"I don't think anybody should listen to me, because I haven't really focused on it very much," bragged Donald Trump, preparing to cross the pond to play at his swanky Scottish country club. As he held court on the green, several swastika-emblazoned golf balls whizzed past his Secret Service detail, landing with laser-focused precision at his feet.
"Get em outta here," he growled, apparently mistaking the balls for the ballsy protester who threw them.
True, Trump had been unnecessarily restricting his vast and chronic ignorance to the ramifications of the Brexit vote. But how refreshing and rare for any presidential aspirant to admit to being as disengaged as the poor wanker next door.
Can you imagine Hillary Clinton ever advising voters not to listen to her? This woman is such a self-professed, hyper-focused wonk that her campaign has even started a fan club called Wonks for Hillary.
Whether you live in an ivory tower or only aspire to claw your way up to one, Hillary is here to help. Or at least a flack named Jacob Liebenluft, late of the Obama administration, is here to set you on a much easier glide path to Wonk Nirvana.
His email tells the whole snobby story:
In an election that has often seemed like it’s about anything but policy -- Donald Trump seems to prefer name-calling and empty slogans -- I’m proud that Hillary is a bona fide policy buff. Yesterday, she even proudly declared the policies on our campaign's website to be “a little wonky,” and then she told us why that’s important to her:
(whereupon they get right down in the noxious weeds and direct you to a very wankish Gimme page.)“I actually sweat the specifics because they matter,” she said. “Whether one more kid gets health care may just be a detail in Washington -- but it’s all that matters to that family worrying about their child.”
Hillary thinks carefully about how best to solve the problems facing American families, and she’s not afraid to get in the weeds to figure out which policies will really make a difference. If you’re a policy nerd like Hillary, we’d love to invite you to a special new group: Wonks for Hillary. Add your name now to be one of the first to join, and we’ll keep you updated on key policy rollouts throughout the campaign -- and even invite you to join exclusive calls with policy advisors like me.
From health care expansion to investing in our infrastructure to gun violence prevention, Hillary has specific plans that dive deep into the root causes of these issues, and propose smart, targeted fixes that will implement changes people can really see and feel in their communities.
We’re running against a dangerous opponent whose policy ideas include legalizing torture and banning immigrants based on their religion. Hillary is going to keep fighting him the best way she knows how: by rolling out plans that will actually help Americans. When you join Wonks for Hillary, you’ll be able to talk articulately about those plans to anyone who’s interested -- and learn in-depth exactly how Hillary will help Americans as our next president.
Add your name to join Wonks for Hillary today:
Actually, it's as scary for Hillary to call herself a policy buff as it is for Donald to brag about his willful wanky ignorance. The dictionary definition of "buff" is a person who is very interested in something, not a person who is particularly accomplished at something. For example, you can be a jazz buff without knowing how to read music or play an instrument. In other words, Hillary is an obsessed fan. She's such a foreign policy buff that she convinced Obama to bomb Libya without first figuring out what would happen in the aftermath: like epic instability and the drowning deaths of thousands of refugees.
And the political definition of "wonk" is anything but flattering. According to Merriam-Webster, a wonk is "a person preoccupied with arcane details or procedures." In plain, vulgarian English (Wanklish) we can thus surmise that Hillary Clinton can't see the forest for the trees. She's an annoying nitpicker, and proud of it. If you're with her, you might as well consider Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder a positive personality trait.
And she has obviously learned nothing from Brexit or examined the root causes of the rise of neofascism, both here and abroad:
From health care expansion to investing in our infrastructure to gun violence prevention, Hillary has specific plans that dive deep into the root causes of these issues, and propose smart, targeted fixes that will implement changes people can really see and feel in their communities.She won't actually dig out the twisted roots of neoliberalism, cause of the worst wealth and social inequality in modern history. Instead, she'll get out her dainty little can of Roundup and spritz a bug over here, a withered leaf over there. Instead of espousing true single-payer health care, she'll urge sick people to shop around on the marketplace and maybe, eventually, decades from now, allow 50-somethings to "buy into" Medicare. She'll forge ahead with such "smart, targeted fixes" as implementing Republican-inspired and Clinton/Obama administration-approved "Promise Zones" in a pitifully few select blighted communities out of a whole country full of misery and despair. And she'll call it a buff, rousing success.
Promise zones don't actually provide direct government cash aid or jobs to the targeted communities. That's up to the unaccountable private businesses getting the government aid, the generous tax breaks and other incentives to "invest" in poor people.
Mark Partridge, a professor of urban-rural poverty at Ohio State University, told The Christian Science Monitor that such programs are by their very nature difficult to assess and measure, given the variables involved. Even a policy buff finds it hard to compare Chicago to Appalachia. So maybe the feel-goody vagueness is the whole point.
A caveat for any good news is: How much of it was because of the program,” says Dr. Partridge. “Did the program work or was this place just poised for takeoff?”Being a Wonk for Hillary also means subjecting yourself to a rigorous re-education regimen. The first step is getting in touch with your feelings.
Analysts have also express concern that it can be hard to tell whether a program’s benefits reach the poorest people, rather than flowing largely into the hands of the business owners who get the tax credits, says Partridge. Another concern is that one neighborhood’s program might in fact penalize surrounding communities, drawing jobs, investment, and people away from nearby places not incorporated into the initiative and effectively “shifting the problem around the map,” he says.
“I respect the fear, the anxiety, even the anger that a lot of people are feeling,” Clinton told The Washington Post in her first extended interview on economic issues since clinching the nomination, “because the advance of globalization and technology has really replaced or undermined the future for many jobs.”The Wonksplainer forgot, however, to mention that it was she and Bill who implemented many of the policies (NAFTA, welfare reform, financial deregulation) that are driving people to Trump. She ascribes the problem to generic "globalization," a process akin to the weather. Technology also arrived on the oligarchic scene fully formed in the transnational governing scheme known as the Technocracy.
What people are feeling,” she added, “is that the economy failed them, their government failed them. They just are looking for somebody who will explain, in a way they will accept, what’s happened. So Trump comes along and he blames immigrants and he blames minorities and he blames women, and people are responsive to that because these are hard times that folks are going through.”
The Clintonian appeal to wonkitude is so elitist and so headache-inducing that you can't really blame the desperate Trumpophiliac next door for embracing his simple sloganeering promise to Make America Great Again. No math skills, no white papers, no charts, no statistics are ever required. All you need is a chainsaw and a dream to tear up the whole Zone.
And unfortunately for Hillary, she's unwittingly opened herself right up for even more wanky Trumpian ridicule. Here's the dictionary definition of "wonky" --
informaladjective: wonky; comparative adjective: wonkier; superlative adjective: wonkiest
- crooked; off-center; askew.
"you have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth"
- (of a thing) unsteady; shaky.
"they sat drinking, perched on the wonky stools"
- not functioning correctly; faulty.
"your sense of judgment is a bit wonky at the moment"