Saturday, January 7, 2017
Wow indeed. Trump's tweets truly terrifying
One of the most significant of the many wonders about our president-elect is the genius Donald Trump has for instilling sincere amazement into the discovery, or I suppose "re-discovery," of what we already know.
By Friday I, along with half the county, had spent 19 months taking an intensive cram course in just how brittle, vindictive, mean, petty, and small focus Donald Trump can truly be. We knew.
At least we thought we knew.
Here, maybe you missed them. First this:
In case you haven't heard, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the one-time box office action hero and former governor of California, is the host of "The New Celebrity Apprentice," the post-Trump reboot of the reality TV show that The Donald stared in for 14 years, before being elected president of the United States.
Schwarzenegger's "Apprentice" turn was panned by the critics, and if Trump is to be believed—did I just write that?—also in the ratings.
Let's ponder these tweets a moment, shall we? The strange use of quotations around "swamped,"--an odd usage when referring to getting killed in the ratings, assuming that happened (checking ... in the real world ... yes, "opens weak" according to Variety) then the helpful parenthetical, "(or destroyed)", to shed light for those confused.
Then a reference to the "ratings machine, DJT" -- that would be him, Donald J. Trump, referring to himself in the third person. Quite regal, or pathological, of him. Would you call yourself by your initials? I wouldn't do that on a bath towel.
Ending with the truly strange "But who cares"-- you, obviously, Donald, since you're tweeting it to your 18.9 million followers—and the dismissive "he supported Kasich & Hillary," which explains the whole score settling motivation (Variety doesn't mention Hillary or Kasich, but suggests that opening against "The Bachelor" might have been a factor).
But that isn't the incredible part, at least not to me. The incredible part, again to me, is this: he's being inaugurated president in two weeks. He sent these Jan. 6. He stands in a morning coat with his hand on a Bible in 14 days, on Jan. 20.
A few thoughts:
A) You would think the man had better things to do, more pressing matters to occupy himself with.
B) He's executive producer of the show. He's attacking the star of his own show. Which, again, should not be surprising. There was an odd resonance with his attacking the intelligence community for revealing how his buddy Putin skewed the election in Trump's favor. He'll undermine his own business interests if ego is involved, he'll blind our nation's eyes and ears rather than acknowledge he was Moscow's puppet of choice.
C) I've never been elected president and never will. But you think it would make you a little satisfied. A little safe. A bit above the fray. That it would float you beyond the schoolyard payback of Trump's tweet. That it would make you happy.
No. Trump is impervious to experience. The wound never heals, the thirst is never slaked. Whenever I write about Trump, I hear from haters who support him claiming that I "hate" Donald Trump. Not true. How could you hate someone so pitiful? So broken? He's King Midas, breaking his teeth on gold food, starving amidst the riches he craves. Nothing is enough.
I've seen a number of Facebook postings asking why the media doesn't just ignore such tweets. And I can see the logic -- why even bring up something so trivial? And the answer is, because the guy who is rolling in this triviality is going to be leader of the free world in 168 hours. Because his doing so speaks to how completely fucked the country is.
Which brings us full circle to my observation at the beginning, that Trump can make the familiar seem fresh. You've barely processed this hour's shock when the next comes whistling overhead, exploding like a shell. People are worrying about "normalizing" this? We can barely perceive it, barely register what he's done before he's off to the next folly.
Yes, hope is necessary -- I sincerely hope that Trump proves so fraudulent, erratic and deceptive that little of what he actually claimed he will do will get done. But don't confuse hope with expectation. To look at that pair of tweets is to feel true despair, to see the image of the freight train bearing down on us, forming in the dark, light growing larger fast, horn blasting.