Monday, October 31, 2016
"If a nation expects to be both ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." -- Thomas Jefferson
I'm not surprised that The Donald has risen so far so fast to become the Republican nominee for President of the United States.
Will he succeed? After all that's happened over the last few weeks, from pussy-grabbing commentary to rejecting possible election outcomes to debate performances worthy of unending derision and pity to a refusal to release his tax returns, my gut says NO, but these are Strange Days indeed and anything is possible.
When he descended that gilt escalator in Trump Towers in the summer of 2015 and announced his candidacy while savaging Mexican immigrants as rapists, murderers and criminals, I knew he would strike a chord a certain voter demographic.
My initial reaction was to laugh out loud and view him as a ridiculous figure, but I immediately began to think about who exactly he was speaking to.
Then I knew. This was no joke.
After the last eight years of GOP-enabled and supported racism, bigotry and hatred against Barack HUSSEIN Secret Commie Muslim Anti-Christ (black guy) Obama, coupled with the generalized stupidization of so many willfully-ignorant Amerikkans, seeing Donald's puckered visage so close to the highest office in the land fills me with a combination of mirth and dread, coated in anxiety, powdered with disbelief and sprinkled heavily with pathos and black humor.
As true as all that may be, I still feel that no matter how corroded and corrupted his soul and brain may be, I firmly believe Donald J. Trump is the epitome of what many would consider as a Good American.
Not me, of course. But this essay isn't about me.
It's a simple reality that drives many Liberals (and lots of Conservatives as well!) completely bonkers, but it really shouldn't. All you have to do is take a good hard look to see how easy it was for The Donald to bully, insult and bum-rush his GOP competitors, the same way he's operated his far-flung business dealings over the last several decades.
He's the Stuff of The American Dream.
Think about it: born into a wealthy family, raised with every benefit and entitlement a human could want, schooled at the most prestigious facilities money could buy, fronted with millions of dollars by his Father to start his business at the highest level, married to supermodels, living a Large Life and being answerable to no other human being.
I mean... COME ON. Who wouldn't want to have all that?
Many people slave away their whole lives seeking a whiff, a taste, the tiniest morsel of the life that Donald Trump has lived. Yet no matter how hard they try, how hard they work and sacrifice, they end their lives broken and wanting, never having achieved that which they sought: The American Dream according to Donald Trump.
The American Dream is all about he Benjamins, doncha know? It's all about the Moolah... the Dough... the Scratch... the Samolians... the Sheckels... the Grease. Don't laugh... you know it's true.
But this whole politics thing... it just doesn't seem to make sense as to why someone like Donald J. Trump would bother with it all. I mean, the guy is 70 years old, claims to be worth billions of dollars, has all the power and fame and notoriety he could want. Why run for a thankless job like being POTUS?
Revenge is what's at play here. Donald Trump ALWAYS seeks revenge for those who he thinks have wronged him.
Remember, he's a self-professed counter-puncher, and he exacts his own brand of revenge on whomever he trains his sights on. It's his signature modus operandi, and has played out in the media during the entire campaign.
Revenge for being humiliated at the 2011 Annual Correspondents Banquet by none other than the Kenyan Muslim Usurper hisownself, Barack Hussein Obama. Because if there's one thing that DJT simply cannot tolerate, it's humiliation and embarrassment.
Go look it up if you don't believe me. After months and months of being the progenitor of the 'birther' movement, demanding BHO's birth certificate and claiming that BHO simply wasn't an American citizen, Don got a faceful of diss from Barry in front of the assembled banquet crowd, with the sharpest barbs played endlessly on the teevee for days afterwards.
There he sat, Mr. Donald J. Trump, (alleged) Billionaire, who (supposedly) owns many mansions and many yachts, forcing himself to remain emotionless while his nemesis, that Black Guy, roasted his ass with a smile and one sharp joke after another, all at Don's expense. Those in attendance said that you could practically hear Donald grinding his teeth while Barry sliced him up with a smile. And it was that single evening, say those who know things, that convinced Donald to eventually run for the POTUS job to teach that uppity Black Man a lesson.
