Trump: No longer fun, now just terrifying

March 5, 2016 Originally published on SFGate

That headline isn’t exactly true. There’s still a fair amount of delight to be had watching the Republican party disintegrate in the acid bath of its own devising. There’s still oceans of schadenfreude to be enjoyed as the Party of Fear ruptures like a boil, its panicky, dry-mouthed leaders scrambling to denounce Trump – their own sneering, leering bastard child – and derail his runaway train of hate before it’s too late, which it already probably is.

But really, how uncanny to watch Mitt Romney, the most grossly elitist white zombie of the conservative ruling class, emerge from his mansion and pretend to serve as righteous moral compass for all the other elitist white male zombies in his party. How surreal to watch John McCain, the man who vomited Sarah Palin onto the national stage and has yet to be struck by lightning for it, scowl grumpily at Trump’s shameless, lowbrow pandering.

The irony is almost too great to ignore. The zombie apocalypse is nigh! And the zombies are totally freaking out.

I mean, if you’re a liberal, how can you not enjoy the stories about how the the most corrosive, regressive, obstructionist political party in a generation is fracturing and fragmenting, sacrificing itself to save itself, knowing that if Trump takes the Republican nomination, there will be mass defections, lost majorities, uproars and down-votes and a Grand Old Party Reckoning like never before? The yelp of leftist delight has been almost deafening: Reap what you sow, motherf–kers.

Then again, not so fast.

The one-two punch of flagrant lies and revolting penis jokes

The one-two punch of flagrant lies and revolting penis jokes

There is tremendous danger afoot. There’s a sickening tang in the air. Turns out there’s poison in everyone’s water.

Verily, the joy of watching Trump eat the rotting guts of the GOP has now come to a screeching halt. It happened the instant more astute liberals, the media, Republican moderates and even the rest of the civilized world realized the monster isn’t about to stop with just the one meal. Trump’s freakish, authoritarian rise is no longer merely a darkly amusing wake-up call, to be dismissed any minute now.

Everyone is now feeling the same hot breath of potential catastrophe. Depending on your angle of view – and there are a few great perspectives to choose from, such as Matt Taibbi’s savagely good breakdown at Rolling Stone and Amanda Taub’s terrific analysis over at Vox – it’s become bitterly obvious that, to some degree, we’re all complicit in the Trump nightmare.

Put it this way: While there’s zero doubt that the GOP deliberately opened the Hellmouth to appease its base and shore up its own power, a fatuous, ratings-whored media, a dysfunctional electoral system and a ruthlessly lopsided democracy all helped a crass, racist ogre like Trump stride right through.

Which leaves us… somewhere very disquieting indeed.

It’s now almost futile to point out that the GOP succeeded beyond its wildest dreams when it set out to create an army of uneducated, terrified, suspicious sheep.

It’s almost beside the point to note that all those years of relentless hate speech, misogyny, homophobia and fear-mongering aimed at everything and everyone – blacks, Muslims, immigrants, women, gays, sex, abortion, science, liberals, higher education, et al – has now paid off in ways not even putrescent conservative masterminds like Karl Rove and the Koch brothers could see coming.

To say the plan backfired isn’t quite correct. The plan worked all too well. In fact, the plan has now erupted like a giant spew of methane gas from deep in the bowels of the plundered earth, and the toxic discharge – and the stench – are proving damn near impossible to plug.

Funny thing about uneducated, terrified armies. Seems they know just enough to realize when they’ve been had by their creators, but not enough to resist a tyrannical, orange-faced TV lunatic who’s promising to build them the one thing they’ve wanted all along: a booby-trapped, xenophobic, razor-wired bunker the size of America.

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Mark Morford

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