Hillary vs Elvis 2016
Does Clinton believe Presley to have been a "deplorable?"
Singer Mary J. Blige's musical successes were commercial and era-bound in nature; she neither turned new creative soil nor was particularly interesting in her revisiting of cliches.
She did, though, slur her artistic superior. In 1997, Blige lied bold-facedly about the late Elvis Presley, deriding him without foundation as "racist."
The otherwise irrelevant Blige is a minor player in current political news. She is making quite the loud spectacle of herself on behalf of Hillary Clinton.
In a simply tilted video interview spot soon to run online, Blige sings questions to Clinton. The candidate wears a pained, 'why in the hell did I agree to this?' expression, the same one she sported during her recent Between Two Ferns appearance.
My guess is that some millennial vote-hunting campaign functionary was later disciplined roundly.
But Hillary's opportunistic embrace of Elvis-hater Blige neatly illustrates a larger reality about her campaign, as well as of an evolving foul and nonsensical cultural trend. In this addled movement, everything established, successful, reasonable, and traditional is to be reviled and plowed under.
There is no distinction recognized between positives and negatives. By virtue of vintage, all are equally opprobrious.
To have enjoyed previous cultural cache, goes the fury-brained half-thinking, is to be (pick one or more) racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, etc. And, hence, the despised enemy to be strangled by the marching, sign-hefting forces of goodness.
In this undisciplined era of anarchic tumult, Hillary Clinton has made manifest her sympathy: Out with the old, and in with the new. Elvis would be counted as an 'irredeemable deplorable,' by her rancid arithmetic.
(Never mind that they don't get much older than she; not unlike celebrity backers Cher and Madonna, Hillary seeks to reinvent herself for the incoming generation of ticket buyers.)
Given her amoral calculating, it is logical -- albeit still thoroughly despicable -- that Clinton cast her lot with rampaging, violent, and destructive street thugs over law officers representing decent and orderly American society.
At this point, a stipulation cries out to be acknowledged. No candidate can reasonably be assumed to share every belief of their backers.
A major misjudgement was made by news media commentators challenging Donald Trump to publicly distance himself from stray unsavory supporters. Such outsiders had without invitation sought greater visibility by attaching themselves to his more popular and spotlighted effort.
It was unreasonable to demand that Trump acknowledge them as legitimately worth attention. But as we've seen in this election season, reasonableness is most clearly not a mainstream media ambition.
There is a considerable difference, though, between that and the Hillary/Blige case: The Democratic candidate chose her association with the Elvis-smearing singer of long-since-gone renown.
Hillary does not necessarily share Blige's deceitful, noxious prejudice. But by uncritically availing herself of the faded pop luminary's aid and comfort -- and, in a very real larger sense, with the bedraggled, anarchic assassins of all-that-came-before -- she certainly is positing this metaphorical choice:
You can stand with either Elvis Presley or Hillary Clinton. Can't be both.