Donald Trump is ebullient in his proclamation of innocence and vindication in the face of what likely is the most intensive investigation into an American President in the history of this great democratic experiment. His spirits are lifted, at least publicly, under the guise of a heavily sanitized whitewashing conducted by his recently hand picked Attorney General and the official banner for his upcoming re-election campaign has been unfurled against the relentless headwinds of deceit, delay, deflection, and devastating deconstruction of the most fundamental principle governing our republic: namely, the preeminence of the rule of law and the fact that no individual is above it.
To merely ascribe to Trump the attributes of a con man is to underestimate the calculating and devious nature of his being.
For a long time I thought that the man-child who holds control of the nuclear codes was merely a fool. I am now convinced that he is a master manipulator of mankind’s most intimate insecurities and the attendant emotional distress that preys upon our sensibilities and reasoning. To merely ascribe to him the attributes of a con man is to underestimate the calculating and devious nature of his being. It also misses the mark on the costs of the damage he is willing and able to inflict upon a country already bending heavily upon the weight of division and polarization. Quite simply he only cares about his warped perception of personal winning. Little did those who have joined in his personal crusade realize that ultimately they actually will get tired of winning, his winning. But, of course, by the time that realization settles in it will be far too late.
So as he basks in the afterglow of a manufactured, twisted, and incomplete characterization of Robert Mueller’s attempt to shed light on a corruption so abundantly evident that even a child with the mental dexterity of the President would recognize it, he is well aware that eventually most people will grow tired of its complexity and opt to address the self-inflicted crisis du jour. Trump plays the role of a fireman when in actuality he is the arsonist. The megalomaniacal contours of such a political strategy most defiantly uncover an evil so deep as to render treason too light an allegation. Yet he consistently manages to escape responsibility for his misdeeds by virtue of his seeming inability to tell the truth, let alone confront it.
As this carnival act tours communities sympathetic to its illusions and complicit in exacting vengeful retribution upon those seeking the truth, what is left of the conservative Republican establishment crumbles under the weight of threats to its very survival. The President of the United States has now taken to entertaining audiences with language that is not as disturbing as much as it is desperate. For those who have sought pride and reassurance in times of crisis from its leaders we are now treated with the sophomoric high jinks of a first grader. In numerous speeches over the past week or so the President has resorted to infusing his public pronouncements with the term bullshit, a technical term usually reserved for those struggling with even the most rudimentary forms of derision to describe the shortcomings of an argument. For those who have raised children we can all attest to the precocious moment when our youngsters first uttered a curse word. Their pride in offering such usually lends itself to a chuckle rather than a punishment. In a 5 year old it is endearing, however coming from the supposed leader of the free world it is sad.
Now I most certainly am not one averse to using salty language to drive home my disgust with nonsensical argumentation, but as one who has delivered hundreds of speeches in my life and who values and treasures the English language and carefully selected words that exude at least the pretense of intellectualism, I can honestly say that one can be a little more creative than this. So I have tried to envision an appropriate use of the term bullshit in some of the most inspiring speeches designed to rally a nation to greatness. It’s silliness is both instructive and troubling.
Imagine Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton or Franklin defending the Declaration of Independence as an assault on bullshit. For instance, imagine that document starting out “When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bullshit…” Or Abraham Lincoln, upon visiting the bloody battlefield at Gettysburg where over 51,000 Americans perished, proclaiming “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are tired of bullshit…”
Or Franklin Delano Roosevelt raising the consciousness of a nation by declaring “the only thing we have to fear is bullshit…” Or John F. Kennedy imploring the nation to “ask not what bullshit your country can do for you…” Or Martin Luther KingJr., rallying a nation around basic civil rights contending “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their bullshit…��
Or Ronald Reagan demanding “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this bullshit wall…”
Look, Donald, if you feel the need to expound upon your locker room vocabulary, please save it for whatever locker rooms you frequent, but please do not subject those who still have some shred of dignity and respect for intelligent debate and serious discourse to the constricted confines of your intellectual abilities. It is neither humorous nor inspiring.
Probably more disturbing, however, is that legions of self-proclaimed American patriots, replete in their MAGA baseball hats, steeped in their abundance of white privilege, disdainful of the words that grace the magnificent edifice of Liberty that sits in New York harbor, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” encourage such activity. It is a curse upon our development as a civilized culture. What bullshit!
Right now the only thing that is winning is our lack of empathy, our refusal to address the profound problems that have divided this country that include hypocrisy, the loss of civility, a lack of integrity and abandonment of the search for truth, and denial of facts and evidence-based solutions to issues facing real Americans. While Trump rejoices in his narcissistic pursuit of glory, we all lose in the end. What bullshit!