To believe in a film or book, the viewer, or reader, makes a silent pact with the creator to accept a certain suspension of disbelief. This is especially true if the creations are particularly fantastic. Less fictional is the fact that some voters have made a similar pact with Donald Trump, so as to believe his presidency, because an extreme suspension of disbelief is the only thing that explains their ability to constantly dismiss the raw truth in place of the bright, white-bread dream as they see it.
The dream of a world where Caucasians are still on top – as if they have ever shifted to the bottom – pollution has no effect on air or drinking water, there is only one religion (their religion), and they can play army or Old West by toting a gun on their hip. A place where coal miners have plenty of work and plenty of black lung, and where things such as wind and solar power are science fiction. A world where they can hire illegal immigrants when they need them to wash cars, clean houses and dig potatoes, then wish them behind a wall built by Mexico for our countries convenience. And finally, they can accept, contrary to all evidence, that President Obama is from Kenya and is a mastermind of left-wing agendas that just might involve Lizard Men who have taken over the government, and his cronies, like Hillary Clinton are lecherous overlords engineering child sex rings in the basement of a pizza parlor.
They are the ones who accept that Trump can say the Boy Scout leaders called and told him his speech was the greatest ever, or that the President of Mexico agrees with him on the effectiveness of his immigration policy, or that Obama has rigged Trump Tower with hidden surveillance devices.
All of these things have been proven to be bald-faced lies. The White House even admitting to several of them, without so much as phasing Trump’s adoring base, which is only slightly inferior to the adulation Kim Jong-un receives in North Korea, minus family executions, though in a symbolic sense, that may be next on Trump’s agenda. Close friends in the administration have already been shoved into the fan, but even bloodied, betrayed, and wounded, they have, so far, come out on the other side with Trump praise on their lips. “Please, master, may I have another”. Trump’s base are the ones who feared Russia and felt Obama was too weak in his interactions with that country, but now find Trump’s overly friendly connections with Russia and Putin perfectly acceptable. Election meddling, who cares, they say, as long as Trump won.
Appreciating that Fox News is the main alternate universe outlet for the far right’s information, you still got to wonder, what kind of parasite has crawled into their ears and chewed away at that part of the brain that deals with logic, or their much advocated, common sense?
It may be that Trump and Fox News are that parasite, but the truth is, taking a wider view, it’s more akin to a form of Stockholm Syndrome, or perhaps an even better way to understand it is to know that it’s tribal. Meaning they stand by the tribe and its leader, even if their leader is a narcissistic liar who has even gone to the trouble to make a false Time magazine covers with his photo on it and place them at his golf courses. And didn’t he say he wouldn’t take vacations and Obama played too much golf? For years Trump voters have been promised something they never received. Promises that are held out for them to view like some stuffed dog carnival prize, but after each election, the dog is snatched back, just as their eager, mostly white fingers, reach for it. The dog is boxed up, and then it’s political business as usual. The dog was just a tease.
But this time the prize was not snatched away, in fact the stuffed dog has been elected. One of its eyes is missing and the velour is coming loose and one of its legs is hanging by thread and a wispy strand of cotton, but it’s not enough to make them let it go. They finally got that damn prize, and no matter what shape it’s in, they want to keep it. The stuffed dog defines their institutional views on homophobia, xenophobia, bigotry and racism, and the idea that the old world was a better world, and now these views come to them straight from the stuffed dog’s mouth.
Many of his constituency can’t see through him, so full is he of something found in the barnyard, but many of his tribe see him for exactly what he is, but they tell themselves that though he is as unreliable as the rhythm method, and may be a fool, he’s their fool.
They justify their position by saying things like, “I don’t believe Trump himself is a racist,” or that “He’s just saying that to shore up his base”. ”They are willing to embrace the whole package, they say, to maintain what cotton is left in the stuffed carnival dog”. But they are overlooking an important truism, that applies to Trump, and in fact, applies to them. It is best expressed by Kurt Vonnegut. “You are what you pretend to be”. Words of wisdom, and now, nearly a year out from the time Trump took over as President of the United States, we have seen the level of discourse descend to a place ten miles lower than hell, and we have, seen the blowhard in chief show that he is a hypocrite in every way possible, including playing more golf than Obama, something he criticized the ex-president for. He promised to not take vacations, but he pretty much stays on vacation.
He has used Executive Action, a privilege of the president, numerous times, and this is the same practice that Obama was criticized for. He constantly offers prayers and best wishes in a spate of gun attacks, and since the last event took place in a church, there seem to be plenty of prayers there, and so far prayers haven’t helped a thing; we need action. He did manage to appoint a Supreme Court judge after the Republicans stone-walled President Obama on his appointment of a judge, killing that opportunity for a sitting president, something that has always been the right of a president, Republican or Democrat.
He has scrambled to remove environmental protections in the form of endangered animals, protections against bad air and bad water, regulations that have stood for years and improved the quality of life. Pollution does not improve the quality of life. He has pushed to eliminate solar and wind energy, and is promoting fossil fuels. He has attempted to have Obama-Care removed. It’s a flawed insurance system, but it’s better than what was there before. Trump wants to put insurance back into the hands of the insurance companies, and even they are balking, but he persists, not on logic or even political belief, but merely because he hates Obama and everything he accomplished. Hell, he ran on Obama being born in Kenya for a large part of his campaign.
In fat, he has rushed to remove every regulation or law that President Obama has passed for no other reason than he has a burr under his saddle about the man who went before him. A president, that though he has his haters, is otherwise insanely popular and respected. Trump’s fragile ego can’t tolerate anything that isn’t about him. Can’t invest his thoughts in anything unless it has to do with him. Trump has not removed troops from overseas, one of his campaign promises; he’s added troops. This was an area where he could have improved on the previous president’s record, but he chose not to. In fact, he has enraged a tyrant that is only marginally sillier than Trump himself, the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un.
Trump has promised to build a wall at the border to keep illegal immigration down, as if a wall would stop anyone with a slightly taller ladder, or a shovel to dig a tunnel beneath it. Its theater designed to appeal to his minions, the marching morons. A wall would not only be a waste of time, but would end up costing billions to accomplish nothing. Put that money in infrastructure jobs. That’s something we need.
Trump has fired anyone who criticizes him, or if not fired, he has tried to make them look like liars, and he has an entire arm of the media, Fox News, to spread the propaganda that all news except news that is positive about him is fake. He has called for news channels and newspapers he disagrees with to have their media licenses revoked. This is something associated with dictators and demagogues, not presidents of the United States.
He has constantly pissed on his own party, undermined the people he appointed, contradicted his own ideas, and has even managed to step on the laws he wanted passed, due to his lack of understanding of how government works. Here is a man that if had not inherited wealth would have a hard time being assigned to deliver portable toilets. Who would have ever thought the United States would have a president so bad that he would cause us to long for the days of George W. Bush and Richard Nixon?
So, I have a long list of what he did not do, or what he did that was destructive, but in no way has he made America Great Again, which was his campaign slogan. The U.S. is already great, but that greatness has been tarnished, it’s been stained, and unless the Congress wakes up, unless his constituency wakes up, unless the majority who did not vote against him becomes more politically active, we will gradually see the greatest country in the world slowly dismantled from within by its own ineffective and cowardly government, and this marvelous country’s beacon of hope and progress will be extinguished by an idiot.