Last Saturday, the New York Times published a commentary piece written by Nicholas Kristof that only scratched the surface of the Trump regime’s impact on America. Kristof wrote about Americans’ (and the media’s) obsession with Trump, and how causes around the world are being neglected and forgotten because of the collective focus on the antics of ‘The Don.’
Trump has drawn our attention from more important matters through a combination of idiocy and America’s love affair with reality television stars. For the devoted Trump fans and those on the fringe — the Kardashian cultists and TMZ junkies — who salivate over which reality star du jour ate what for breakfast, candidate Trump was the perfect candidate. One part Real Housewives, two parts Big Brother, and a whole lot of Jackass, Trump’s formula for attention is both destructive and nefariously intentional.
While ringmaster Trump puffs smoke and polishes mirrors, the majority of America is suffering from the lack of quality we are accustomed to in the U.S. political arena. We are missing the adults who read books, have legitimate educations, and speak coherently and competently about the topics that have a significant impact on our daily lives. While we may occasionally encounter Hollywood shenanigans from afar, we know that reality is not what happens on Monday Night Raw, or on the set of Jerry Springer.
Over the past several months, the Trump regime has embarked upon a mission to consolidate power in Washington. Tantrum-prone Donnie has surrounded himself with unqualified family members; left scores of top-level positions vacant; and condensed the power of our three-branch government in a way that reeks of a fascist dictatorship takeover. However, the most severe consolidation of power is occurring in the public focus — exactly where Kristof writes about in the Times.
Trump is a master manipulator on a stage of chaos. He is the man who shouts, “Fire!” in a crowded theater to distract the audience when he has been caught masturbating to a memory of Stormy Daniels. His modus operandi is such that even the most resolute among us leave the theater wondering what we just witnessed. Maintaining focus in the era of Trumpism is a draining prospect when the opposition we face shouts. “Fire!” so loudly and frequently.
Distracting American — and global citizens alike — from the important issues, Trump is advancing his agenda of consolidation. Every time the narrative is interrupted for another fire, he gains more power in Washington and beyond.
No matter how base, rudimentary, or morally despicable Trump acts or speaks, he none-the-less captures that disconcerting level of brilliance that is the trademark of every con artist. Trump is no exception among conmen, despite his lack of acquired knowledge, refinement, and comprehensible speech. In the modern era of reality television, even a mediocre con like Trump can manipulate an audience of millions that is conditioned to the daily mischief of a family who became famous for one daughter’s excessively large derriere.
The true problem with Trumpism, however, arrives when Trump and his cultish minions and lackeys cry, “Fire!” when none exists. The logic of the majority dictates that the appropriate response to a blaze is to reach for the nearest fire extinguisher — which is useless in the absence of flames.
The time has come for the nation to do more than flee to the nearest exit with each alleged fire. Restoring democracy and order will require just one person, among an audience of millions, with a voice to stand up and calm the crowd.
The cure for Trumpism is the vaccine that arrived too late to Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Stalin’s Russia, Papa Doc’s Haiti, and a dozen other nations that fell under the spell of populist dictators. The shot America needs right now is one commanding, compassionate, and trustworthy voice that has the strength to carry through the dark and over the chaotic chatter of the masses. All it will take is four simple words to bring Trump down like a wizard behind a curtain:
“There is no fire.”