It’s 2016 All over Again but It Doesn’t Have to Be

Photo description: Trump on a lot of television screens
Image source: Reuters/Jim Urquhart

“It’s 2016 all over again,” a friend tweeted this morning. He was talking about how CNN made a point of carrying Trump’s Big Racist Bullshit-stravaganza Campaign Rally on Saturday, but hasn’t bothered to mention more than a passing acknowledgement of the events Biden has been holding. Even the virtual event he did with former President Obama got very little play.

My friend is right, of course. The same thing happened four years ago—all the major networks and news outlets were falling all over themselves to cover every single word that sputtered out of ToxicOrange’s McNugget hole. Meanwhile, even the best attended events held by Hillary Clinton were mentioned mostly in passing. Maybe, if she was lucky and it was an otherwise slow news day, the anchors would tune into the rallies for a few minutes before going back to “but her emails-ing.” 

Honestly, I wasn’t that much better. I spent FAR more time covering Trump’s events than I did talking or blogging about Clinton’s. I own that. I was incredibly naive to think that simply pointing Trump’s nonsense—even as I was doing my best to explain why it was nonsense—was enough. In retrospect I should have spent just as much time talking about Clinton’s ideas and policies, how they would work and why they were better. 

What makes me angriest about that is that I knew better. It isn’t enough to talk about what you’re against, you need to talk about what you’re for. Punk Rock is Bullshit, and all that. 

This time, I want to do better. I’m not sure what that will really look like just yet, but I want to start by calling your attention to this Washington Post article about the event the Biden campaign held today. It’s a short read and it definitely gave me some stuff to think about.