Attention America! Oh, so sorry, that was a little loud. Let me try it again. ::whispers:: attention America: Congressman Tim Ryan, who according to my notes, apparently was at last night’s debate, has taken some time to reflect on the things said, the proposals pitched, the public reactions offered; took all that information, discussed it with his team, huddled up, and came up with a truly blockbuster new slogan that will really capture the American imagination. Coming soon to the bumper of a Ford Fiesta near you: Tim Ryan 2020—You Don’t Have to Yell.
You. Don’t. Have. To. Yell.
Be right back, I’m sharing my location with the meteor that killed the dinosaurs so we can meet up.
YOU. DON’T. HAVE. TO. YELL.
Ryan spent all of last night standing between Amy Klobuchar and an annoyed astral projection of Marianne Williamson coming to us live from her underground lair. Much of the time was spent trying to get a word in edgewise about the need for union jobs (yay!) and a Chief Manufacturing Officer (sounds like it could have a cute uniform, but it’s going to be a no thanks for now from me). At one point, during a contentious exchange with Bernie Sanders, Ryan replied “You don’t have to yell.” It went largely unremarked upon because as far as sassy retorts go, it pales in comparison to the moment when Elizabeth Warren deconstructed John Delaney at a molecular level and sent him back to the lab. Elizabeth Warren, harnessing all of her “brilliant professor who is sick of having her time wasted and wishes you would just read the materials that she posted on Blackboard” energy, told Delaney “I genuinely do not understand why anyone would go to all the trouble of running for president just to get up on this stage and talk about what’s not possible.” Delaney responded with no words but a series of facial expressions that can best be described as “Mr. Stark, I’m not feeling so good.”
It was a moment that I will be thinking about for the rest of my life because I’ve never seen someone so exasperatedly lobbying for hope; it’s inspiring. “BELIEVE, DAMMIT,” Elizabeth Warren shouts, as she picks her teeth with John Delaney’s bones.
And from the corner, the quiet voice of dear Tim Ryan who really is out here leading with the unifying message “Simmer down now.”
Tim Ryan will turn this car around if we kids don’t put a sock in it, dagnabbit!
Tim Ryan just wishes that we could all get along like we used to in middle school. Tim Ryan who wishes he could bake a cake out of rainbows and smiles and we’d all eat it and be happy.
Tim Ryan’s strategy for beating Trump: let’s all play the quiet game!
Tim Ryan 2020: the human equivalent of the ad in the movies that tells you to turn your phone off.
Even Marianne Williamson is like, “This dude is a little out there.”
Using this as a slogan is like the “Barlet Be Barlet” episode of The West Wing except, and I cannot stress this enough, the exact opposite.
Somebody has not seen the last episode of Years and Years and it shows.
Tim Ryan’s like, “Okay, yes, the country is on fire but, stay with me here, what if we all talked like late night radio host Delilah? Would that help?”
Someone, please, put me inside the strategy meeting where they decided that the thing that would get the attention of the public was tone policing.
IN THIS CLIMATE?
No, but seriously, in this actual climate?!
Is the move really to scold each other about volume like we’re all kids staying up too late at a sleepover trying not to get caught by the grown ups instead of letting loose a battle cry and moving on to the place where we can reclaim some piece of what is right and just? In this abrasively loud, brutish, and mean moment? Just, like, the vague idea of civility stitched on a throw pillow. The ground rules for a book club you just joined. A note passed to you in the Quiet Car. That will do the trick. Were you aware, reader, that you don’t have to yell? Even if you want to?? Even if you need to?? EVEN IF EVERYTHING AROUND YOU IS TRYING TO SILENCE YOU? WERE YOU? JUST AN F. Y. I.
Sorry for yelling.