On Sunday, former Indiana governor and Donald Trump lapdog, Mike Pence followed the lead of several other members of the Trump regime and took a high-value vacation to his home state. The former governor, who, like a puppet is rarely heard from unless he has someone’s hand up his ass, embarked on a taxpayer-funded trip to watch an NFL game — or rather walk out of one.

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The 49ers kneel in protest before Sunday’s game. Photo: AP/Matt York

Pence flew from Las Vegas to Indianapolis on Sunday to attend the Colts game against the San Francisco 49ers. When players knelt for the national anthem prior to the game, Pence left the stadium. At first blush, the walkout appeared to be a spontaneous disruption in Pence’s itinerary. However, media reports quickly surfaced that pool reporters had been told to remain in their vans, indicating that Pence’s appearance and ‘sudden’ exit had been staged.

While another Trump-inspired shitstorm gathered steam after Pence’s staged exit, the story behind the walkout unraveled quickly Monday. Both Trump and Pence tweeted statements that seemed to verify that the walkout had been nothing more than a cheaply planned public relations stunt in Trump’s ongoing tête-a-tête with the NFL. One Pence tweet was so poorly conceived that he used a photo from a game three years ago, drawing ridicule from thousands of Twitter users.

As if the Trump-Pence reality show was not enough of an embarrassment to the nation’s political infrastructure, late Monday, the Trump campaign launched a fundraising effort around the debacle. The 2020 Trump campaign sent out emails asking for contributions to support Pence’s walkout and Trump’s continuing attacks on the First Amendment, the “fake news media,” and the NFL.

The sidebar to the story is that Pence’s little jaunt came at a hefty price-tag to taxpayers — for the cost of Air Force Two, security, logistics, hotels, and the usual big-government accoutrements. From Las Vegas he had a scheduled appearance in California, but flew back and forth across the nation just to appease Trump’s spoiled egotistical drive to attack America’s constitutional right to protest.

Most disturbing about the entire incident is that Trump is continuing to divide the nation. He is now apparently campaigning against Americans as a platform for his 2020 aspirations. As we near the upcoming election cycle, it would not be a surprise to see Trump openly appealing to his base with promises of a complete dismantling of the First Amendment and inciting Americans to disparage each other. While Trump may be a buffoon and a gasbag of a politician, his talent as a reality TV personality and a psychopathic master manipulator who relies on divide and conquer cannot be ignored.

On the heels of this weekend’s Trump NFL stunt, the Washington establishment responded to Trump’s divisive methodologies and went into a tailspin. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) went on the offensive Monday morning, tweeting that the Trump White House has become an “adult day care center” and saying that Trump is mentally incapable of leading the country. Following Corker’s condemnation, democrats were delighted by Steve Bannon’s attack on Corker and every other republican save Ted Cruz. With so much manipulation of, and discord within the country’s government occurring domestically, it seems that Russia will have little to do during the next election.

With Trump using propaganda and cheap stunts like the Pence walkout to shape national policy and priorities, our nation’s government is less convincing than an episode of “Keeping up with the Kardashians.” However, it is not only the credibility of our pseudo-leadership that is at stake. The rest of the world is tuning in and laughing over our public constitutional hi-jinx. In his unrelenting quest for narcissistic self-gratification to be the superlative in any category, Trump does not consider the consequences that his cheap stunts have on the nation’s image.

Throughout history, lunatics like Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, and other dictators have emerged as clear and present dangers on the global stage because of their insatiable egos. While Trump exhibits the characteristics of a madman fascist on the rise, he is more of a threat because of his stage makeup. He marches behind the façade of his reality television persona who is more dangerous than any former fascist was.

He is the Mel Brooks caricature of Hitler whose evil tendencies are shrouded by his clownish nature. With puppets like Mike Pence to carry out his bidding, Trump is the one pushing the nation to its knees. The only reason he is upset about anyone kneeling during the anthem, is because in his mind, he wants the nation to kneel before him as king.

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