How Donald Trump is Turning The Executive Branch Into A Real Life Godfather IV
There’s a showdown going on in Washington. In the red corner we have loyalty. Loyalty to Trump’s mafia-style approaches toward government. Loyalty to Tump’s approach to the world at large. In the blue, there is independence. Both require an oath. Both have competing, often conflicting interests at heart.
An oath to independence requires a belief in the truth, the rule of law, as well as the rule of man, and to that which extends beyond the moment. It is a long-term strategy aimed firmly at progress and rooted in moral fundamentalism of almost ordained certainty. Loyalty has only one ruler: The Don. Loyalty’s rules for success are simple and easy to comprehend: listen to your Don and you get to keep your head.
It’s been said that there are two possible stories in this world: “a man goes on a journey, or a stranger comes to town.” President Trump is a stranger on the journey of his lifetime. Unlike so many others before him, he’s taking the entire country along for the ride.
Television celebrities share a special place in American identity. They show us not only what we could be if we just worked hard enough and got a break, but that true happiness is possible even in an age of growing isolation and detachment. To watch someone on the television is to welcome them into your home. We connect with celebrities the same way we do with our friends in the real world. Like good friends, celebrities are allowed a certain degree of leniency in their actions so long as they don’t get too far out of their lane. Trump was no different.
Americans had no problem with this over-the-top mogul an his obsession for gold and European super models making a name for himself on the small screen. That’s what America is all about! He isn’t hurting anyone, was the line of reasoning so often offered for his actions. And as far as we knew, he wasn’t. That line of justification changed when Trump decided to get into politics. Politicians are held to a higher standard, we like to think. They matter. As such, they are observed with greater scrutiny than just regular old famous people.
It’s not an exaggeration to say Celebrity Trump figured out what it means to be a candidate better than anyone before him. Using his B-list fame to its fullest potential; he capitalized on the reality show that American presidential elections have become. Using the media as a tool in which to publicize himself and his firebrand views to voters, he was able to keep afloat a maverick political campaign on minimal advertising dollars.
Like all good Dons, this Donald ain’t too bright. One move ahead, maybe two if he’s managed to stay off Twitter long enough to get a solid night’s rest, this is all Trump can really muster when it comes to long-term political strategy. It’s no surprise then that Celebrity Trump didn’t realize the same media that gave him a platform for his campaign would then begin to dig a little deeper into what made this phenomena in the first place.
Celebrity Trump, for all his love of the spotlight, was in no way prepared to be under the microscope to the degree that his is now as President. Take this excerpt from a NY Times piece on the final days of the Clinton Campaign. In it, Mark Liebovich tells of Trump approach toward coverage, fame, and playing the Don:
“Early in the campaign, during the Republican primaries, he (Trump) would pretty much say yes to anyone who wanted to put him on TV or in a magazine. He was indefatigable in reaching out to reporters, lobbying for coverage. He can be undeniably fun and, to a point, seductive. My first encounter with Trump, more than a year ago, came in an unsolicited note that said simply, “Mark, It’s Time for a Cover!”
Those are not the actions of a man preparing himself for the most difficult job in the world. Those are the actions of a man preparing himself to win Miss America 2016. And it worked. The media bit; hook line and sinker, luck took hold, and the rest if now history unfolding in real time.
Having longed to be known above all else, Trump was now the most famous and powerful man on the planet. “ ‘The President of The United States of America’. That’s got a hell of a ring to it,” I imagine Trump mumbling to himself before drifting off to bed. Unlike the career politicians who came before him, however, Trump didn’t quite understand what being President actually entailed.
Imagine being the president yourself. What comes to mind? Power, negotiation, fancy dinners with celebrities and the richest most interesting people in the whole world. It’s royalty to us outside the loop of Washington— as close to a real life Cinderella story as any of us could ever imagine.
Now for the reality: You’re the leading bureaucrat in the largest bureaucratic organization the world has ever known. Half of the county hates you at all times. Every waking hour you are observed and judged and sentenced to ego death by those you trust, hate, and have never even met. Of the fancy galas you do get to attend, most are with men you wouldn’t be caught golfing with let alone sharing a meal beside. To add insult to injury, most don’t speak your language. No off the cuff jokes here. No locker humor about pussies and tits and big hands. As for the ones who do speak English, they require so much background and prep that even if you could understand what they were trying to say, you wouldn’t know whether or not they were gonna misconstrue your off-the-cuff joke and start WWIII over it or something.
So what’s a man do when faced with the crashing of reality and fiction? He does what he knows. He goes into executive mode. He delegates. He negotiates. He sets out on turning this country from The United States of America to The United States of Trump Inc. But guess, what? Someone’s always gotta play the hero. This is America after all.
Enter James Comey, the 6 ‘7 Director of the FBI. With a face like Jimmy Stewart and a mind like the iron teeth of justice. If ever there was a guy you didn’t want as one of your Capos, he was it. Worse yet, when asked to make a simple pledge of loyalty. A simple oath to his new Don, all he could muster was his “honest loyalty.” What the fuck does that even mean? It means you’ve got a 6 ‘7 rat problem, Mr. President.
Comey’s testimony to the Senate intelligence Community this morning brought more questions than answers. It’s the first in what is sure to be a filling-in of the whole picture surrounding not only the ongoing Russian investigation, but Trumps approach toward the rule of law and his respect for those who’ve swore to protect it. As for whether or not it will lead to charges of obstruction of justice and possible impeachment for the President, we’ll have to wait and see. What we do know so far is that this isn’t going away no matter how much Don Trump wishes it would.
Welcome to the family, Donald.