Donald Trump's UnReal Reality
Republicans and Democrats have historically had markedly different ideas about the way the world works and the appropriate role of government should play in society. But we at least had a shared set of ideals loosely defined as “American values” and we seemed to inhabit roughly the same reality.
Trump’s election changed all that. Our internal divisions have grown angry and feral with incoherent, spittle-flecked rage and we no longer seem to inhabit the same reality or share the same virtues.
Some Americans, like myself, feel that we should remain a land of opportunity, a beacon of hope whose light of Democracy shines so bright it can be seen the world over. Others feel that Mexican families striving for a better life in the United States should be eaten by killer alligators in the deadly moat separating us from our neighbors to the south as a cautionary warning to other desperate souls who might otherwise be inclined to chase their own American dream, to lunge for their tiny little sliver of the pie even if it means risking their own life in the process.
Trump warned us early on that reality had no place in his world and his administration. “Alternative facts” was the unfortunately unforgettable turn of phrase employed by Kellyanne Conway to describe how Trump’s “facts” don’t always align with “facts” as we know them on account of all being goddamned lies Trump angrily insists be treated not just as true but as truth bombs powerful enough to blow up the entire D.C Swamp, or at least the small part of it not currently employed in high-level positions in his administration.
Trump has spent the last three years conditioning us to not believe our eyes or ears or the words of a media he has repeatedly branded the enemy of the American people. He has branded all news that is not overwhelmingly, if not exclusively, gushing and deferential and glowing in its treatment of him as “Fake News”, part of an organized conspiracy involving the failing New York Times, The Washington Post, Robert Mueller, James Comey and Crooked Hillary to overthrow the will of the American people and violently eject him from office despite being, in his mind, literally the greatest and most effective president of all time, way better than that Lincoln loser.
In the reality that you and I inhabit, Trump is cos-playing the sweat-soaked, paranoid, tragic final days of Nixon 24/7 as he rages profanely and incoherently at a world he does not understand and will never forgive for regularly challenging his self-perception as God’s gift to humanity.
But to his fawning admirers, Trump is a hero who selflessly gave up a cushy life as a billionaire with a hit television show so that he could serve the American people, so that he could use his toughness, and smarts, and intuitive business genius to make life better for every American, even those that publicize their all-consuming hatred of him.
Here’s how profound the disconnect is between Trump die-hards and sane, decent human beings; many of his evangelical supporters LITERALLY believe that Mr. “Grab Em’ By the Pussy”, with his very public history of paying hush money to porn stars and playmates he cheated on his wife with, was chosen by God to lead the American people to the path of righteousness. To these lunatics, Trump isn’t Hitler in the bunker aggressively losing his already shaky grasp on reality; he’s Churchill making the bold moves that will defeat Hitler and make the world safe for democracy.
There are people throughout this nation praying to God every night that the waking nightmare that is Trump’s presidency will last as long as legally possible, that this never-ending madness will continue for five unspeakably perilous more years.
Where folks in my reality look at Trump’s embarrassing public flailing and see an over-the-hill boxer swinging wildly in all directions and hitting nothing before soiling himself and then starting to cry as he screeches that it’s all Crooked Hillary’s fault he’s not winning his supporters see a political Muhammad Ali using brains as well as brawn to lull his enemies into a false sense of security so he can destroy them at the appropriate time.
It’s understandable why Trump would continually deride our objective reality as false, as “FAKE NEWS”, as part of a sinister campaign by the press, the true enemy of the American people, to subvert his power and authority. Trump comes off TERRIBLY in our reality. He’s a fucking monster, a hate-poisoned narcissist devoted exclusively to his own selfish interests.
Things are way different in Trump’s “reality”, which we know as “fantasy” and “fiction” and “crazed self-mythologizing.” In this reality Trump has drained the Swamp, done more for “The Blacks” than anyone since Lincoln (and how do they re-pay him?), chosen “the best people” for a revolving door cabinet full of people Trump later decides are actually sub-human mouth-breathers he only gave a job because he felt sorry for them, and is not just LEADING our nation like it’s never been led before but SAVING our nation.
So don’t expect Trump to acknowledge a reality full of nothing but inconvenient truths any time soon. Unfortunately the same seems to be true of his cultists and die-hards, who seem willing to fight and die defending their rancid hero’s evil and lies. If the last four years haven’t cured them of their unconditional, uncritical, all-consuming and character-defining Trump love yet, I suspect nothing will.
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