Is there a better microcosm of America today than the past two days?
- Wednesday: explosive devices sent to Clintons, Obamas, Soros and CNN.
- Thursday: conservatives on TV claim these are fake attacks, and even if they’re real they have nothing to do with Donald Trump calling them enemies of the people, suggesting jail time or celebrating violence.
The insecurity of Donald Trump is bottomless, and it appears so is the anger of the white Christian conservatives always on the lookout for a new enemy to fear and punish.
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Just to get the obvious out of the way:
- I’m never going to be President.
- This week’s Mega Millions didn’t work out, so I’m never going to be a billionaire.
- I’ll never have a building with my name atop top it in gold.
- I’ll never be able to say “I’m going to my golf course.”
- I’m never going to marry an Eastern European supermodel, unless Maine is considered east enough because I think Anna Kendrick would dig my charming sarcasm.
- I’ve been treated unfairly at times, just like every other human being on the planet. That doesn’t mean I’m without mistakes or too afraid to admit them.
Despite all of that, I’ve also never felt the need to lie about things that are verifiably false. Exaggerating how many votes I get or the number of people who attend my parties (when there’s proof) aren’t worth starting a fight with reality.
When all of this is said and done, I believe history will pity Donald Trump. We’re on a rocky path, but I still have confidence in our nation’s institutions. I believe they’re strong enough and will survive Trump’s efforts to validate himself at the expense of the American people. (Though a #bluewave next month would really help)
After the dust settles, I think people will look back with the benefit of hindsight and recognize the lies and attacks and and the constant need to self-aggrandize for what they truly are. These are the fundamental weaknesses of a sad, lonely self-loathing man.
It’s not exactly subtle either. In fact, his insecurity and weaknesses are so obvious it’s almost easier to believe they’re part of a grand strategy. From inauguration crowd size to job numbers to claims he’s the most accomplished President ever, Trump’s need to exaggerate is pathological.
If he becomes POTUS for life as he’s already “joking” about, our grandchildren will be reading in state-sponsored textbooks about how he led the moon landing and built the Statue of Liberty.
When folks try to rationalize Trump’s behavior or justify his rhetoric, they often claim it’s an act. That he’s pretending and this is manipulation or some 13th level chess move Trump is playing on the media. They’re wrong, and recently I’ve started to believe they’re not intentionally lying.
At this stage, I suspect a lot of Trump’s remaining supporters are trying to convince themselves way more than they’re trying to convince you and I. Contrary to what we see on Twitter or those videos of hateful idiots yelling at brown and black people, there are plenty of Trump supporters who are generally good people in their daily lives. And I think they’re working overtime trying to justify their continued support.
Of course they’re wrong. There’s no grand strategy, there’s no brilliant manipulation of the world around us, and as the Joker would say Donald Trump is a dog chasing cars. Now that he caught one he has no fucking clue what to do from behind the wheel.
Nothing will be enough
Only 45 people have been elected president of the United States. It’s an incredibly exclusive club. Yet Donald Trump feels the need to exaggerate by how much he won and to pretend it wasn’t a razor-thin margin…as if winning the Oval Office in and of itself isn’t a big enough accomplishment.
My personal favorite Trump lie – mainly cause it’s basically harmless – are his fake magazine covers and the way he lashed out after getting caught.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe reported on this, and the facts aren’t in dispute:
A) Trump has posters of fake Time covers featuring himself on display at some of his golf courses and hotels.
B) Time understandably asked him to remove these fake advertisements, and
C) Morning Joe reported on Time‘s request.
After the report came out, Trump’s response was to ignore the covers and personally attack the hosts of Morning Joe and make up lies about them. Then his followers went online and rant about how unfairly he’s being attacked, all for reports on something which is verifiably true and Trump never disputes.
Obviously, this is a pathetically insecure thing for someone to do. Trump is supposedly a massively success billionaire businessman who’s adored by his fans and the media can’t get enough of…but he needs to create fake magazine covers because he doesn’t get enough press?
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Clearly, the ship has sailed on a number of things. Trump’s never going to grow or step up to the dignity of the office. A large enough segment of his supporters (both citizens and media) are never going to hold him accountable for any action, and will continue to make excuses for his actions. And a majority of Republicans in Congress will never choose country over party.
What can still be done? We can vote. We can vote for the candidates that will hold Trump accountable and restore an ounce of balance, honor and patriotism to the halls of power.
There are other issues to vote on, of course. Health care, tariffs, income inequality, Social Security, minimum wage, net neutrality, humane immigration, social justice…the list goes on and on way beyond opposing Trump and his disdain for the Constitution.
Democrats, progressives, independents and Republicans with a conscience. Young and old, male and female, white and POC, straight and LGBTQ…we can all vote.
America is not lost, but it can be better than this. November 6th, 2018 is the first step on the road to a more perfect union.