George Graham

Can America Still Listen?



The justification for democracy is based on the notion that there is an inherent wisdom in the population at large and that this wisdom will prevail if allowed free and anonymous expression via the ballot box.

This idea is going to be tested as never before in November. And I have a nagging worry that we could be in for a rude awakening.

I wonder how many Americans got what Hillary Clinton was talking about yesterday when she sliced and diced Donald Trump’s spine-chilling approach to foreign policy. Did they follow her surgically precise logic? Were they persuaded? Or enlightened?

I wonder.

It’s not that Hillary resorted to intricate reasoning or arcane language. She used simple logic and everyday words to make her case. And, to those of us who understood – to those of us who actually listened – her case could not have been more powerfully made.

But is the American electorate able to grasp what she was saying? Are Americans still able to listen to a well reasoned argument? Or does today’s America hear only sound bites and respond only to slogans?

When Bernie Sanders yells about income inequality and promises free college tuition, ttrumphe crowd gets it. When Trump heaps abuse on a “corrupt” system, they can relate.

They’re victims! The abject failures of their lives are not their fault. They were cheated!

They deserve free education, free health care, and other free stuff.

They understand “free.”

When Donald Trump scatters insults like confetti, they get it. They wish they’d said that about someone at work – or at the bar – who has been getting under their skin. They wish they could deploy Trump’s scorn on that boss (or spouse) of theirs.

Give ’em hell, Bernie!!! Give ’em hell, Trump!!! Yeah!!!

But do they get it when Hillary so eloquently dissects the Trump heresy, exposing it for the tawdry – and dangerous – shill that it is? Do they read those intricately devised programs laid out with such care on her web site – programs that could reasonably beĀ  the real-life solution to America’s vexing issues?

We shall see come November.

Click for Hillary’s speech

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for