Sorry, back to politics for a bit.
Over the past several days, I’ve attempted to engage with the various folks in my circle that aren’t quite as apoplectic as me about the current trajectory of the country with Trump at the helm. From reaching out to fellow members of The Gathering (a long-running online cabal of Killing Joke fans like myself), to various friends on Facebook and even with some regular readers and commenters here on my blog, I’ve tried to get to the bottom of how and why they’re seemingly a-okay with everything Team Trump is doing … and un-doing.
I’m not only doing this for the purposes of trying to understand their perspective, I’m also doing my best to keep the lines of communication open in these pointedly divisive times. It’s almost too easy to write people off and stop talking to them. Communication with individuals who seem to espouse ideas and values that are diametrically opposed to your own is not simple, not fun and sometimes entirely futile, but we’re not going to get anywhere if we don’t try. That said, I’m still avoiding the subject with certain family members (as I discussed here). I’m sure you know how that goes.
In any case, most of the Trump apologists I’ve spoken to, it seems, are singing the same song.
The pervasive refrain seems to be that the two-party system is corrupt and broken and that by sending a “non-politician” to the White House, America will finally get the fabled “reset” that vast swathes of the country have been crying out for. That’s usually followed by derisive comments about Obama and Hillary, etc. … neither of whom really matter anymore, at this stage of the proceedings.
Beyond dusting off my increasingly fatigued “lit firecracker into broken toaster” analogy, I respond that I do indeed understand the desire to inject the system with a more fresh approach. That was the very reason I was gunning for Bernie. But, I hasten to point out, while a “reset” may have been in order, Donald J. Trump (to say nothing of the nefarious Steve Bannon) VERY ASSUREDLY AIN’T IT!
Obviously, I took it for granted that Donald Trump is inarguably an idiot. I thought that went without saying. That he’s an abjectly ridiculous imbecile has been common knowledge held by most sentient New Yorkers for fucking decades. I thought we all knew that.
Then, of course, I remembered –- and it’s something his apologists are always super-dupe keen to point out -- New York is not at all indicative of the rest of the U.S. of A. (to which I say: YOU AIN’T FUCKIN’ KIDDING, JACK!)
To those outside of my much-maligned bubble of an island, Donald Trump isn’t the desperate, maladjusted ass-clown we’ve always known him to be; he’s a “successful businessman,” “a straight-shooter” and “reality TV star.” Thus, he ascended to the highest office in the land on the backs of the same people who thought “Celebrity Apprentice” was must-see TV.
Regardless of Trump’s myriad character traits rendering him laughably unfit for the office, the tally of the Electoral College (although not-at-all indicative of the actual number of votes cast) amplified the fact that that enough people – I believe the figure was something like 60 million Americans –- felt gung-ho enough about damning the torpedoes of rational thought and hitting what they perceived as a big ol’ orange “RESET” button to put his fat ass in the Oval Office. It was either that, or they were so repulsed by the notion of Hillary as President, that they didn’t care about the ramifications of their vote, so long as it didn't go to her.
While her part in the narrative is over, here's a quick aside about Hillary Clinton: She may have come with an unduly tarnished reputation, some baggage and you may not have liked her very much, but here are four things she’s isn’t: Thin-Skinned, Inexperienced, Impulsive and Stupid.
Trump, meanwhile, is ALL OF THOSE THINGS, and in his ten days in office alone, he’s amply demonstrated how out of his depth he is.
Between his petty Twitter tirades, his duplicitous cabinet, his pre-occupation with his Inauguration audience, his COUNTLESS conflicts of fucking interest, his disregard for the Constitution and his tone-deafness on the will of the nation he seeks to govern, there is already a list as long as my arm of reasons why we should all be seriously goddamn concerned. This past weekend’s executive order about immigration (that's worthy of several posts in itself) and installment of Steve Bannon as a replacement for both the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence are simply beyond the pale.
Beyond venomously suggesting that the press corps should “shut the Hell up” (that’s really not how it works, Steve) and describing himself as a “Leninist” that wants to “destroy all of today’s establishment,” Bannon has absolutely no experience in any relevant capacity to the implausibly crucial position he now unthinkably holds. He’s also a vocal proponent of the Alt.Right, which is just a tidy little synonym for white supremacist.
This is not okay.
This is not normal.
This is not going to end well.
And by the way, it’s okay to admit that you were duped. `Cos that’s what happened. But now, we’re ALL paying for it.