Thursday, January 18, 2018

Fakery. Or On Trump And Truth.

This is a tough time for writers of political sarcasm or even of snark.  Irony, too,  has been banned from entering this country.

How does one write sarcastically about Our Supreme Leader giving out Fake News Awards to the media*, when he himself has been caught in at least two thousand lies during his first year in office?

And note the big difference between those two categories of "fake":  the media largely corrects its errors, but Trump never ever corrects any statement, because it's not possible that he could be wrong.

Never mind that a free press (which Trump is bent on destroying) is absolutely necessary for any kind of democracy.  Without it we get a dictatorship (which Trump already thinks we have).  Even Jeff Flake agrees with me on the dangers of Trump's war against facts and the media.

So I sit here chewing the end of the imaginary writer's pencil, casting gloomy and vicious thoughts in the direction of all those who voted for this bigoted,  incompetent and ignorant narcissist.  This is not because of Trump's policies (though they are horrible, too), but because pulling the lever for him was like picking a brain surgeon for the removal of a malignant brain tumor on grounds having nothing to do with medical skills, rather the reverse.  Choosing Trump was more like insisting that the brain surgeon has never had any kind of training in the field at all.  What's the downside to that, eh, for those who want change at any cost?

Speaking of Trump voters (and we do speak about them a lot), the New York Times has published several letters from the most diehard among them**, the ones who love the chaos we live in and everything that's happening. 

Most of the letters appear to be from capitalists, and of course the Republican tax "reform" is making their wallets fatter.  Two are from supposed long-term Democratic voters (I do love that) who appear to have dropped their brains somewhere en route to the voting booth.  But the one I like the best of all is the first one, from a man in California:

The economy is up, foreign tyrants are afraid, ISIS has lost most of its territory, our embassy will be moved to Jerusalem and tax reform is accomplished. More than that, Mr. Trump is learning, adapting and getting savvier every day. Entitlement reform is next! Lastly, the entrenched interests in Washington, which have done nothing but glad-hand one another, and both political parties are angry and afraid.
Who knew that all it would take to make progress was vision, chutzpah and some testosterone?
Mm.  Well, he did move the embassy to Jerusalem and he did let the top one percent get a giant pay rise***.  This man hopes that the next step will be to strip the elderly of their retirement savings.

But see that testosterone statement?  See it?  Has anyone measured Trump's testosterone?  Obama's?  Yes, I know.  The statement is not about testosterone but about the awful-and-frightening alternative to Trump:  Estrogen.****

*  It's pretty clear that for Trump "true new" equals "news which flatter him or agree with his views."  

**  I'm fed up with all these weird travelogues about Trump voters.  On the one hand they take a central role while nobody else is asked how they like to live in this fuckin chaos, while nobody profiles African-American women, say, or any other faithful Democratic voter groups. 

On the other hand the stories read a bit like visits to a zoo to view exotic animals.  Either way, we have had far too many of those stupid profiles.

***  The other assertions in that first sentence are highly debatable.  The counterattack against ISIS began a long time before Trump's reign, the economy was in good shape by the end of the second Obama administration, and there's no way of knowing how foreign tyrants feel about Trump (the domestic wannabe-tyrant loves him, of course), whether they are afraid or not.  But ordinary sane people in other countries are very afraid.

****  Just in case I haven't been clear, what the writer argues here is that men (or at least manly men) are better at being presidents.