Amerikkans know about revenge.
I'm sure there's lots of other reasons for his seemingly ill-fated attempt to move into far less gilt-laden digs at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Power... (more) Fame... Personal Enrichment (his over-arching motivator)... all the things he's lived his singular life to achieve via ruthless ambition and wealth and endless White Privilege.
But the truth is, regardless of how much I personally reject everything that Donald Trump is, says, does and (allegedly) stands for, I have an admiration for him that is undeniable. It doesn't matter that he was personally broke and in debt to his eyeballs when 'The Apprentice' fell into his lap and helped him to re-establish his brand as the gold-covered standard for American Excess.
It doesn't matter that he started his rise to worldwide fame and fortune halfway between third base and Home plate, because the end result is what some of our citizens yearn and strive for, so they accept him as who they perceive him to be.
It doesn't matter that he refuses to release his tax returns, because we have a strong anti-tax bias among our citizenry that cheers him on for sticking it to The Man, even though, as Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization."
It doesn't matter that he proudly waves his freak flags of racism, bigotry, misogyny, hatred of The Other and willful ignorance of the reality we all share, because many Amerikkans feel the same way and cheer him on for exactly those reasons.
To those among us who applaud and support and defend Donald Trump's regressive ideology and self-professed Awesomeness, he is the quintessential Good American.
I can't argue with that.
I can totally disagree with his world view, offer verifiable and substantiated reasons why he's wholly unsuited for government office, cite documented evidence of his financial misdeeds, racist tendencies and predatory sexual behavior, but NONE OF THAT MATTERS to his acolytes.
They love that he's an inflamed, bloated, narcissistic asshole who could give less than a fuck about what anyone he doesn't like thinks about him. It's how he's led his entire life, because he was born into the life he lives. To a not-insignificant portion of our country, that's what The American Dream means to them. They wanna be like Trump.
And who the hell am I to deny them that dream?
I have many family members and friends who I love and respect and cherish who are 100% supportive of Donald's insane view of the world. I can offer them factual information about his insanity all day long but it doesn't make a single iota of difference to them. They love him, they believe him, and that's all they need to know, case closed, don't bother to try and dissuade them.
Facts? They don't need no stinking facts, because they're all lies anyway and the vote is rigged and the government is rigged and it's all a giant conspiracy to prevent True Patriots from gaining the power they feel has been lost to them.
I know many of these people have almost no understanding or knowledge of how government works, how politics works, how the economy works, what really happened in Benghazi, why Hillary's e-mails are a non-story, that voter fraud is non-existent, that Congressional Republicans have been sabotaging the Federal Government for the last eight years, that climate change is real, that racial equality is a necessity, that LBGT people need their civil rights protected, that women should be in charge of their own uteri.
I know all of this, and it sometimes makes me crazy to figure out how they manage to get through their days with so much of the world around them out of their understanding's grasp.
But then I remember: MANY Amerikkans live their lives that way. They have too much to deal with... spouses, kids, mortgages, taxes, dead-end jobs, poor health, never enough shekels in the bank. It can be daunting to deal with all of that AND try to have an educated world view, so that expanded world view gets left behind.
IMHO, left behind at their own peril, but that's only my opinion, and opinions are like assholes because everyone has one, right?
So. There it is. Donald J. Trump is indeed a Good American. I don't have to like it, but I accept that reality and don't hold anything against him because he's a genuine individual with a highly-visible status and millions of fans.
Will he win in the upcoming election? My visceral reaction to that thought turns my stomach, but unlike his rabid fans who are already threatening to start shooting up the place if he doesn't, I'm a Big Boy and can handle defeat without resorting to mindless violence because I too am a Good American.
I'm voting for Hillary Clinton, and I think she'll make an excellent President. If you're voting for Donald Trump, and you accept and support his ideology and worldview, well... that's what elections are for, and that makes this already-great country even greater.
"Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Lead image, gracias de cnn.com; 'Donald Trump is a Dinosaur;' video, muchismas gracias de youtube.com; GO HILLARY!!!!.