It’s October. The trumpster is officially entering his ninth month in office, and it has been eleven months since he was elected. About the only thing he has done is launch twitter wars against people who oppose or criticize him. But in that twitter world, he has revealed a great deal about who he is and is not.
I recall that after he won the nomination, media pundits predicted he would become “more presidential.” He didn’t. His tweets eventually became his official policy statements. Daily, his tweets ignite some new controversy that keeps the news cycle humming for 24 or 48 hours and you can bet that behind that camouflage, Trump is up to no good. He’s trying to divert our attention from Mueller’s Russia probe, the fact that his daughter and son-in-law used private servers for their official emails, the very thing his campaign condemned Clinton for doing during her job as secretary of state.
This past weekend, after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and left people in “apocalyptic” conditions, as one island official expressed it, Trump didn’t bother tweeting about the situation there. (Except like this.) Instead, he attacked the NFL
And then attacked the mayor of San Juan while he was enjoying a weekend at one of his golf resorts.
With each tweet in this administration, each passing day, trump and his administration break so many laws, trample the constitution (since when can a president tell a private organization – the NFL – to fire employees/players?) and do their best to stifle free speech and a free press. In short, with every 3 a.m. tweet, trump creates a new distraction, a new whirlwind, a new international crisis (North Korea) and a new media extravaganza that distracts from the bottom line: he equates the presidency with dictatorship.
His republican cronies fall into line behind him, shrieking, Build a wall, repeal and replace Obamacare, there is no climate change. It’s so glaringly obvious that trump and his republican cronies don’t give a shit about people – only about donors, about the elusive base that got him elected (with help from the Russians), about the angry white men who feel the world is leaving them behind and stick with him in spite of everything.
Remember that kid’s story, The Emperor Has No Clothes? Remember how the wizard in The Wizard of Oz was revealed when the curtain was pulled away from him revealing the little man he actually was? Trump is that emperor, that pathetic wizard, the guy who refused to release his tax returns because we might find out he’s no zillionaire, that he’s in debt to the Russians, that his entire persona is a façade, a farce, a flat-out lie.
So here we are, long past the point where he should have been impeached, tossed out, relegated to the corridors of our darkest history. And our hope lies in Mueller, who I wish would hurry up and get on with it. Yeah, he’s undoubtedly building an airtight case. But will it conclude soon enough to save us from nuclear war with North Korea? From rising oceans and the disastrous effects of climate change? From the suffering of Americans whose health care is stripped away? Will it happen before more American citizens in Puerto Rico die from lack of the basics?
Some people refer to trump as our “karma” – for slavery, racism, war, the intervention in other countries where we installed dictators, then killed them off after we’d stripped their countries of their natural resources. But my sense is that trump is our wakeup call, the manifestation of our collective shadow as a nation, a people, a democracy. How do we hope to live in the future? Enslaved to a narcissistic egomaniac with unsettling parallels to Hitler and other dictators? Or do we live as a a nation where the rule of law matters and compassion for our fellow human beings overcomes divisiveness and hatred?
I think of trump as the ultimate trickster archetype, born in a dark pocket of the American psyche.