Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
Back in the early 1970s, Camel ran a series of magazine ads featuring arrays of colorful characters, each with an amusing “gimmick.” Each, that is, except for the Camel Filters smoker, who didn’t need a gimmick: he was confident, secure, rugged, good looking, relaxed — and usually had a jacket hooked casually over his shoulder. A key on the page, or occasionally on the reverse page, named the gimmicky characters and described their particular affectations.
I loved those ads when I was a kid. (click picture to enlarge)
I thought of those ads recently while listening to Joe Biden struggling to make himself relevant to an identity-obsessed Democratic party. Biden’s pandering misandry was cringe-inducing, as he groveled for his failure to be something more than a pathetic male while taking part in the attempted Clarence Thomas lynching, and then debased himself (and men in general) in a weird riff about old world wife abuse half a millennium ago, and how it relates to 21st century American sexual relationships. It didn’t make much sense, but this is Joe Biden we’re talking about: his thoughts wander as much as his hands.
Poor Joe. He isn’t gay, or a member of a minority, or a woman, or an ersatz Native American, or a hip skateboarder, or some winning intersection of the above. In a Democratic Party that demands a gimmick, he comes up short, and so he’s having to fall back on self-loathing, claiming for himself a toxic masculinity that, while it might describe his penchant for being “handsy,” still rings hollow.
He could call himself a socialist, but that’s pretty much the universal gimmick for this crowd. And when everyone’s a socialist… well, then you still need another gimmick.
Or he could be the guy without a gimmick. He could be a plain old liberal, from back in the days when liberals were wrong and destructive, but not obviously crazy. He could be the voice of substance and reason in an increasingly unhinged party.
But then he wouldn’t be Joe Biden. And he’d still have the problem with the hands.