I spent a good amount of time over the past 4 years, watching and firing potshots at the political plague known as the Trump presidency.
And I had a very good reason for doing this. You see I have been a Trump watcher for quite some time. And for most of that time, I have known that he is a seriously damaged individual. Spoiled. Entitled. Narcissistic in the clinical extreme. Arrogant. Classless. Egocentric, And completely devoid of anything resembling a conscience. It would, in fact, be fair to say that he is the most damaged human being of note on the planet.
But the one thing he has going for him is that despite all these character flaws and personality disorder, he is quite high functioning.
I used to watch guys like David Letterman take him apart on an intellectual level that he could not grasp. It was fun to watch in a sadistic sort of way. Trump would come on the show and quietly brag about his wonderfulness. Never being too specific, because, well if you were him would you want to go there? But the audience laughed and Trump, I’m sure, thought that his amazing sense of humour must be contagious.
He was not able to distinguish between being laughed at from being laughed with.
In 2015 when he threw his hat in the presidential ring for a second time. (the first was an epic fail), he had a much higher TVQ from a moderately successful reality show, The Apprentice. I watched a couple of episodes of this, and a couple was all I could take. I found it completely ridiculous, and an affront to earnest businesspeople everywhere.
All that notwithstanding, he was genuinely a household name, since a lot of American households were populated with the very people who made the reality TV concept viable. Smallish people with even smaller minds, who believed that if they saw it on TV it must be real.
Trump, or at least the people he allows to advise him, like Roger Stone and Steve Bannon, obviously noticed this and thought he could take the lion’s share of the Republican masses out there if he just behaved the only way he knew how. Loud, brash, borderline racist, full tilt sexist, misogynist, and 100% populist.
These people, his people were the marginalized, the too far to the right of Hitler, the white supremacists and their silent sympathizers, the hardcore Christians, and that old standby the Patriotic Americans.
This time, Trump came out with both sides of his mouth blazing. Blaming Obama for everything, attacking the large field of opponents with derision and name-calling, with lie after lie about the state of the American union, and how America was being victimized all over the globe. About how all the good jobs were traded away, for seven pieces of silver, to China.
You name it, he attacked it. He was a one-man Panzer division rolling over the American landscape, casting doubt on just about every institution imaginable, and sucking in and unifying his TV audience and all the other flotsam and jetsam that accumulates in any free society, selling them red hats that screamed Make America Great Again.
And on he went on his narcissistic take-no-prisoners rampage, holding rally after rally, the like snake oil salesmen back in the day, a poor man’s Burt Lancaster in The Rainmaker.
And it worked. Intelligent people all over the world were stunned to realize that this buffoon was actually appealing to a great huge mass of people who were intellectually incapable of grasping the magnitude of the hoax that was being foisted on them.
Republican politicians watched, in amazement as well. Because most of them knew this was a con, and the opportunists who fell most closely in line behind him were like the rabble he roused, taken with the sheer gall of this guy.
I will freely admit that I never believed Trump would get as far as he did. That sooner or later this outlandishness would catch up with him and people would come to their senses.
But I was dead wrong. I totally overestimated the gullibility of the great mass of his supporters. Mainly because I underestimated the abject need that these people had for a voice that expressed all the sentiments that they could neither articulate nor go public with. He was their voice and it was music to their ears.
The Republican party, seeing this groundswell had a choice back then. Either go with this guy and take their chances that he could actually pull off unseating a Democratic government, and actually be a president. Or get rid of him and put in someone like Jeb Bush, who would toe the traditional Republican line.
They obviously chose the former, fearing the power of the following that the Trump political machine had built and would continue to grow. And that going against that tidal wave was the stuff of political career suicide.
It was, as we all know today, a bonehead move, that has torn the party apart and taken their power, more or less, away from them.
The reason this happened was simple, the Republican party became the Party of Trump. It morphed from a political entity to a cult of personality that gave voice to, well you name it, and none of it is good for a free democratic society.
I don’t have to go through the next four years, because it’s a little hell that we have all lived through, and a real object lesson in how not to run a democratic country.
And now, the end is so near I can almost smell it. I have crusaded long and hard. I have made a lot of friends with kindred spirits along the way, and I have taken great joy is firing potshots from Canada, at this unstable moron pretending to be king.
He will be gone, but I don’t think he will be forgotten. His organization knows how to manipulate the media, who are really no more than another bunch of greedy bastards.
The hope is that the Republican party can jettison Trump and rebuild itself as little closer to the centrist type of entity it needs to be in a true democracy.
Because one thing I have learned from a lifetime of living very close to America is that there is always, always hope.