The Climax of Foolishness.
“Increasingly, people are willing to say and believe stuff that fits in with their view of how the world should be, even if it doesn’t have any basis in reality or fact.” Chris Jackson, pollster with Ipsos
Let’s not get hung up on the final days of Trump’s presidency. History won’t be kind to him, obviously. Some wonder if his presidential library will have any contributed content at all, other than his speeches, encased in glass, with notations like: “How could this incite a riot?” There’s even an architect who designed a Trump library prototype with giant posters of the ex-president at the entrance and an over-priced gift shop.
Historians won’t dwell on this, of course. At best, they’ll say Trump didn’t leave the Oval Office friendless like Nixon did. Surprisingly, Trump still has lots of friends, although some of his staunchest supporters, like the Proud Boys, have since called him “weak for not getting the job done” (a bit rich since they didn’t exactly “get the job done,” either.
Overall, though, given what happened in Washington on January 6th, you’d think Trump wouldn’t have friends at all, but devoted followers tend to remain devoted, even if it doesn’t make sense.
An Ipsos poll done following the riots at the Capitol in Washington D.C. showed that, of 1,448 participants, only 13% of Republicans believe Donald Trump caused the riots (35% believe it was Biden’s fault).
But we’re getting wrapped up in numbers here. If we can’t explain Trump’s popularity now, surely we can explain what made him popular in the first place. It wasn’t his vocabulary, or ability to engage in civilized debate. If we’re going to boil it down in historical context, Trump only had one gift, and that was his ability to give people good news.
In going through Trump’s speech prior to the march, there are no actual words of sedition or insurrection.
Call it fanciful, illusionary or complete fabrication, it still appealed to 74 million supporters who love good news. Some would say they’re fools for believing him, but they’re Trump’s fools, and there’s a difference.
Think of what we witnessed on January 6th. In going through Trump’s speech prior to the “march,” there are no actual words of sedition or insurrection. What turned followers into a frenzied mob was a promise. Trump promised they could take their country back. That alone made the whole exercise of rioting and breaking into the Capital building worthwhile, if a bit short-sighted.
We also have to be careful calling it a “frenzied mob.” In Trump’s eyes, they were jubilant. They were engaged in a joyous, righteous protest until the Antifa, and other terrorist groups turned it into a riotous mess.
There’s nothing wrong with putting the blame on outside elements. It’s all in the interpretation, the spin, and that again, was what Trump did throughout his presidency, even if the content of his speeches was questionable in both logic and substance.
Again, let’s not get caught up in facts and figures. Republicans still love the spin. If we look at his early nomination speeches, Trump spoke in their voice, calling Mexican immigrants rapists and drug dealers. Hadn’t this crossed the minds of every Republican wanting America returned to their idealized reality? Wasn’t it based on every man for himself, not the perversion of socialism or communism?
Just the other day, Iowa Republican Congresswoman, Ashley Hinson, said we need to “roll back harmful regulations,” convinced, like many Republicans, that things like environmental protections stymie productivity.
For that, Trump deserves credit for reflecting true Republican values, even the slightly aberrant ones. Yes, we need to put Americans back to work, but why raise minimum wages? And, why not cut out the EPA and open national parks to development? Jobs must surely take precedence over something as silly as trees and bird habitats. And sure, we’ll give the billionaires tax breaks for the same reason we’ve always given them tax breaks (we haven’t; during WWII, the tax rate on billionaires was 94%). Isn’t incentivizing rich people what made America great in the first place?
Just the other day, Iowa Republican Congresswoman, Ashley Hinson, said we need to “roll back harmful regulations,” convinced, like many Republicans, that things like environmental protections stymie productivity and wealth.
It’s a good message for Republicans, and it works.
Here’s why it works. Every day we wake up to news, mostly bad, mostly disheartening. You feel like there’s no hope. If you’re over-extended, out of work, worried Mexicans are raping your daughter, then, of course, you’re slamming your fist down, saying, “Where will it all end?”
Trump watched the news, too. The minute he felt that twinge of outrage, he was on Twitter, telling everybody he wouldn’t countenance Mexicans or socialists or a pickup truck needing to meet new EPA standards.
What happened at the Capital building on January 6th wasn’t a coup or a conspiracy. It was a big dumb suck-start, what historians will one day call “The Climax of Foolishness.”
America should be unfettered. It should speak its mind. And weren’t those same loyal supporters saying, “Lord love a duck, Mr. President, you know my mind better than I do.” Suddenly news doesn’t seem so bad anymore.
