It took nearly a year, but we’ve decided we are not simply angry, we’re enraged.
So, what to our wondering eyes should appear, but this, from the Times’ Paul Krugman on Friday last?
“By now, it’s obvious to everyone with open eyes that Donald Trump is an ignorant, wildly dishonest, erratic, immature, bullying egomaniac. On the other hand, he’s a terrible person.”
What finally brought us to the edge of mania is terrifically simple: Try comparing what Donald Trump is selling, and what the thousands of Olympians are striving for.
Nearly single-handedly Trump and his frightened yea-sayers in Congress have been selling not only fear, but the idea that there is no hope for anyone who isn’t Donald J. Trump in terms of self-improvement, earning power, learning, the future. This from a virtual illiterate who happened to have a rich father. If you have one, too, that gives you a leg up. Without, you’re doomed to poverty, ill-health, fires and floods, disease, nuclear abandonment.
Compare that beginner’s list with what the kids and coaches and parents are selling today in Rio: hope, the future, learning power, physical power, dreams of a better tomorrow. These orthodontists’ dreams really do want to believe in their own abilities, their own ideas and projects, their own abilities to get over, or at least past, physical infirmities in order to live the life they see all around them in harmony, friendship, cooperation, and safety. In America!
They want to speak more than one language – Trump’s content with only one, of course: his own – in order to communicate with new friends, new technologies, new partners and children. They want to build, not destroy. They want their own offspring to be able to dream the same dreams they did.
But Donald disagrees. For him, his project is to tear down, rip apart, shit on every good impulse that ever made America the great nation it is. (No wonder he’s a “germophobe.”) In Donald’s world there is only dishonesty, not justice, not an American handshake that guarantees trustworthiness but instead 3500 different lawsuits with which to drive people less well-connected into asylums.
He’s going to rebuild the defense department. Oh yeah, with what? When?
He’s going to refashion income taxes to benefit the top earners in the country, but no one below that status.
He’s going to do away with the “death tax,” which will benefit people passing on 5 plus million dollars to their next of kin…guess who this benefits? (Donald will tell you this is for the mom-and-pop stores, and for the farmers.)
Donald will tell you NATO should be abandoned. His son, Junior, will tell you how helpful Russia has been over the years to Trump Enterprises.
Donald is going to help the VA, just as he’s been doing all along (!)
Donald will tell you he has a secret plan to destroy ISIS. Sure. What? When? How? (Remember Nixon and Kissinger’s secret plan to end the war in Viet Nam?)
Donald will tell you that he knows the ins-and-outs of dishonest brokering better than anyone and who better to fix it all? (This is the only known instance of Donald having a sense of irony.)
But what he’s really saying, day after day, is that not only is the US not as great as it once was, but that it never can be again without him as King.
Donald the Deal-Maker?
Compared to the parents, teachers, coaches, guardians, friends, not to mention millions who are unacquainted with any Olympian personally who have put change in paper cups, borrowed on their homes, their life insurance policies, sometimes even their actual physical parts – Donald J. Trump is a piker! A fraud.
And he still doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “sacrifice.”
Lest readers imagine that it’s only Donald Trump who has driven us nuts, let him/her be assured that’s not true. Mrs. Clinton is better only in that she doesn’t put forward the past as heaven, but is – albeit in baby-steps- interested in the future. Will much change under her guidance? No. She’s as tied to the ways of the past as we are. Both she and the Donald are too old, in fact, to deal with the future. Both she and the Donald are gamesters: they’ve learned the rules of the road and they’re playing by them, regardless of the carnage on the shoulders as they speed by on the way to amassing their personal fortunes. Neither is honest.
Which leads us back to Diogenes, the ancient Greek who spent his lifetime searching for, and failing to find, one honest man.
What Hillary does not do is insult her followers. The Donald’s every utterance is an insult to the hard-working, hard-dreaming, hard-tempered and disappointed millions who, for reasons beyond comprehension, have come to believe that he can do something to help them. By continually trashing the US of A – its will to win, its will to work, its will to grow – he bashes the citizens who doggedly have held on, who still cry while watching our flag raised at the Olympics, who still believe they are not at the end of the road but have enough time left to hoist the nation back into the pantheon of the extraordinary.
Finally, what sends us over the edge is that Donald J. Trump has no hope in his heart. He’s seen the world, “studied” it, and decided it’s fragmenting. Which may in fact be true, but without hope for rebuilding, for erecting new industries, customs, citizens, offers nothing but failure. He has convinced his followers that hope matters less than force, that honesty no longer exists, that our allies are worthless. That living in America is a hopeless exercise, too, without himself as Big Daddy.
He forgets that this country left the embrace of Big Daddy in 1776 and has since grown, prospered, and become the world’s beacon for the needy, for the imaginative, for the families willing to work hours beyond belief and in conditions that might be horrible to others in order to become part of our land and its history.
He forgets that we are a country of laws, not threats.
Lastly, he imagines that should he not become president it will be because he has been cheated at the polls. Perhaps in the end he’ll pick up his toys and leave.
He will lose, not because he’s dishonest but because America is as honest as it can be and human to this very day.