International Policy Digest

Gage Skidmore
Politics /22 Jun 2020
06.22.20

Trump Tees Off…and Whiffs

With a promised gallery of a million ticketed fans, Our Maximum Hero strode forth manfully. His ball had been teed up for him by his faithful caddy Mike Pence, so he didn’t have to bend over. Our Hero doesn’t like to bend over. Feels that he doesn’t look his best when bending over. Tough guys never bend over. Only losers bend over. The noisy crowd gasped as he went into his marvelous backswing. The head of the club raced toward the waiting ball…and…he whiffed!

Missed the little sucker completely. Not even so much as a snap hook or vicious slice. The ball didn’t even dribble off the tee. Someone in the crowd shouted, “he whiffed” and was quickly grabbed and dragged away by the Secret Service.

“Just a practice swing, folks” stammered Our Hero after a long awkward pause. “Crooked Hillary did it all the time.”

“It was Bill, not Hillary! And he didn’t whiff. He took mulligans.” Shouted another fan before he too was dragged away by the Secret Service.

But enough of the golf analogy. I could continue but my copy gets weaker after this. I’m sure that at least some of you get my point. No doubt more of you get it today than did before The Great Event took place. Even I wasn’t sure that The Great Event was going to be The Great Flop. The kickoff to the campaign to propel Donald Trump into a second term. History in the making? Would Trump’s promised million come up 990,000, short? That was way beyond my expectations. Which brings to mind a lyric from the Bard of Hibbing, Minnesota, Bob Dylan:

“Something’s happening here but you don’t know what it is. Do you Mister Jones?”

I’m sure Bob wasn’t thinking politics at the time, but it fits the situation now. There are a lot of “Mr. Jones’s” out there today. And the biggest fattest one is Donald Trump who has spent the last four years proving not only that he doesn’t know what it is, but that he wouldn’t care even if he did know. And behind him march the roughly 40% of the American people who also don’t know and don’t care. Does Trump’s Tulsa debacle indicate that some of his pet lemmings are no longer willing to follow him over the edge of the cliff? That may not matter now. Unless the November 3 election is even more rigged and distorted than 2016 40% isn’t gonna’ cut it. Maybe only 6% have come to see the light behind The Great Con Man’s slick well-financed smokescreen but no matter how things are cut and sliced and gerrymandered that will be enough. Even the honchos of the Republican Party know it, though they’ll never admit it. Pretty soon they’ll all be concentrating on covering their own asses while letting Trump’s bare buttocks hang out for all to see. I’m sure some of them are writing him off even as we speak.

For Donald Trump, it has always been “the visuals” that count. He doesn’t care what he says. One day’s pack of lies and misinformation can always be replaced with the next day’s contradictory bullshit. A man who stands for nothing save his own bloated ego doesn’t have any political philosophy, or morality, or science, or humanity. The media has been boring us to death with stories that assume he does or could have, or should have. “If only the president would…” is such a Republican mantra that it has become a punch line. A punch line for those “reasonable” Republicans who are trying to straddle the fence between the rational voters in their constituencies and a deranged madman. But who cares about them and their crumbling brain dead party, for Trump nothing matters but “mirror, mirror, on the wall.” Tulsa has shattered his mirror. He may not know it yet. He may never know it. The man whose whole career, both “business” and political is based on an illusion is about to be hoisted on his own petard.

The “visuals” said it all at Tulsa. The giant “Star Wars” TV monitors readied for the overflow crowds outside the auditorium. Fired up and tested. A few dozen people stood in front of one of them watching the warmup speakers until the same crew that had done the set up an hour earlier hustled in to shut it down and haul it away. Once the giant screen went blank the onlookers sauntered off, not into the auditorium where there were still thousands of empty seats, but back to their homes or hotels. And inside? 19,000 seats, maybe half of them full. The same people as usual behind Trump when he began to speak. Are they groupies or does he pay them? One or two minorities, a good showing of women looking like ex-cheerleaders. The standard eye-candy babes of his entourage. The men, mostly brawny, buff, and a bit threatening. No sissy facemasks for them, or 95% of the crowd. In your face politically correct pussies!

But when the obligatory closeup shot with its usual staged enthusiasm widened the empty seats became apparent and the hall looked like a Minnesota Twins game in April with piles of snow on the sidelines. But it wasn’t just the empty seats that shocked. It was what was in the full ones. I had to search hard to find one graybeard who looked as old as I am (75). Not many frizzy-haired old ladies either. Not all that many women of any age. Could it be there are some traitors who aren’t sure of Doctor Trump’s medical advice? A goodly supply of obese middle-aged men in attendance. Wonder how many of them are diabetic or have high blood pressure or heart problems? Standin’ tall today, but in a few weeks? Just remember guys John Wayne died at 72.

I watched some of Trump’s glorious speech with the sound turned off on a channel that had him confined to a tiny box in the lower right-hand corner of the screen while the rest of the screen was devoted to more important things like the dangerous anarchists massing to attack the faithful. There were only a couple hundred of them and they didn’t seem to be massing to attack anyone (and were blocks away from their ‘target’). I didn’t hear the “highlights” of his rant until the next day. All the usual crap delivered in his patented whining meandering “drunk at the end of the bar” tone and manner. The only thing new, a ten-minute soliloquy on walking down a ramp and lifting a glass of water to his trembling lips. No wonder some of those fat middle-aged guys up in the “cheap seats” were nodding off. One even looked like he had fallen asleep. Fallen asleep at a Trump rally? The end must be near.

From now on the only way I’m going to watch Trump coverage if he’s in that tiny box at the lower right corner of the screen because that’s where he deserves to be. And I’m not going to listen to any audio, either his or that of any commentators. I already know everything I need to know. Most importantly I know that “it’s all visual, babe” and Trump’s visuals aren’t going to get any better from here on in.