I haven’t been writing much lately, and for that I blame Trump fatigue. I know there are many other topics I could write about, but Trump’s unrelenting wackiness, his ignorance, his cruelty, his crashing assaults on truth and reason color the universe, and whenever I try to get serious, I think “Why bother?” There are more interesting things to do: books to read, trips to plan, drains to unclog, pickleball to play, and no matter what I say, my words will not bring sanity to Trump or his chumps or the body politic.
Even though we don’t have to share living quarters with him, having Trump in our lives is a lot like living with a headstrong two-year-old. Anyone who has survived that experience as a parent knows that part of what gets you through it is knowing that this, too, shall pass. We look around and see that the universe is populated by people who once must have been two years old, but who now have recovered and no longer believe that a rip-roaring temper tantrum is the best means to an end and have some understanding of the difference between truth and falsehood and, in fact, have learned all manner of behavior appropriate to real life. Close observation of many children over many years has led me to believe that this transformation begins, in fact, soon after the child emerges from the terrible two’s. Clearly, Trump has missed his chance.
That’s the thing about Trump, the thing that makes life with him so difficult: He’s in his eighth decade; we know it will never get better. And here’s another thing: We may not have to live with Trump (thank you, universe) but he has the ability to show up in our living rooms ... and family rooms ... and (heaven help us) our bedrooms.
Mercifully, TV’s have channel changers and mute buttons and off switches and—depending on your provider, I guess—music channels for every taste, some of them featuring soothing New Age music to counteract the chaos.
Gratuitous cruelty to children, indifference to those impacted by horrific natural and man’made disasters, ignorance of history and norms of governance and simple human decency: these are unacceptable in a president of the United States. Add to that the total self-absorption, and the past few days have been ... what? Tragedy? Comedy? The theater of the absurd? While the Bahamians struggle with the devastation of their islands and catastrophic loss of life, Trump does what? ... Takes a Sharpie to a weather map and spends days defending his erroneous statement that Hurricane Dorian would impact Alabama! Over and over and over again.
And all the while, in the Bahamas, hundreds are missing and presumed dead; thousands are homeless, injured, hungry, thirsty. The Sharpie king doesn’t seem to notice. After all, Mar-a-Lago, it seems, is spared. Does anything else matter?
What are we looking at here? Psychosis? Dementia? Delusions? Regression? We ignore it at our peril. Donald Trump is a dangerous man, dangerous to civil liberties, to our economy, to a rational world order, to the health and safety of children, to our democracy and our entire way of life. He has been brought to us and propped in place by the most pusillanimous posse of politicians our electoral system has ever produced. Stay tuned.
Wacky? Ignorant? Cruel? Trump
Thoughts for Our Time
“Conservatism discards Prescription, shrinks from Principle, disavows Progress; having rejected all respect for antiquity, it offers no redress for the present, and makes no preparation for the future.”