As if President Mayhem, flush with bonehead sidekicks, couldn’t alone drum up enough scandals, enter this scheming, crooked duo: the son and son-in-law. Along with Paul Manafort, three stooges were suckered into a meeting by the most transparent of Russian ploys. With Trump and his delinquent minions brandishing “above the law” across their foreheads, Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner jumped feet first into the maze of corruption soon to typify this administration.
Both figures are fast becoming political poison: if they didn’t know soliciting political dirt from any foreign power is criminal. this proves the “crafty” son out does the father in clan cluelessness. If they did sense malfeasance (plus devastating optics) and plunged in, dragging “veteran” Manafort along, why indict yourself with email threads? What, no phones at Trump Tower? Mimicking the sleazy Donald, these three blind mice qualify as fools AND knaves.
What other scandal-ridden president was ever so badly aided and abetted by his own family? Behold the inept, bad faith trifecta – Trump, clan, staff – driving an orgy of “self-inflicted” wounds – oblivious to damage control. The result, oddly enough, is this most belligerently divisive of presidents is unifying a burgeoning coalition of a diverse, outraged opposition. Already, 48% “disapprove strongly” of Trump’s deplorable “performance” (the perfect word).
While upwards of 60%+ remain flabbergasted at never-ending Trump disgraces, loyalists still salivate because their champion has taken “unpresidential” to new lows. Indeed, Trump broadcasts how an unprincipled administration glories in all that it can get away with. The longer this broadside of scandals lasts, the greater the price the GOP pays next year. If “Trump remains Trump,” he will less likely remain president of anything but his ham-fisted clique. Too bad horrendous, wide-ranging scandals don’t tabulate as political wins because Trump brings a perverse “greatness” to the magnitude of White House disasters. So, stay the course, Donald: deny, defy and defame – your ticket for infamous stardom.
The world’s greatest victim
No mystery on one point: why this unfit blunderer incites so much hostility by so many millions so early on. Certainly, kudos to the unrelenting, unintimidated media for refuting his clumsy, non-stop lying. In no time Trump has become the crass hustler’s version of a president, lying badly from the get-go, then scoffing at his lying, then lying about lying. Trump’s damaging idea of a PR “narrative:” when unforced lying fails, deny the statement, then defy the source. When that fails, defame the source. What can go wrong when Trump spits out out malevolent nastiness, only to have it boomerang with greater force?
Trump blindly ignores why the majority won’t give him a break. Why else would he keep raising the issue of his own legitimacy, “I’m the president. You’re not”? His default has always been the victimized martyr, forever whining nothing is fair, outlandishly portraying himself as the most abused party. How’s that working? Phony martyrdom is a self-fulfilling prophecy, leaving him unequipped to resolve his own countless deformities. Here surely is Trump’s historic legacy: of all the presidential ways to fail, he is rolling through every one. Trump’s reputation already looks opposite his infamous motto: how could one yahoo so quickly make America less great, spurring nearly the entire world population to question the judgment, if not sanity, of the American electorate?
Does the majority rule – or not?
Trump’s illegitimacy inevitably (and positively) indicts the broken system that elevated him, the obsolete Electoral College. I anticipate more folks asking, “How could this convoluted ‘majority’ be so wrong”? Or ponder, how can the least stable winner have the amazing gall to call the ex-FBI chief a “nut job”! Or constantly, maniacally impugn all critics as enemies of the state?
All this immense pain is not without gain. If Trump didn’t distort like the Father of Lies (yes, that Satan), how will Americans learn what pathological lying is all about? If Trump didn’t scoff at moral distinctions and legal thresholds, what other 2 X 4 impacts our ill-informed, sound-bite-driven neighbors? Will not Trump become a historic, if inadvertent “educator” when we all learn in detail how this predatory billionaire amassed his treasure? No more conspicuous Republican parades how unjust and unfeeling are right-wingers who demand lower taxes for scores of billionaires while ill-fed, ill-housed children without medical access suffer.
While Trump, however long he lasts, delivers no populist reform (au contraire), he does provide peerless learning opportunities for friends and enemies alike to know what we should never duplicate. Trumpers get to endure exactly what they voted for – bluster, criminality and zero real-world deliverables. This naked demagogue has not only lost his clothes, all credibility is evaporating: how many fans still believe the self-crippled Trump “alone can fix everything”? And there’s no great solace for the left to confirm its worst fears: that criminality (like nefariously soliciting stolen emails) is just fine because “everyone does it.”
Make America wake again
Going by the first six months, what patriotic, rational American can’t wait for a full year of exposure, completing the picture of how dangerous, lawless, and blind is this “anything-goes” presidency? What startling enlightenment could occur if Trump campaigners are eventually found guilty of collusion and/or conspiracy, then he pardons the epic miscreants? What happens if, like a whirling dervish, he enacts prohibitive tariffs that dare foreign retribution, which will COST domestic jobs? On foreign affairs, Trump already combines the worst of past blunders (a surge in military spending, mixed cues to allies, saber-rattling that emboldens foes) while concocting his own isolationist “greatness.” What happens when his entire administration willfully dismisses all the flashing warnings from reality-based, career professionals?
When deluded voters elevated the Trumpster, they dreamed of positive, populist reforms, tempering intrusive government and a start to reverse the mammoth income equality plague unseen in a century. Instead, Trumpery is all about misinformation, scandals, and cover-ups (done badly and in high attack mode). In short, a mere six months is already devastating what made America great – confidence in democratic government, the Congress, the judiciary and the media, let alone prestige abroad and life-saving health and safety regulations to temper corporate excesses.
Let’s envision Trump returning to his rightful place, as “CEO” on a fraudulent, featherweight reality-show. That happens when a critical mass of loud voices firmly declare this golden phrase, “You’re fired.” I trust the gruesome Trump dance lasts long enough to teach us what never to repeat – but not so long systemic damage is unfixable.
Agreed, presidential elections will never be the same – with wide-open thresholds for ugly sleaze, gross misrepresentation, and naked demagoguery. As progressives, however, we must assume a new majority learns from an inexcusable mistake – even that a new Progressive Era emerges. The future benefits – and this diverse country stays intact – only when enough reality-based officials, goaded by an awakened populace, learn never again to foster an ignorant, arrogant amateur whose “talents” contradict all notions of greatness in American leadership.