Thousands of Alabamians packed a football field on a warm evening in Mobile, waving American flags and wearing the same MAGA hat as their champion took to the stage and began thundering about the evils of the “swamp,” “crooked Hillary,” and all those pesky Mexicans who were going to pay for a wall right after he shooed them back across the Rio Grande.
It’s the perfect political cocktail for Americans in search of red meat. Raise the flag, praise the military, denounce all things foreign and bellow about saving American jobs while sporting your own company’s Chinese-manufactured necktie.
It was all a ruse, well before the moment the Blonde Bomber lowered his lofty altitude on the escalator at Trump Tower and babbled his incoherent entrance into the GOP primary fiesta. Many laughed, and few took seriously the lifelong New York liberal with enough personal baggage to fill his own jet.
But enough Americans got glossy eyed and punted away sound judgment like a schoolboy who just fell in love with his social studies teacher. No, really. It’s true love, and stop telling me how it could never work.
Nevermind his wobbling on heretofore hallmark conservative ideals such as limited government, less taxes, a repeal (ha!) of Obamacare and an end to perpetual war. What The Don had said in the past about such things could not be factored onto the scorecard. We’re loving what he’s saying now, and shall not worry about the fact that his declarations and convictions would make a chameleon stop and go, “Whoa, dude, seriously?”
It was true love from the moment he began his America-first mantra, vowing to send Pedro back to wherever that greasy interloper came from. Young men began wearing the Maga hats like boys in the 50’s began combing their hair like Elvis. Speeding along on a full tank of testosterone, nobody bothered checking under the hood to see if there was actually any there, there.
The devil’s always in the details. But the Trumpsters didn’t give a hang about the details. Don’t bother me with the truth while I’m feasting on red meat. MAGA!
Trump vowed to “drain the swamp” but it didn’t take long for him to become a part of it, faster than an anonymous Walt Disney slithered into central Florida sixty years ago. Difference is, Walt actually drained it, while creating jobs for thousands.
Shortly after his towering inaugural speech, the new president began packing his cabinet with swamp veterans, including the obligatory Treasury secretary straight out of the Goldman Sachs catalog, as has been the case with all presidents of recent memory. And who can forget the charming Neocon Nicki Haley, the spunky former Palmetto State governor who wasted no time with her demonizations of Syria and Russia, all with the nodding approval of the man who months before had vowed to the hat-wearers that the weary days of perpetual warmongering were being deported alongside those God-forsaken illegals.
“Crooked Hillary” soon became “a good person.” The White House chef started cooking waffles around the clock for the stellar neocon cabinet while their man Don bombed the hell out of Syria, then Afghanistan while standing in the well of the United Nations, telling the world the days of American imperialism are over.
Meet the new boss….
Presidencies are all about rhetoric, and while Don waves the flag in everyone’s faces, his other hand is behind his back, shaking hands with the very establishment he told his suckers he’d have on the next Amtrak out of town. But the typical Trumpster simply does not care about the details, neither do they care about facts, and when the truth about their golden boy becomes glaringly obvious, we get ourselves a classic case of acute cognitive dissonance.
Of course, we must allow for the possibility that Trump supporters do want perpetual war, do want unrestrained military spending, do want huge government, do want to be told lies about things that will never happen, like walls and repeals. More’s the pity.
Generally, Americans value feelings over facts. No matter the policy ramifications, they want to feel good about themselves and their country without having to invest any skin into such thoughtful notions of the ultimate reaping that comes from the same Bush/Obama, and now Trump foreign policy, for example. All it takes is the plate of meat, the red hat, and the dependable declarations about how great we are, how bad the bad guys are, and how we’re going to export them to wherever the hell they came from.
Meanwhile, dutiful neocon Pence waits in the wings for Hurricane Don to blow over, so he can take his turn at the joystick.
Really. You can bellow all you want about repealing Obamacare, but the fact (facts!) of the matter is, not once did this president present any plan at all to Congress for consideration. He just sat in his golden chair waiting for some legislation – any legislation – to be placed on his Resolute desk to sign, be it however crappy, so that he may declare the festering monstrosity repealed.
“Wait, here’s a video of Citizen Trump advocating for universal health care!”
“Away with the facts, you America-hating commie!”
It’s the never-changing rhetoric we must endure, until the day we get the next four-year dose of it from Pence, or President Pocahontas, or whoever, as the nation continues its barrel roll over the falls of The Great Default.
And that, the single greatest issue confronting every American, whether they wish to hear about it or not, is the one thing no one inside the Beltway, save for a tiny fraction are discussing.
But Trump, like his predecessors, lulls Americans to sleep with soothing stories about bad guys being deported and bombs dropping on some phantoms in a land far far away, as his devotees reverently remove their MAGA hats, place them on the bedside table, and drift away, secure in the belief he is making all their nationalistic dreams come true.
© Copyright 2017 Tim Holcombe