Is it a good or a bad thing Trump daily acts out Alec Baldwin’s SNL portrayal – quite contrary to his know-it-all, campaign audacity, as if he had nothing to lose? The hustle is cruder, the desperate lies disintegrate, the high anxiety undeniable. Is this what a public crack-up looks like? Are we not learning “nothing to lose” could be the worst Trump delusion?
Columnists reckon Trump’s phantom golden age, when America still oozed greatness, was post-war 1950’s – before assassinations, upheaval, Vietnam and Nixon. That’s only off by a half dozen centuries – before “America” was “discovered” by Europeans. By defending his wall folly as positively “medieval,” because, like wheels, [walls] “worked,” Trump exposes his reactionary quicksand. Right, the good old days of oppressive feudalism and life-defying serfdom, when the only flying missiles were stones catapulted against thick, hillside fortress walls. In fact, an expert confirms medieval walls were anything but invincible, with epic fails that changed history.
Matching that idiotic bluster last week was Trump’s empty boast some “presidents told me we should” build his wall. Naive folks naturally assumed even the world’s greatest liar wouldn’t dare be so obvious – at least he conversed with one of the four living ex-presidents. Not at all! Every one denied contact with the White House, let alone endorsement, leaving the only “impenetrable” muddle the mental case that produced the lie. After all, hordes of invading terrorists constitute a national emergency, threatening the end of America. Behold the Trumpster, the resurrected Chicken Little!
Fans from the great beyond?
So which dead president, from which seance, is the Delusional One channeling? Who else remains, except God whispering in his singular ears? Dead sources well serve Trump’s mania: graves make no denials. Okay, perhaps racist, slaveholder/ Indian-killer Andrew Jackson, or southern sympathizers like the impeached Andrew Johnson, would say, “bolster that border.” Or bigot Woodrow Wilson, a rigid personality drawn to easy answers. Certainly, we’ve had racist presidents hot for their own phantom solutions, the physical wall being an especially frivolous proposal since most undocumented overstay Visas.
How deranged to openly lie about non-contact with living presidents when you can commune (actually collude) with servile ghosts! Behold the double derangement (and corruption of past lives) to defend Trump’s Folly because medieval walls “worked then, and [will work] even better now?” When did “medieval” suddenly equate with worthiness? How about inbred, dictatorial feudalism, or authoritarian Church rule, along with primitive health care (disease, short life spans, devastating plagues) for those surviving overwork and malnutrition? Don’t forget high illiteracy, rampant superstition, and the punitive Inquisition, rife with burning infidels or witches, paranoid on sacrilege. Yep, one golden moment of greatness after another.
No wonder these centuries are, misleadingly, called the Dark Ages. “Medieval” also includes Chaucer, Dante, Aquinas, remarkable paintings, transmission of Greek/Roman culture, and Gothic cathedrals (though, taking hundreds of years to build, sometimes were crumbling before completion). Oh well. Did any Middle Age construction (like walls) outshine Egyptian monoliths, Greek temples, or Roman engineering – its Forum, wondrous Pantheon, with countless arches. bridges and long aqueducts still upright? Hardly.
Bad liar, bad leader
Such worsening self-mortification proves (again) Trump is no better at lying than governance. A lie is a fiction, a story but it disintegrates when unbelievable. Truly, for fiction “to lie when telling the truth,” the story must feel true to life and to human nature. Trump grows more preposterous by the day, only exposing insufferable bad faith. If the Trumpster were merely an entertainer (like on T.V.), he’d be laughed out of town, oblivious to Credibility 101. He’s not only the most prolific liar today: he’s arguably the most scurrilous – compared to those still at large – with an untouchable record for deception: 7000+ in only two years.
We’re talking way beyond whoppers dismissed out of hand but national and world security. That’s why nonsense over concocting “a national emergency” is so scandalous. If this nation cannot distinguish a fake from a real emergency, how can we identify, let alone respond effectively to existential threats? That maximizes damage from real emergencies.
That’s the worst problem with unrestrained lying by high officials: their mountain of bad faith turns fantasists (and followers) into Chicken Littles – those who will believe anything. In the fable, Chicken Little decides an acorn hitting his head signals the sky is falling, thus the world is ending. The hysterical chicken decides he’s the special messenger to get this special message to the king, corrals other dimwits, and all are waylaid, then eaten by the smarter Fox. The clear moral: believing epic nonsense isn’t only stupid but ends up a wipe-out. Disaster crowns blind self-deception.
True fable for our times
Is this fable apt or what? The blinkered Trump is getting politically eaten up by his own willful excesses. When gut instinct rules, evidence is banished. Like Chicken Little, Trump’s magic thinking deems him infallible, rushing off to spread deceit, only to end with collective calamity. Trump’s Faustian bargain – trading egregious campaign lies for fame and power – is coming due, and penalties span indictment, conviction, plus losing the billions he so worships. Like Chicken Little, the dishonored Trump name looks to go down as the icon of self-destructive over-reach, puffed up, then deflated by its own arrogance.
When justice returns to America, malignant narcissism will get retribution that fits its crime – and for our collective sake, not the “stable genius” who’ll never admit imperfection. The Chicken Little fable teaches how willful, apocalypse-spouting stupidity invites its own rough justice. How fitting were the “big man Trump” to end up just a Little Donald, the impoverished kin of Chicken Little? Rarely is an entire nation, if not the world, offered the painful, hard blessing, worked out in excruciating detail, of a moral narrative that cautions what we should never, ever allow to happen again – president Donald Chicken Little.