What happened at the Capitol building on January 6th wasn’t a coup or a conspiracy. It was a big dumb suck-start, what historians will one day call “The Climax of Foolishness.” Sure, jubilation turned into something more sinister. One member of security was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher. Four other casualties resulted from illness or suicide. Three Democratic lawmakers caught COVID from Republicans who wouldn’t wear masks when they were hidden in rooms off the Congress chamber.
From the moment it hit the news, we were shocked. How could a mob enter the Capital building, let alone end up in Nancy Pelosi’s chair? Wasn’t the Capital supposed to be the most guarded and fortified building in the world?
Perhaps not. As one meme pointed out the following day: “We spend billions on the military, yet the Capital could be taken over in ten minutes by Duck Dynasty and a guy wearing horns and a deerskin bikini.”
Imagine the international community watching the news, seeing insurrectionists taking selfies, saying, “We’re in the Capital,” then spreading feces on the wall. It’s the sort of thing teenagers do breaking into a school at night. Only teenagers don’t start shouting their inalienable rights. They just spread the shit, take a few pictures, then scram before the janitor shows up.
Where was Trump? Didn’t he say in his speech earlier he’d head up the whole procession?
So where’s the good news in all this? Where was Trump during the smashing and bashing of the Capital building? Didn’t he say in his speech earlier he’d head up the whole procession? Well, he would have if he wasn’t banned from Twitter and Facebook. Who can throw their full attention into a rally (riot) after being kicked off two of social media’s biggest platforms?
The answer — if you’re following Trump’s playbook — is to hopefully produce more good news. Only it’s tough when the Capital building looks like a giant shit stain and five people are dead. Then, of course, you’ve got supporters being arrested for trespassing and damaging federal property.
Jenna Ryan, a real estate broker who flew a private plane from Texas to Washington to be at the demonstration, cried foul, even though there’s video evidence showing her saying. “We’re inside the Capital building. This is the greatest day of my life.” Yes, it was her phone and, sure, it was incriminating at hell. What did Jenna do next? She made another video after being arrested by federal authorities, saying, “Trump should pardon me. I was only there watching.”
As it turns out, giving pardons to insurrectionists ain’t easy, mostly because they are insurrectionists, just as Trump couldn’t pardon himself because he was the president. You see, according to Constitutional lawyers, this is a sticking point, which frustrated Trump to no end. He could pardon any number of truly sick individuals like Steve Bannon and Paul Manafort, but he couldn’t do the same for himself. The reason? Presidents can’t judge themselves. Even if they could, pardons only protect presidents at the federal level. States, on the other hand, can bring lawsuits, which is exactly what the New York Judiciary intends to do once Trump’s impeachment is concluded.
What he really wants is a 21-gun-salute, which he won’t get because it’s reserved for the funerals of presidents and ex-presidents. You have to be dead, in other words.
That’s bad news any way you look at it, and certainly not what Trump expected as an outgoing president. What he really wanted was a 21-gun-salute, which he didn’t get. Such salutes are reserved for the funerals of presidents and ex-presidents. You have to be dead, in other words.
Things don’t look good for Trump—or for the Republicans who want to distance themselves from him. Some are even considering impeachment just so he never runs again.
Many of Trump’s inner circle are running themselves — not for president — but out of the Capital, some with a surprising array of knick knacks and souvenirs from what could be called “better times.” The wife of Chief of Staff, Mark Meadow’s, was seen taking a stuffed pheasant out to their car, no doubt one of Mark’s favourite drinking buddies.
Anyway, more will follow, perhaps out of self-interest, but mostly to give the rest of the population this good news: Trump has left the building. It has been heralded everywhere, in every country. That’s a sad pronouncement for any president, and now his followers have to face a new reality. Of the 140 pardons former President Trump announced, Jenna isn’t one of them. Nor is any member of the Duck Dynasty who thought Trump would stand by them till the end.
The good news — or what Trump convinced them was good news — is over. Time to pack up and go home — or to jail.
It is the end. The Climax of Foolishness is over. The good news — or what Trump convinced everyone was good news — is over. Time to pack up and go home — or to jail. Maybe Trump will join you there. Or maybe there’s more foolishness to come. With Trump, anything’s possible. Just don’t expect him to rise like a phoenix in 2024. That’s too fanciful even for him. If he did leave the possibility open, it’s still too fanciful, or fantastical or just plain crazy talk. We’ll know soon enough. Trump doesn’t stay quiet for long.
Robert Cormack is a satirist, novelist, and former advertising copywriter. His first novel “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive)” is available online and at most major bookstores. Check out Skyhorse Press or Simon and Schuster for more details. You can also visit my website: robertcormack.net
“What the large print giveth, the small print take ...
A story of boxers and strippers. · “I don’t miss b ...
You have no groups that fit your search