Stupid Ideas Fine, Stupid Tone Bad

In presidential politics what gets you taken seriously isn’t the content of your message, it’s the tone of your voice. Deliver stupid ideas calmly, and everyone will respect you. Act histrionically, and you’ll be dismissed.

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About Ted Rall

Ted Rall is the political cartoonist at ANewDomain.net, editor-in-chief of SkewedNews.net, a graphic novelist and author of many books of art and prose, and an occasional war correspondent. He is the author of the biography "Trump," to be published in July 2016.

14 thoughts on “Stupid Ideas Fine, Stupid Tone Bad

  1. «Even the biggest jerks can say can say stupid things in a buffoonish way if they ever fought in a war – even a stupid one.» Now Ted, don’t be too hard on John Sidney McCain, son and grandson of admirals, whoundoubtedly was a war hero, either for wrecking a number of US Navy planes or bombing civilians in Vietnam – I forget just which, but then again, either would suffice….

    Perhaps someone could explain to me the distinction between war hero and war criminal – what do the Nürnberg criteria say ?…

    Henri

    • Maybe I can help you:

      Bush the 2nd never participated in warfare; niether did Cheney. They are undoubtedly war criminals by Nürnberg standards, along with the rest of their cadre.

      But none of them could be considered “war heroes”!

      • But mein verehrter Lehrer, I understand that George Walker Bush flew airplanes with the Texas Air National Guard, from 1968 til 1972, when, two years earlier than envisaged, he decided to stop flying. Surely that qualifies him as a war hero ? At least, unlike John Sidney McCain, he doesn’t seem to have bombed any civilians. How does the song go : «Two little kings playing a game.
        They gave a war and nobody came.» ?…

        George Walker Bush, like Robert Bruce Cheney («I had other priorities in the ’60s than military service”»), never came to the war. Perhaps they deserve credit for their no doubt principled stand ?… 😉

        Henri

    • Basically every American killer is a war hero because of victor’s justice.

      The only domestically indisputable American war crime is losing a war. Some may disagree, but without a conviction in a court there is no crime. Good luck even getting a trial, much less a conviction.

      Clinton is a would-be war criminal for his bombing of a pharmaceutical factory, among other incidents.

      “Critics of the attack have estimated that up to tens of thousands of Sudanese civilians died throughout Sudan as the supply of necessary drugs was cut off.”

    • I have read reports that Dubya deserted his military service to serve in a political campaign in — was it Georgia?

      Yeah, that makes him a hero, no doubt.

      (All the records mysteriously disappeared while he was governor of Texas.)

  2. So if you are righteously angry or upset, then it is OK to say something in a buffoonish way? I won’t even address that line of thought or logic. I see what Ted is saying, but the observation goes nowhere – except as the basis for another cartoon that actually says nothing but lampoons a standard that goes way back. Yes – if you scream and spit while you bark and holler things, it is less effective. The simple fact here is that as long as we continue to focus and engage ourselves on issues that are far removed from more important issues, like the fact that whether Democrat or Republican – that we have no choice or freedom, because big money and influence control the choices we have, effectively leaving us with no choices but their own – then we can fight amongst ourselves over who is more guilty or who is more right, and “whoops!” – Sorry, the Democracy has timed out.

  3. Let’s not gloat too smugly because the same treatment will be afforded (or is that “wildly intensified” for) Sanders the moment he gets a #1 rating in whatever poll.

    It might be problems with his clothing. the volume of his voice or “SOCIALISM” written in blood red with hammers & sickles instead of quotation marks.

  4. You got that right, Ted.

    So many people are like dogs: it doesn’t matter what is said (because dogs can’t understand words assembled into sentences) but how it is said (so they can guess if a treat is forthcoming).

    Obama continued Bush’s imperial policies, but administered them with a gentler tone of voice. So it was OK.

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