We have endured just over 1,000 days of a president whose mind-boggling ignorance, cartoonish incompetence, pandemic corruption, and glaring racism have damaged America for the foreseeable future.
Really, I can’t enumerate all of the man’s personal disasters, catastrophic decisions and sucker punches to the republic. But here’s a partial list of his insanity, which reads more like “the symptoms of someone who was recently bitten by a rabid raccoon one night after getting lost between Marine One and the Oval Office.”
And yet, over 40% of Americans say, “Yup, I’m down with this.”
I’ve written before about Trump’s base, many of whom would gladly follow him into a bubbling sulfur pit, or slit the throats of their loved ones if he told them to do so. Their reasons for such blind obedience to this maddest of messiahs range from political expedience to human frailty to deeply disturbing psychological issues.
But what of Trump’s motivations? Why is he subjecting himself — and the entire country — to this ceaseless onslaught of nausea-inducing grotesqueries that have catapulted our nation way past laughingstock status and into the realm of the tragically pathetic?
Well, it might be “because he’s two parts crazy, one part stupid, but also because he’s been engaging in corruption his entire life, to the point that it’s second nature.”
Yes, that’s true. But there’s an additional complication.
Consider that even Nixon possessed some smoldering embers of self-respect that prevented him from accepting the humiliation of impeachment. Trump has embarrassed himself so many times on so many world stages that he has gotten used to public disgrace. And his supporters have made it clear that no matter what deranged babble spews from his mouth, they will twist it into a positive.
So appeals to the president’s sense of shame are useless. We might as well plead with a honey badger to be nicer, or for a bear to stop shitting in the woods.
Animal comparisons aside, there is even stronger reason for Trump’s antipathy than his abdication of basic decency.
And it is this:
The man hates America.
I know it is tacky to accuse your political opponents of despising our nation, but it is not hyperbole in the president’s case. Even many conservatives say that the guy clearly loathes the country and offers a vision that “is radically anti-American.”
The president’s GOP enablers are perfectly aware that the chief executive cares only about himself, with particular attention to his image and his bank account. Yes, Trump has some mild concern for his family, feels a slight affinity for his fellow billionaires, and admires crazed dictators who execute their opponents.
But that’s about it. The rest of the world— and the overwhelming majority of America — is dead to him.
As for the Midwest and the South, well, the idea that he has any interest in the humdrum struggles of his base (i.e., the legendary white working class) is absurd. Even sadder is the one-sided nature of their relationship, in which millions of struggling white people insist that he is fighting for him, and show up at his rallies to hear him drone on about awesome he is. Meanwhile, he ignores the opioid crisis, cuts off their health care, and would no sooner mingle with the hoi polloi than he would gurgle raw sewage.
And it should be perfectly obvious by now that the president has no use for women, ethnic minorities, or immigrants. In fact, “we have never seen an American president make a U.S. representative, a refugee, an American citizen, a woman of color, and a religious minority an object of hate for the political masses, in a deliberate attempt to turn the country against his fellow Americans who share any of those traits.”
Yes, despite all that flag-hugging, there is little proof that Trump displayed even the vaguest sense of patriotism before he ran for president (just as he didn’t display a scintilla of interest in Christianity, but that is another story). And there is no indication that the president has any knowledge of the Constitution, any respect for American ideals of freedom of the press, or any interest in how the nation fares after he is out of office.
In fact, he “appears to care little for the American nation as a whole,” and is actually “more of a self-serving populist, preaching anti-elitism, anti-pluralism and exclusion.”
So let’s be honest.
If the Democrats made an offer that Trump could pocket a small fortune from the U.S. Treasury and fly away to a private island with his family, to live out his days in comfort and splendor, and never be brought up on any criminal charges or held accountable for anything he has done, the man would leap at it and say, “Fuck off, America,” faster than they could write the check.
And he would never look back.
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