All Trumped Up
From Just sayin’…by George Duncan
All Trumped Up
I don’t know of anyone or anything since the Iraq war that has garnered more and more intense media coverage than Donald J. Trump. I’ve read personality analyses, political critiques, criticisms of virtually everything he’s done and said since announcing for the presidency last year. No matter how negative it gets, he sails on, demonizing and insulting opponents, lying left and right about America, hyperbolizing his so-called policies and acting as if everyone else is the problem, not him. He admits to mistakes, he says, when he’s wrong—and if he’s ever wrong, he’ll let us know. I’ve decided (that is, I agree with observers) that Trump is constitutionally incapable of an honest statement that doesn’t reflect positively on him one way or another. The result to me—and to others, I think—is a constant buzz of cognitive dissonance that at once both repels and attracts.
For example, in a rally of the faithful vibrating with anger, he points to the poor schlubs running the cameras in the back of the room and accuses them of being “the most dishonest, disgusting liars” on the planet. Somehow, see, they insert lies into the space between the camera lens and the podium. Speaking of media, it’s amazing how any newspaper that writes in opposition to Trump is suddenly a “failed” newspaper. Going out of business. No one reads it. You know, like The Des Moines Register, the Union Leader, The Record (Bergen County, NJ) and that “rag,” Politico (which I believe is digital). Notice how they’ve all gone out of business?
Ted Cruz eats Trump’s lunch in Colorado and Wyoming, grabbing delegates out from under his nose and after an embarrassing pause, Trump tries to claim it was his idea to skip those states’ delegates. What? And I bet you think Trump has an MBA from Wharton. So did I. Wrong. He attended Wharton as an undergraduate, but you’ll never hear that from him. I’m surprised he hasn’t given himself an honorary degree from Trump University except maybe then he’d have to sue himself. It’s these less obvious things that get under my skin, because he’s so ham-handed with them they insult my intelligence.
“The image is going to change”
Thus spake one of Trump’s staffers. Note the key word, image. He’s just hired a gaggle of lobbyists—a group he’s denied he’d ever work with—presumably to help him change his image. Will his racist world view change? Not likely. Will he disavow his fascist policies toward immigrants and Muslims? Good luck with that. No, he’ll just try to act like a normal human being. Oops, fuggetaboudit. Next day, Trump is back in style. Same hyperbole, same insults, same outrageous policy ideas. No policy, just toxic ideas.
“A colossus of ignorance”
That’s Jeremy Bernstein’s conclusion on Trump, writing in The NY Review of Books. The piece recounts an interview with Trump and two veteran New York Times reporters, David E. Sanger and Maggie Haberman. (The two pieces are available in the Times’ April 26th issue.) Trump’s loosey-goosey view of world affairs are evident, a view, I believe, that is informed by little more than his perusal of The New York Times and a few magazines. Like he gets his commander-in-chief creds from the retired generals he sees on the Sunday TV shows. The man is another Sarah Palin, a pastiche of slogans and ideas he’s picked up at cocktail parties and the 19th hole at Mar-A-Lago. Nowhere was this more evident than in his so-called Foreign Policy speech, little more than a re-hash of his stump offerings, tied together and delivered via tele-prompter to help eliminate the usual broken phrases and half thoughts. (What does it say about the mind those disjointed phrases are coming from, I wonder?) In the process, Trump revived the long discredited concepts of “America First,” the pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic movement led by Charles Lindbergh in the 30’s designed to keep America out of World War II, allowing Hitler to conquer England and likely other European countries. It’s clearly in keeping with Trump’s popularity among today’s skinheads and KKK types.
But what really ticks me off is the flock of sheep who buy his act. The reporters covering Trump regularly interview voters as they come and go from his various rallies and for the most part, they know zip about Trump or the policies he’s promoting. They’re angry, we’re told. OK, if you’re so damn angry, read up on government and history so you get a context for what’s going on, and inform yourself with a realistic view of what can and can’t be done…and what’s been preventing things from getting done (hint: it’s in the House and Senate).