How Donald Trump turned me into “that guy”

You know That Guy™. He’s the scourge of newspaper comment boards and barroom discussions. Maybe male or female, but colloquially known as “that guy,” he can turn any event global or trivial; mundane or remarkable into an exemplar for his cause célèbre.

There was another burglary in the neighborhood? Thanks, Obama.

Some years back when that football team lost in the clutch? It was because Bush was too stupid / disinterested / conspiratorial (circle one).

As a moderate, as a lover of reason and as a former editor/publisher, I know that guy is a cancer on discourse and deliberation. I abhor little, but I abhor that guy.

Then, this morning, one of my Facebook friends posted about the remarks of BNP Paribas Open tournament director Raymond Moore:

“In my next life when I come back I want to be someone in the WTA, because they ride on the coattails of the men,” Moore said. “They don’t make any decisions and they are lucky. They are very, very lucky. If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport. They really have.”

First thing I did was check to see if it was from The Onion. Then I checked the date to see if it was current. Because those are things you have to do now.

And then, I uttered the phrase that made me cross the line from beholding to becoming:

“Of course. Because, Trump.”

Now unlike that guy, my Family Circus-map connection between the Republican frontrunner and a tennis tournament to which I presume he’s unconnected is fraught with taut logic:

Donald Trump says outlandish, offensive, sexist things. What’s the net result? He rises in the polls.

The message to other power-hungry men operating from a place of fear is that these are reasonable tactics. Speak but these words and ye shall ascend.

I’ve been hearing from friends with kids the last few months that they’re seeing some children pick up the bravado and shock language that Trump uses. From the mouths of babes to those of man-children? Seems a short road to me.

Is this, I wonder, the sort of logic that pervades Obama-haters? Is there a slippery slope that connects fear of a so-called socialist atheist non-native POTUS to the hours at the local library?

Or is Trump somehow different? Do we as reasonable members of society have a responsibility to clamp down hard when it comes to this sort of rhetoric, to say “Just because he gets away with it doesn’t mean that you do”?

Or is the responsibility even larger? Must we find a way to stop Trump’s ascent to political power? I mean, there’s a reason that the number one thing people talk about as regards time travel is getting the opportunity to kill Hitler before the Holocaust.

And thus, I quickly slip from being that guy, to becoming THAT guy.

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