Donald in his slimy element
Okay, so Sunday's Miss America Pageant - yes they still do that, no Drooling Donny ran Miss U.S.A., during which, he smirkingly admitted, he used to walk in on contestants in various states of undress because he could and because then as now he lacked any semblance of a moral compass - had the usual crass glitter, bikini-clad eye-candy, and achingly offensive portrayals of stellar womanhood. But it also featured some eye-popping, rabble-rousing political moments suggesting that, even here in the murky backwaters of American culture, change might be coming. Truth be told, its syntax and political clarity isn't quite Howard Zinn yet - “There is evidence that climate change is existing" - but it's something.
The modest shift was clearest in interview questions, several political, wherein ever-smiling contestants had 20 seconds to offer an intelligible opinion. Miss Missouri waffled a bit on Russiagate - innocent for now - but ended with, "I think we should investigate it to its fullest extent" and, if evidence of collusion is found, "the justice system should do their due diligence." Miss New Jersey similarly hedged on racist Confederate statues but concluded, "They should be moved to museums."
The eventual winner, Miss North Dakota Cara Mund, was asked about America's withdrawal from the Paris agreement. She too indulged in some cringeworthy feints on climate change - "whether you believe it or not" - but moved on to, "I do believe it's a bad decision. Once we reject that, we take ourselves out of the negotiation table...(and) we need to be at that table." Mund, whose female relatives include the first woman to run for U.S. President, own a Wall Street firm and found a newspaper, is a Brown University graduate who wants to go to law school and become her state's first female governor.
The star of the evening was Miss Texas Margana Wood, whose punchy response to a question about neo-Nazis in Charlottesville didn't win the dubious title but did win buoyant praise on social media - from Hip Hop Wired: "White Girl Woke: Miss Texas Bangs On Cheeto Trump." Asked about those "very fine people" on both sides, Miss Texas, noted one observer, "was not fucking around." On the "white supremacist" issue, she said, "It was very obvious that it was a terrorist attack. And I think that President Donald Trump should have made a statement earlier addressing the fact, and making sure all American feel safe in this country. That is the No. 1 issue right now.” Her answer doesn't make her Frederick Douglass, but it's many notches above the historically inept umm/like/I mean/you know babble of these things. It's also, alas, miles above, like, umm, you know, the President of the United States.
Miss North Dakota wins
Little Miss Flint is really not sure about this. AP Photo