. Despite the title, the collection is not primarily about Bernie Sanders. However, the following excerpt, which describes some of my experiences with the media after publishing a book supportive of Hillary Clinton, does contain material that Sanders supporters may find provocative and perhaps offensive.

My editor advised that I relegate only a brief discussion of Hillary’s comments about a “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy” to a footnote in my last book, The Destruction of Hillary Clinton. I accepted her advice, but I no longer think a footnote is sufficient. What follows contains some material from that footnote, but is greatly expanded and detailed. It appears in Imagine Bernie Sanders as a Woman and Other Writings on Politics and the Media 2016–2019.

Sanders the Spoiler

Sanders said Sunday that he worked as hard as humanly possible once Clinton was the Democratic nominee. Let’s do a little fact-check on that claim…

Revenge of the Shmattes

When we were kids in the early sixties, they were the last kind of clothes we’d ever be caught dead in. They were for overweight, middle-aged housewives who watched “Days of Our Lives” on television and got together once a week for Mah Jong (if Jewish) or Bingo (if church-going — although I thought it possible only Jewish moms wore them) or just smoking and gossiping. They were loose and made for comfort, often with disturbingly large floral prints. Shmatte.