The venomous cancer of the Trump presidency
Be it hereby known, stupefied American: Your reality no longer counts. Your dreams have been rendered pathetic. Your hopes for our collective evolution or reasonably humane progress regarding the wayward and wobbly experiment known as modern democracy are worth about as much as your kids’ ACA health care plan wrapped around the doomed DREAM Act and stuffed into the end of a defunded NASA climate satellite.
How do we know? Why, the president-elect just said so himself. Or rather, he mocked, grunted, ridiculed and leered it all to be so.
You had but to watch. Trump’s first press conference in six months, his first official words since winning the election and destroying all hope across the planet, confirmed everyone’s worst suspicions – not to mention making many, many people physically ill.
I wish I was exaggerating. Every one of Trump’s most repellant habits and puerile tics was on zoo-like display Wednesday morning, nine days before the pussy-grabbing reality TV conman takes over the most powerful job on the planet: Speaking of himself in the third person, bashing Hillary without prompt, mocking CNN (among others) as fake news (and calling BuzzFeed, who first published the now-infamous “golden shower” dossier, a “failing pile of garbage“), trashing all of professional journalism, using repetitive, stilted 5th-grade language, threatening to have reporters (like CNN’s John Acosta) forcibly removed for daring to ask questions he did not like, lying outright about his debts, his conflicts of interest, his influence on American industry, his taxes, hacking, Vladimir Putin, Russian hookers, the CIA, how “fantastic” and “beautiful” will be his inauguration no one wants to attend, much less celebrate.
One thing was eminently clear: The Orange Monster is a train wreck of epic proportions, the most terrifying thing to happen to the world in the history of modern world. As one reporter put in on Twitter, “We are watching a hostile takeover of the country, in real time.”
You see, democracy isn’t merely in peril. It is not merely being bluntly reformatted for a new administration, just another painful transition from one leadership style to another.
Democracy is, rather, being punched, gutted, groped and peed on by hired Russian prostitutes, with the full and leering endorsement of a neo-Nazi conman and his cabinet of billionaire cretins who care as much for the American dream as an encephalitic hyena cares about meditating.
Let me restate: This is no normal fluctuation of the democratic system, no mere speed-bump of awkward, but expected change. This is not progressive-to-conservative, just another swing of the crazy pendulum of American policy. Moving from Obama to the Orange Monster as America’s foremost spokesman is like moving from Buddha to a glue-sniffing esophageal cyst. We are all, each and every one of us, in for a terrifying, destructive ride indeed. No one will be spared.
Reminder: Trump loathes the press. He despises the intelligence community. He resents being forced to answer questions that do not flatter him and stroke his ego. He ranted on about Hillary for no other reason than he’s obsessed with her, insanely jealous of her massive popular-vote victory. His pettiness is only overshadowed by his need to tell everyone how amazing he is, despite entering office with the least support and lowest degree of public trust in American history. He is mistrusted and despised pretty much worldwide.
Except, of course, in Russia. Trump sees the fact that Putin and Russian hackers helped him win the election as an “asset.” He sees freedom of speech and a free press as threats to be forcibly controlled, if not extinguished. Multiple intelligence sources claim to know that the Russians have something on Trump, and the former MI6 agent who compiled the original dossier and who was hired by both the Republicans and Democrats, is considered extremely credible. Trump scowls and shrugs it all off as “fake news.” As Richard Wolffe at the Guardian put it:
“If Putin likes Donald Trump, guess what folks, that is called an asset, not a liability,” Trump said. “Do you honestly believe that Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me? Give me a break.”
Yes, Mr. President-elect. The intelligence reports are indeed calling you an asset in the context of Russia. You may keep using that word but, as in the Princess Bride, I do not think it means what you think it means.
Here’s the clearest takeaway of all: No matter who you are, no matter which party you claim as home, no matter your class or race or income level or level of CIA clearance: Trump despises you, openly and freely. And this goes double for the idiot class who voted for him, the conservative plebes he’s historically mocked, underpaid and called losers more times than are countable. From health care destruction to tax breaks for the rich, from destroying public schools to defunding Planned Parenthood, the working classes – even more than normal for the GOP – will suffer his virulent policies most of all.
But there’s something else. It’s not just the man’s immature words – because most of the time, Trump, quite literally, has no idea what he’s talking about. He can never offer a single real bullet point, genuine idea, no real thought whatsoever – just bloated ego and “You’re going to love our plan.” Never is that plan explained in any detail. Because he doesn’t have one. He has no idea what he’s saying.
It’s more… visceral than that. Watching his reality TV shtick, you can feel the man’s rage, his pathological desire to get revenge on a populace, on a media, on a world that thinks him childish and morally insidious. It’s a gut thing, roiling, sooty and bleak: you turn off the live feed to one of Trump’s speeches and you feel bruised and violated, like you’ve been molested by a creepy uncle and then stabbed in the throat by a living Chucky doll.
Is that too harsh? Not even close. Because this was Trump’s single, overarching message for the nation, and it was as simple as it was deafening:
“Fuck you, America. I won. I conned you all, and I now am going to do whatever I want. I will obey no rules, laws, whiny ethics committees, popular votes, congressional regulations, media guidelines, conflict-of-interest boundaries, historic precedent. Why should I?
“I have no filter, no real plan, no fresh ideas, no crisis management strategy, no moral compass. Who needs it? The presidency is now mine to do with as I please, and I will piss all over it like a dog on your favorite carpet.
“Know this now, America: I am not here for you. I am not here for peace, or democracy, or our collective success, or the working classes, or anyone else.
“I am here only for revenge and to further expand my own wealth, and the world is my punching bag. Thank you for coming, and you may now all feel free to go to hell.”
Resistance is nigh.
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