Mitch BERG is walking on the sidewalk past the “Safe Space” – a Saint Paul bar catering to “progressives”, featuring free-range beer, organic locally-sourced chips and pretzels, and gluten-free “everyone wins” dart boards.
Suddenly, Avery LIBRELLE gets off the bus, and removes a set of Apple earbuds connected to an iPhone. LIBRELLE notices BERG.
LIBRELLE: Hey, Merg!
BERG: Ugh. I mean, hi, Avery.
LIBRELLE: So. Donald Drumpf’s speech was dark and dystopian.
BERG: Well, that was quick. The speech ended literally a minute ago. So you listened to it.
LIBRELLE: Oh, hell no. I listened to NPR’s wrapup after I heard on Snapchat that the actual speech was over.
BERG: So – less than thirty seconds after the speech was over, NPR and the rest of the media, more or less at the same time, labelled the speech “dark and dystopian?”
LIBRELLE: Yep! Because it was!
BERG: And you don’t think these are dark and dystopian times for a lot of the people who’ve come out of the woodwork to support Trump?
LIBRELLE: Mark Shields and Gwen Ifill and David Brooks said it’s a great time to be optimistic!
BERG: Sure. It’s a great time to be part of the DC echo chamber, with an inflated, legacy-media salary. But if you’re a WalMart assistant manager in Mississippi, or a machinist in Milwaukee, or a coal miner in West Virginia, it’s kinda scary out there.
LIBRELLE: Bla bla bla. After eight years of Barack Obama, America is a wonderous place! Drumpf is a traitor for accentuating the negative!
BERG: So you’re saying it’s wrong to accentuate the negative…
BERG: …when things are either positive or kinda in between, overall?
LIBRELLE: Absolutely! It’s utterly and completely dishonest!
BERG: Ah. So in general, when someone talks about something that’s improved as if it’s been going the wrong way, it’s a lie? Or even something that’s been net-neutral as if it’s been a complete negative?
LIBRELLE: Lies, lies, lies!
BERG: So when a candidate says “gun crime is out of control” when it’s dropped 50% in 20 years? Or that “women get paid 76% of what men make” when it’s actually pretty close to even when you compare men and women with the same backgrounds in the same fields, and women under 30 are actually starting to out-earn men? Or that “one in five women in college will be raped” or “black men are astronomically more likely to be shot by the police, and it’s because of racism”?
BERG: (Waits two beats)