July 20, 2019

Campaigning Ourselves to Death

““WELL I THINK he’s got a lot of hand movement, I’ve never seen so much hand movement,” the president of the United States said last month. “I said, is he crazy or is that just the way he acts? So I’ve never seen hand movement—I watched him a little while this morning doing I assume it was some kind of a news conference and I’ve actually never seen anything quite like it. Study it. I’m sure you’ll agree.”

Did we agree? We consented, as Donald Trump surely imagined, to write about it. “A video of Beto O’Rourke’s wild hand gestures went viral. Does distinctive body language help or hurt a candidate?” asked the Washington Post. “Could Beto O’Rourke’s Hand Gestures Cost Him His Presidential Bid?” pondered Inside Edition. “Trevor Noah Points Out That Trump Isn’t Necessarily Wrong About Beto O’Rourke’s Hand Gestures,” Uproxx noted, delivering on the inevitable entertainment angle.

The news cycle spun and washed us out, as it always did, and we were left to nod at the various ephemeral takes on Trump’s trolling of Beto O’Rourke, among the latest entrants in the eternal presidential sweepstakes that will not go off air until November 2020, a mere twenty months from now. And when it does go off air, it will only be gone for so long—2024 will loom, as will the 2022 midterms, and the characters who so brightly populate our political universes now will either continue on for a new season or be swapped out for different—and, we hope, as entertaining—fare.”

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