The Cockwomble in Chief continues to politicize science as though it were a partisan conspiracy just to undermine him. As though science were something he could argue.
Yet he doesn’t want to participate in the only public appearance he should because the debate commission reformated it to keep him from breaking every blessed last rule. Even when suddenly pandering to “vulnerable” seniors, when he miraculously uttered the words “And so am I”, his pride simply will not allow him to accept responsibility for anything.
No one should be surprised that he’s refusing to participate in a virtual debate. Never mind that working remotely is a privilege many Americans do not enjoy.
Mr. Trump forgets that he is our employee. Everyone works for someone. And just like the good people who work in the fields, grocery stores and hospitals, he has an essential task to perform.
But a man without integrity doesn’t care that the town hall is a pillar of democracy. Or that candidates owe it to their prospective constituents to publicly discuss their plans and policies for our country.
Enforcing equal time limits does not infringe on the free flow of ideas, it protects it for everyone debating. That he thinks creating and adhering to equality is violating his freedom of speech is not limited to the debates — it plays out in all of his refrains from BLM to Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
And it is not just because he caught himself a case of Covid that the debate commission chose to go virtual, it is because he can’t control his mouth any more than he can control his contagion.
But he is not a thinking man. He is a performing man. And those meanies took away his stage.
“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” ― Isaac Asimov, 1980
Not only is Trump’s ignorance more important than scientists’ knowledge, it is more important than your life. It is more important than the healthy and safety of everyone around him.
Asimov was right. The cult of ignorance he lamented thirty years ago continues to rage. And now it’s heavily armed.
But Trump’s fluffers are committed to maintaining the illusion that not only is he not ill with a deadly and contagious disease, but that he is a savvy businessman and a successful president. It is not an elaborate facade. It is little more sophisticated than an elementary school play with a cardboard set.
When David Frum quoted Robert Hughes, “What made life under Caligula especially difficult was that he expected to be applauded, not just by his courtiers, but by the whole Roman public …. [as if] there was nothing he did not excel at,” the parallel was so precise, so self-evident it required no hashtags or @s.
Trump’s petulance also allows his followers to indulge our worst selves – no filter, absolute power, no consequences.
He says everything we wish we could do anyone who’s ever done wrong by us — bosses, coworkers, exes, noisy neighbors or strangers in traffic — nobody tells me what to do.
He’s West World without the theme park. And we’re paying for it all. Minus that $750 deductible he paid. Because of course the draft dodger is a tax evader.
The vicarious thrill his sycophants love is specifically derived from getting away with the forbidden under a subversive valence. If it were just about the seat of power any personality occupying the presidency would thrill. But the domestic terrorists want a totalitarian to elevate them by “owning the libs”.
It is the most hopeful and self-destructive pursuit of elitism.
Every norm he gets away with defying is a vicarious win. Flouting time-honored etiquette is just as fun as breaking rules. Because the rules only apply to others. The “law-and-order” president believes he is above the law and his supporters want to dominate that aristocratic space while curb-stomping any perceived opponent.
But they don’t realize they’re his Voodoo doll too.
His favorite pins to prick with are base cruelty, slovenly disregard for decorum and bulldozing tradition. They don’t love him because he’s draining the swamp, righting past wrongs or restoring a “moral majority”. They want a champion to spit in their enemies’ faces, chest-kick them off a cliff and bask in a chorus of self-righteous laughter.
And this particular bleach-drinker celebrates the lowest common denominator — hatred. His brand of hatred is replete with racism, misogyny, xenophobia, anti-science, and anti-intellectualism. But ultimately, it’s still all about him.
The wounded bully is neither jock nor nerd. He hates everyone who doesn’t love him. And the red hats love Trump for that too. He is their id. They have no ego and his enemy-smiting makes it clear the super-ego is for suckers – you don’t need to waste your time on morality. I’ve got your mortality right here, with your shit-hole countries, he says throwing paper towels at hurricane victims and mocking dead soldiers.
Who knew that crass could get this crass.
While Obama is an eloquent Ivy League scholar, a reader, a politic diplomat, a dog-lover who let children play with his hair, Trump is a monster truck rally — a deafening arena of casual destruction just for the entertainment of destruction. Obama was a leader, some of whose policies I vehemently disagreed with, but Trump? Trump is the cheapest form of entertainment with a bucket of fried chicken chaser. That’s why Trump hates Obama. You can’t fake class. You can’t fake integrity.
He impersonates labels without embodying them — Manhattanite, billionaire, sophisticate, President — they’re all costumes. He’s a crook from Queens who got ahead by cheating. He’s just smart enough to only lose other people’s money. But he’s still a loser. AndAmericans are losing the most. He will do everything he can to avoid being taken to task for any of his abject failures.
Pouting and dropping out of the debate is just his latest tantrum. There will be more.