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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Making America Great Again, Indeed

Last November’s election results left me feeling a dramatically new low point in my relationship with the country in which I'd been born and lived in all my life.

I wasn't raised in a home that inspired ambitions of one day becoming president. Still, having visited DC twice by the eighth grade, I developed a certain deference toward the American system of government.

In many ways, the government has always been a presence in my life, more of a feeling than a face. Aside from American currency and highly publicized scandals like Watergate, not much else made it through.

In college, I began to get a broader sense of my place in the world just by being an American and having an opinion I was willing to share.

Concepts such as cultural hegemony, detente, diplomacy and more between our northern and southern neighbors and our international neighbors too suddenly took on a life of their own.

For better or worse, I quickly learned, I was a part of it all, whether I wanted to be or not. Over the years, my interest faded in and out with the ebb and flow of the tides of the defining moments of my life.

Head injuries stemming from risky athletic behaviors gone awry at an age when invincibility and immortality ruled my thoughts are the most notable of these.

As you might guess, these didn't lend themselves well to clear cerebral processing of current events and only now, decades later, have I regained a semblance of clear thought and self-articulation.

Today, as a disabled adult for other reasons, I've got a vested interest in what's going on in American politics. This time, however, my perspectives are those of an older man looking back, rather than an impetuous young man looking ahead.

Somehow, I thought my life's experience led me to a somewhat accurate understanding of what motivated the thoughts and deeds of My Fellow Americans. Then came last November.

Any sense of propriety or deference to succeeding generations of Americans seemed to fly right out the window in some impulsive act of electoral irresponsibility.

The sheer transparency of candidate Trump, clearly a mentally ill narcissist who had nothing but disparaging rhetoric for everyone save the man in the mirror didn't stand a chance, I thought.

Everyone can see it, too; how could they not? After all, these were the same progressive Americans that just elected, then re-elected the first black president to a productive administration by any recent measure.

But for all of his ten million dollar counter lawsuits for the smallest transgression of a perceived foe, and misogynistic vulgarities that fall under the “it's just locker room talk, get over it ladies” variety, and refusal to disclose tax returns and Russian ties, and empty campaign promises etc, etc, etc, the new chief executive is, in unintended ways, making America Great Again.

Candidate Trump's primary motivation, I believe, was to simply not lose to a woman, a token, weaker being trying to slip into the White House on the coat tails of yet another token being. The only thing worse would be a power hungry Mexican, like that Curiel judge-guy who screwed me over in my Trump University case, or that poor, Kovaleski reporter-guy who had that stupid shaking problem. Just wanted big league attention, that guy, believe me.

Clearly, many Americans, at least in November bought his reprehensible line of insubstantial crap, wrapped in red, white and blue. But, today, between rounds of golf at Trump-branded resorts, reality has asserted itself. Trump's only presidential legacy is likely to be summed up in a single, pat phrase: "I'm not a president, but I played one on TV."

Despite all this, Trump maintains a misguided, yet fiercely loyal base that simply is too hardheaded to admit having erred. If the numerous polls and consistently low approval ratings are accurate, most Americans have realized what a mistake has been made.

Except for the most self-deluded among Trump's stubborn constituents, their joining any other political effort is irrelevant; withdrawing their support will be enough. Narcissism is the one thing Trump does not have a monopoly on, though he sure seems to be working on changing that.

And therein lies the basis for how Trump is making America great again. Those in leadership positions in both the legislative and judicial branches are setting a standard in reminding all Americans through their actions that it is the Constitution, by design, that wins the day, any day over any short sighted, would-be autocrat who somehow managed to get himself at the helm of the US government.

They're showing the world they'll not be coerced by a transparent, two-billion-bit septuagenarian egoist.

They're showing that a president who defines multitasking as eating cake, grabbing women's genitals, mocking the disabled, and playing with his own golf balls while sending missiles off to someplace he's really not sure of is an embarrassment to the world and, therefore is rightly due some humiliation of his own. As Jimmy Kimmel said on his late night show, "There's a fifty-fifty percent chance that he'll bomb South Korea." Well, you know, all those gentlemen over there - and their countries - look alike.

On a sober note, the current American president has only established himself on the world stage as making himself-and all Americans by association-one of the Big Three terrorist aggressors, right up there with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. He's an embarrassment to all Americans and, understandably a laughingstock in many Chinese newspapers.

No matter how Trump’s defenders can clumsily spin it to the contrary, the real elected American leaders, the most seasoned of whom have been there long before the days Trump was merely a reality TV personality basking in his own televised glow, won't buy the Prime Time hype. They don't heed the siren call of cable news gabfests or TV ratings above all else.

Trump’s ad-hoc, on-the-fly, flip-flopping, throw-it-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks style of governance was merely puffery that made for good campaign TV coverage.

Though it served it's purpose of suckering the votes of the forgotten, salt-of-the-earth Americans of the underrepresented and underserved rural communities, the campaign platform does not “pass the proverbial “stink test.” It just plain stinks.

To paraphrase a recent press article, Trump signs executive orders in the absence of actually knowing how to be president, so he merely "plays president".

Clearly, however, he doesn't play president as well as he plays golf. Sadder still is his greater desire to practice his chip shots from the rough more than his limited presidential competencies.

Even the patience of those who've said “Give him a chance,” and “The learning curve for being president is steep” is wearing thin, for it's an embarrassment to all Americans to be associated with such outright and unabashed incompetence.

From the denial of Trump’s travel ban to the defeat of repeal and replace Obamacare to the impending struggle his self-serving tax plan is sure to face to the shooting down of the border wall to the denial of his plan to rescind funding of California et al sanctuary cities and to the dramatic infighting within his incestuous Cabinet, I am really beginning to enjoy watching this real-time reality show blow up like so many tomahawk missiles in the president's face. It couldn't happen to a better bigot. And, as Americans, it's proof to the world that we recognize what's going on in the White House and are doing what we can to curb it's effects.

Not only were monuments to fallen Confederate soldiers taken down in Louisiana last weekend, just one state away from Trump’s racially intolerant Attorney General Session’s home state of Alabama, Trump found congressmen from both Republican nor Democratic border states unsupportive of the construction of his ill-conceived border wall. A "boondoggle" is how it's regularly referred to in the press. FAKE NEWS! I don't think so.

Tonight, as the sun sets, I can almost hear the dashed hopes in the icy cold hearts of white supremacists sinking as well.

It's the shape of things to come, I believe, and it gives me the distinct feeling that, yes, America is being made great yet again. Bravo, Mr. Trump; it's the one truly presidential accomplishment you've made yet.

It's not too late to quit while you're ahead, you know. Mr. Pence would be more than happy to take over now that the novelty has worn off for you.

Besides, just think of all the golf that's waiting to be played with the endless list of threesomes just dying to hear you tell your delusions of grandeur about how you once were King of the World. Well, sorta.

Who'd have ever thought the United States would be run by someone named Ivanka?

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