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This ain't political anymore. This isn't about left or right, capitalism or socialism, liberals or conservatives, Democrats or Republicans. No, this is about viability, survivability, sanity vs. insanity. It's about soul vs. soulfulness, intelligence vs. ignorance. It's about sustaining our spirits, or draining them.

trump rage

Donald Trump and his most craven enablers are a serious threat to national and world security. They take fear-mongering to entirely new levels, not only working our anxieties for political advantage with the crass or the crazy, but infecting us with the fears brewed and dispensed on right wing talk radio every day.

As for Trump himself, he is beginning to seem more and more like one of the nut jobs who go on shooting sprees, lunatics now so familiarly profiled on television in the aftermath of one of their all-too-frequent rampages, those angry loners who trusted no one, rattled around in the middle of the night in their pajamas posting angry messages on social media, hearing voices in their heads as the paranoia and resentments built up in them, men who stockpiled weapons and made their dark plans that resulted in lots of dead people.

After those bloody incidents, they are described by the commentariat as having been "ticking time bombs" or "pressure cookers" that finally exploded when the build-up of hatreds, fears, and internal pressure could no longer be contained. They were men who listened to far too much angry talk radio, too much Hannity, too much Limbaugh, too much Alex Jones.

They marinated in a culture that was often contradictory, confusing, and sick. They were, in far too many instances, men with a toxic mix of enormous arrogance and gnawing insecurities, masking deep personal self-doubt about their virility, or threats to their power. They were thin-skinned, quick to register a slight to their egos, not convinced of their attractiveness to women, their intelligence, or their ability to measure up in most every way measures are taken.

As Trump's irrationality grows more apparent, we bear witness to it, are alarmed by it, feel helpless in the face of it.

Trump listens to the same sludge those guys tended to listen to on radio or on TV, seems addicted to it, in fact. As Trump's irrationality grows more apparent, we bear witness to it, are alarmed by it, feel helpless in the face of it. Were he an aging neighbor beginning to behave more noticeably erratic with each new day, we might call the police, or make a call to mental health services in hopes they could deal with him, especially if we could be assured our complaints could be anonymous.

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But Trump isn't some neighborhood nut in a stained bathrobe. He's the National Nut padding around upstairs in the White House, a guy who holds almost all the cards in the life-or-death game of nuclear saber rattling. Given that grim fact, given the reports about staffers who have speculated about the prospect of having to wrestle the POTUS away from the nuclear launch apparatus, given the fact that people like Senator Corker have referred to the White House as a senior day care center, given the fact that Trump makes a globally destabilizing comment at least once a day, the question becomes "who ya gonna call?" Who are we, the people of the United States, gonna call to protect us from a man as dangerously erratic as Trump has become? Who can intervene to save us from a lunatic in charge of weapons of mass destruction with more destructive power than any in history.

So this ain't about politics anymore. This is about where we can turn to find the person, the law, or the agency that might spare us from madness that is, day by day, on display in the Oval Office, on Air Force One, and on the golf courses where Trump goes to get away from people he seems to see as his tormentors.

It's one thing to die for one's country, however senseless such deaths might be. But we're likely to be asked to die for Donald Trump's ego, for his nutso sense of himself and of things about which he knows little or nothing. Nearly a hundred years ago, T.S.Eliot ended one of his poems with the words "this is the way the world ends/not with a bang, but a whimper." Trump is likely to make both things true.

In Stanley Kubrick's film, Dr. Strangelove; Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, nuclear Armageddon was triggered by a madman in a military uniform. More than half a century later, we see that scenario becoming more and more likely. In the current reality, however, the madman sits behind the desk in the highest office in the land, wearing a very expensive suit, with an overlong power tie, deluded and out of touch with reality, hiding from any "fake news" that does not confirm his delusions.

The state of affairs is obviously untenable and unsustainable. We deposit desperate hopes in the idea that a lone savior like Robert Mueller can take Trump out before he does what we all fear he will do. Playing on that fear, Trump has taken to hinting at war, telling us that this may be "the calm before the storm," then being coy about what the "storm" might be. So the madness spreads, clinging to shreds of our personal sanity despite the endemic general uneasiness. We try to cope with an almost unprecedented series of disasters from fires to floods, from one end of the nation to the other. And rather than reassuring us, Trump adds to the sense of unease by suggesting that much worse calamity lies ahead, and that he will be its catalyst. We've gone from "No Drama Obama" to "All Drama Donald."

So, since Mueller probably won't be riding to our rescue in time to save us, we turn our forlorn hope to the politicians who have, thus far, lent so much uncritical and hypocritical support to Trump. We try to convince ourselves that some last minute measure of decency, patriotism, and simple humanity will emerge from Republican congressmen and senators, some sane impulse that will compel them to do what must be done to save the nation, and even civilization itself.

It seems like the faintest of faint hopes, but the question remains: Who we gonna call?

jaime oneill

Jaime O'Neill