Dirty Tricks and Bad Dudes

Jenny asked me why I never inducted Donald Trump into The Hall of Bad Dudes, and it didn’t take me long to formulate an answer. “Because I’ve never taken him seriously,” I answered. And until now, I haven’t. He’s always seemed like a buffoonish villain to me, something you might see in an Austin Power’s movie. I never watched The Apprentice. To me Donald Trump was always exactly where he needed to be: on a reality tv show that had nothing to do with any reality I was currently experiencing.

Then shit got real.

Gradually, and suddenly, enough people started taking Donald Trump seriously as a candidate for President that it got scary. Fast. It’s like that slow fight you see unfolding before your eyes where it starts with good-natured ribbing, then someone’s feelings getting hurt, then anger, then a little pushing and shoving, then a full-scale knock-down drag-out fight, while all the time you’re thinking somebody is going to step in a stop this. The adults are going to show up eventually.

But in this case something unusual is happening. No one is listening to the adults. There is no one who has the authority to intercede and put to a stop a conflagration of anger, hatred, and pent-up desire to scapegoat entire groups of people  that is eerily reminiscent of other times and other places where dangerous leaders with dangerous followers turned into genocide, pogroms, witch trials, crusades….


Personally I’m not surprised by any of this. I grew up in a small town where if you weren’t racist you weren’t trying. Hell, I went back to that town last summer to go to a concert with one of my relatives and heard guests also going (school teachers) use the n word all the way to Chicago. So, no, I’m not really surprised by the onslaught of bigotry and hatred we’re seeing from Donald Trump’s supporters. What does surprise me is more Americans not telling them to sit down, shut the hell up, and behave themselves.

Well, some are. I see many Republicans condemning this despicable show of ignorance and vowing not to support Trump if he were to become the Republican nominee. I think no matter what happens in this lesson we’ve all learned a lesson. Whoever these people are that are so angry and so willing to blame someone else for it aren’t going anywhere. They weren’t created by Donald Trump, and the sad reality is they can’t even be dispelled if Donald Trump goes away now. They are real. They are the new reality. Maybe they were always the reality and we were all just living an illusion thinking America was becoming a better, more compassionate and accepting nation that was finally getting closer to achieving its stated ideal of “Liberty and justice for all.” Maybe we never really meant that at all.





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