Friday, August 21, 2020

Of frogs we should have expected

’Twas a warm Summer night, just the 
weather for merchants of sentiment 
to stuff our throat with frogs. Not 
merely to agitate the lachrymose, but 
equally the otiose, our hapless Clas-
of Aristophanes to which the amphibi-
ans lent their name, a battle of tra-

Already in everyone’s mind had been 
shades of Franklin Roosevelt and his
leadership of national recovery, re-
form, and resistance to fascism. Who
would muck with this? 

Enter boldly the nominee, citing FDR’s 
crippling by polio - a virus, he alert-
ly recalled - and then, not referencing 
to others at Warm Springs, segued into 
presenting himself as mentor to a school-
boy who stutters. None dare call it pla-
giarism, but his opponents are what they 
are, and I hold four hopes in escalating 
order of intensity - 

That the campaign is ready for the fire-
storm of exploitation of his fuel; that 
the soul of FDR is slapping his knee with 
glee at this overreach for his image; 
that nobody faults Aristophanes for our
witless memory; and that the boy in ques-
tion will be held as blameless as he is.

This leaves the nominee. I respect the
necessity to project an unanswerable im-
pediment to Trump and Trumpism's penchant
for mocking his speech as a symptom of 
frailty. At the same time one would like
to be able to expect the candidate to ex-
ercise his own strength, without sending
for a child in his place. One would like
him to stop striving for poignancy and be-
gin to enact raw, exposed superiority:

Listen, swine. I have a neurological prob-
lem with my speech. I'll stutter all day,
before I'll emulate your lies.

5th C BC
Metropolitan Museum

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