My former blog was too caught up in diatribes against The Donald (like this, and this, and this, etc.) and my inability to understand why so many people supported him. I certainly don’t want to waste my time droning on and on about Trump again here, but I was thinking about that line from The Big Lebowski (1998) the other day, “He’s the man for his time and place,” and it suddenly hit me in a fresh way. Presidents often seem to embody the times in which they serve and, sadly, Trump is emblematic of where America is at and why I’m so disappointed in this Republic, which I was raised to love. So I made this quick video:
Obviously, I intended for this to be funny, but it’s actually a tragedy, not a comedy, in real life. The way that Trump behaves, even putting aside the issue of his poor manners, is so intellectually vapid. If he sees something that seems to prove what he wants to believe, it is vitally important, and nothing that the rest of the world has to offer can break through the forcefield of his own disinformation campaign against himself. But when confronted with even the most basic of facts, there is almost a complete denial that such a things exist. Everything is, “Just words,” and how could we possibly know the truth or evaluate one source of information over another?
Trump’s combative (or more so, petulant) nature, reflects and encourages the juvenile character of our time. Like a teenager with raging hormones and half-baked ideas, technology is creating a world where we feel we are right and important because we have the power to share every detail of our lives and thoughts in our head, 24/7. Why shouldn’t life be a show starring me? Trump has been ahead of the curve in the self-promotion of his phony success story, the manufacturing of his TV image into a “reality” program, and his bypassing of the traditional media once Twitter rampages became an option. But there is more at play here than that.
The conspiracy theorist mindset that I have tried my best to forcefully argue against, is everywhere, with so many people having little grasp on what is or is not possible. What is or is not reasonably knowable. And like any other member of the worst of the worst list, Trump uses this ambiguity to great advantage. He lives in it; throwing out fallacious logic and emotional red meat nearly every time he opens his mouth. Because if nothing is really true, then all we have to judge people on is their entertainment value. And like any great professional wrestler, Trump knows how to stay in kayfabe and make even the most outlandish situations or statements seems genuine.
To end this rant on a positive note, as I tried to end the video, I can only hope, “At some point this whole thing is going to be exposed,” and future generations will learn from this. But I’m not holding my breath on that one.