Many months ago, at my father’s urging, I tracked down and read an article (I think it was in the Los Angeles Times, but I could be wrong) that was an analysis on The Donald’s language and rhetoric. Shocker; he doesn’t have the best words; he barely has any words at all.
So, there are two broad categories of statements — and forgive me for not remembering the correct terms, chemo brain — one in which some sort of veracity or truth can be established, and one in which it’s impossible to ascertain a level of accuracy (no, it’s not “declarative vs rhetorical,” it was a more technical etymological term). In other words, if I say, “I no longer love my wife,” even if it’s a subjective statement, you can ask me some questions, investigate my behavior, and get to some base-level determination of accuracy in that moment. The Donald almost never uses this sort of language. Instead, what the analysts found, was that Trump almost always makes statements that are virtually impossible to immediately fact-check, which allows his supporters to project any values or ideals they want on him. It is a very calculated political portrayal. When my liberal friends hear about polls indicating that rural cigarette vending machine repairmen think he’s the Messiah (the reason I’m being specific there is because, if you ever bother to read the fine-print on any peer-reviewed study, be it a new anti-cancer diet in mice to a respected poll on how rural whites view the 2020 election, the wording — and focus groups polled — are hyper-specific, because if Kamala Harris has a 92% approval rating among plumbers aged 18–24, the pollsters don’t want some nitwit pundit running with it and saying, “First Black Woman President Imminent”), we — and the cigarette vending machine folks — need to realize that is an intentional, political persona. What do you do when you’re a heartless, soulless, C. Montgomery Burns-type who wants to be president? Let Smithers just shout, “Monty Burns likes you all” and let the masses draw their own conclusions.
Unless I completely missed something last week (possible, I was at a documentary film festival), we have not had a presidential press-conference in a very long time — something like four months. Now, there are any number of reasons for that — maybe Kellyanne Conway died in the pit in Stephen Millers basement (next to the moth-breeding room), maybe The Donald wants to spend more quality time with his properties, maybe Jesus finally called and said, “Stop being a dick in my name.” However, I think there’s a more likely reason. There is now a ton of documented conversations, fumbles, and insane policy decisions that we now have on tape, and any decent journalistic outfit would be heinously remiss if they didn’t ask about his weirdly callous reaction to a refugee sobbing to him to intervene in Syria, or how the US tax payers are now paying a billion-dollar bailout to Midwestern farmers who are paying for an unnecessary trade war with the last global economic superpower (it’s not us), or why he’s been weirdly silent about the recent rash of mass shootings, or… You get the idea. The press is finally vetting The Donald, and he’s not passing.
In particularly malevolent, racially-charged news that I really wished I never had to discuss, ever; The Donald’s administration (BTW, to that anonymous New York Times Op-Ed author; despite your claims, you are failing spectacularly at the most basic aspects of federal governance) has decided to revoke traditional Bahamian travel privileges to the US in light of the fact that Hurricane Dorian apparently vanished from Mobile, and was teleported to Freeport, Bahamas, a city I actually lived in in 2012. So, I’m not an expert in the legal issues surrounding Bahama-US emigration policy; I was just a guy who lived there for a few months on a temporary visa (it’s a long story involving predatory for-profit education, grad school, etc.), but, my understanding is; it’s extremely easy for people to (temporarily) move from the US to the Bahamas and vice-versa. My further understanding is that this is due to joint economic interests between the US travel industry and the Bahamian tourism industry. Or, more bluntly; gambling is legal in the Bahamas (sort of; I was never there long enough to work it out, but if you want to hop on a cheap flight in the Eastern US and hit the Blackjack tables, the Bahamas are your best bet), and there’s a thriving industry that consists of day travel from Miami, Florida to the nearest Bahamian casino, and back in time to tuck the kids into bed. Because going through a long, formal customs-type check-in legal situation would hinder that; both countries have temporary travel privileges that don’t require obtaining an entry visa beforehand. That’s my knowledge on it, anyway (feel free to correct me). Because drowning is something of a downer, a handful of Freeport residents (about a hundred, according to Buzzfeed) decided to get on the boat to Miami, and hang out for a few days until the hurricane literally blew over. They were stopped from doing so, because of a sudden policy reversal on entry visas. Now, there are any number of reasons to do so (my bet is that this is just another manifestation of Trump’s historically favorite activity — destroying casinos; his own, mostly, but he’s not terribly picky), but, let’s be honest; it’s black people trying to enter this country; it’s a deliberately racist move. I’m sure I’ll hear back from any number of people about how it’s totally not that; but The Donald himself has said/Tweeted, “ I don’t want to allow people that weren’t supposed to be in the Bahamas to come into the United States, including some very bad people and some very bad gang members, and some very, very bad drug dealers.”
If that rhetoric sounds familiar, you might remember it being the step-down rhetoric from “They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” from 2016. If I were the shadow government hiding documents from Donald Trump; I’d quietly have him sedated until next year, when he actually needs to appear in public. Even then, I’d keep him on near-lethal ketamine levels and just jury-rig him up like the characters in “Weekend at Bernie’s” to maintain the illusion. Because, right now — and this is probably the reason he’s avoiding the press — he is quietly logging an insurmountable record as a genuine bigot, and there is no real defense against that, when it’s actually hurting 100 people seeking temporary refuge from a natural disaster. When it’s actually keeping Yazidi women and children enslaved by ISIS in Syria. In short, when, like communism, racism goes from theoretical distaste for “The Others,” to, “actually informing policy.” If I were part of the shadow government of aids, I’d pretend that I didn’t want next year’s elections to be framed as, “A referendum on Nazis and actual rapists” (Trump’s disturbing silence on Epstein — who we have on record as going to the same parties — speaks volumes). Every minute these despicable policies are in place — every minute Moscow-endorsed totally-not-Russian-oligarch-connected Mitch McConnell is lobbying for reducing sanctions on the kleptocracy in Moscow — your party is losing the initiative. And your party is losing. I am old enough to remember when the Republican party was in favor of lower taxes for everyone, smaller, more effective federal government, stronger local/state government (which is how you get weird hybrid voters in New England who favor Republican governors and Democratic presidents)(yes, that was my gen chem lab partner). It is now a party that gets a year older every year, because exclusion automatically discourages recruitment. The Baby Boomers are getting older — that Great Replacement Thing that fueled the GOP in 2016 (just Google it; I’m tired and I can read and write so much about absolutely asinine demographic ideas in one day) is going to happen, and we need to realize, that’s an unfortunate fact of reality. If the thought of someone else eventually subsuming your position in the office, society, your church, whatever, makes you uncomfortable, you need to figure out a way to become immortal.
I honestly have no idea what’s going to happen, politically, in the next year; Biden is the only candidate I honestly don’t feel invested in, BUT, even Biden’s going to win if the GOP continues to directly play into the narrative, “This administration is so corrupt, they’ve sold out to foreign private interests in Moscow, and KKK Internet Trolls.” And every minute The Donald spends with his golf courses, hiding from Congress, from the American people, the further he’s going to play into a political narrative, “This man is the GOP answer to Jimmy Carter” (I realize I’m demeaning Carter by comparing him to The Donald, but conventional wisdom is that he lost due to perceived incompetence and deficiencies dealing with the Iranian revolution and other international events).
Speaking of Internet Trolls, in case I come off as all gloom and doom; Milo Yianna — Yian — that asshole with the bleached hair who made a name for himself on social media as a young, hip conservative, has been banned from Twitter (unfortunately, that disputes my long-standing view that Twitter has absolutely no standards), and is now — I am not making this up — looking for a day job. Obviously, I’ll follow that story as it develops.