The Reality Gap

A video is circulating today of Trump’s…is it the first?…full cabinet meeting, during which he boasts of all his achievements (ahem), and then demands oaths of loyalty from his cabinet members (or at least, effusive praise).

Actually he has no achievements.  Yes he’s signed approximately 50 million executive orders, many without bothering to read them, but no — those don’t count.  Executive orders are not legislation; he is not a king, he cannot do things unilaterally — not many things, anyway — and all of his major legislative initiatives to date have failed.  That’s not to say they will continue to fail forever, because the Senate is currently working on a super-secret healthcare-destroying bill that they are going to try to push through without any of us mere citizens being able to read it (which means the Koch brothers probably paid for it, which means we’re screwed).  Trump, however, will probably add pizza to his beer party in the Rose Garden once it’s passed…which is to say that he has no idea what’s in it or how many people it will imperil or kill, and he doesn’t care.  He’ll be destroying Obama’s signature achievement and that makes him happy.

Which brings us to the subject of these loyalty pledges.  Of course all his cabinet members pledged their troth to him — they’re all just as sullied by Russia as he is, and are probably viewing him as their protector.  This is because if he goes down, they all go with him, so they may as well make sure he takes a long time to tumble (the article linked above states that Trump is mentally ill and this meeting was designed to lift him out of a depression, which is even less reassuring).

In fact, my guess is that Trump has few or no political allies anywhere who do not have Russia hanging over their heads in some way, shape or form.  That is to say that he has no real friends on Capitol Hill.

But then there are Trump’s actual true believers, none of whom are politicians.  I know a few of them.  One is a very elderly shut-in who, whenever someone actually talks to him, starts shouting about “socialism” and swearing “Trump will fix it.”

This means that this geezer has no idea, none whatsoever, what “socialism” means.  And he thinks Russia is our friend, which means that he also has no idea what’s going on in the world.  And Trump?  The fact that this monumental idiot has absolutely no clue what a president is or does, let alone the fact he is so insular, vapid and greedy that he has no business being in anywhere near the White House — that’s all lost on the geezer.

It’s a reality gap that is supported by right-wing radio (this old geezer won’t subscribe to cable or satellite and spends his days listening to the likes of Rush Limbaugh), and of course Fox News and various internet outlets.  It’s already proven that the more right-wing media people wallow in, the more ignorant they become.  It’s a kind of brainwashing, because once they’re taken in by this shit it seems they would almost sooner die than stop believing every word of it.  The whole world is wrong and Trump is right, and that’s that.

Oh, by the way, the old geezer has stopped watching network television news (CBS, NBC, ABC) because “they lie all the time.”  I don’t watch either, but the fact that the geezer said this tells me that they are starting to hit on some very unpleasant truths for a change — at least, truths unpleasant to a Trumpsucker.  What truths are these?  Anything negative about Trump.

And the negatives are many.  Leaving aside the facts that he has no leadership qualities whatsoever and has embarrassed our country to no end, he got into this president thing for two reasons: he was intensely jealous of Obama and wanted to obliterate his legacy (same disease that afflicted Palin), and he thought it would be a good way to launder money for himself and his Russian cronies, not that he wasn’t already doing that.

And in his incredible ignorance, he thought being president was something like being a magical Henry VIII: he could just wave his scepter and all his problems’ heads would fly off.  Instead he keeps running into the Constitution and more mundane law, as well as people like Comey who just won’t play along.  And that reality frustrates him.

The only way he knows to deal with it is to create a reality of his own and try to force everyone to believe it with him.  The pols will play along; they have skin in this game too, and think he is their best hope of not ending up in prison — and so they are loyal.

The real victims are true believers like the geezer.  He is one of about a quarter of our population that we have lost to a fantasy-land created by Trump and right-wing media.

That loss is, in a sense, is the greatest crime of all.  And it makes one wonder if going forward we should concentrate on issues of accuracy and bias in media (or let’s just boil it down to generally-accepted truth being reported as news instead of fiction and fantasy being touted as news).

And since so many of us are unable to distinguish between reality and fantasy, perhaps the qualifications for the office of president also need some attention.  How about adding the following:

(1) No one without prior experience in a national political office (i.e. Congress) should be allowed to run for president.  At least one term should be spent in Congress; if less than that, there needs to be prior political experience at the state level.  Governors should be held to the same qualification, as they rarely seem to make outstanding presidents.

(2) More specifically, no entertainer, pundit, businessperson or other public figure without experience in political office can run for president (see rule #1).  Period.  Yes, this would wipe out 90% of the Republican field going forward, but we have to lay the law down somewhere.

P.S. — Sessions is being forced to testify in a public hearing tomorrow.  Be prepared for a lot of flying bullshit if he answers any questions at all.

 

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