Pick any half decent science fiction film. They always muck with the timeline—Back to the Future, Star Trek, Terminator. The premise is always the same—something catastrophic occurs in the distant past, the hero must return to fix it, and when the pivotal moment arrives, the hero must choose a different path in order to repair the timeline. Trump has proven that he does not watch science fiction, as he habitually repeats the same feckless loop resulting in a presidential timeline that can never be repaired.
Following Charlottesville, after the murder of Heather Heyer, Trump had an opportunity to denounce the white supremacists. He failed. The next day, he reset, and tried to repair the timeline with appeasing statements, only to return to his original statements when challenged by the press. To this day, his “…fine people on both sides,” continues to be the dog whistle that echo’s through this reality, never to be altered or corrected. The racist timeline remains intact and history will judge it as that. Similar, is Trump’s recent refusal to acknowledge that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was complicit in the murder of Washington Post writer Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi. Trump railing against his own intelligence agencies, stubbornly refuses to hold the Saudi prince responsible. The very fabric of time has been shredded.
In Trump’s revisionist tweeting of history, the president is caught in a time loop. It was the very ineffectiveness of this approach that returned the House to the Democrats in the recent mid-term election. Trump’s own shortsightedness and inability to adapt was the catalyst for the blue tidal wave that submerged Trump’s mid-term hopes, washing away everything but his Twitter account, once bull horn, now reduced to simply a message in a bottle.
Trump hasn’t learned that denial, blatant bald contradictions are now rendered ineffective. Last Friday, following a number of court filings, Trump tweeted, “Totally clears the President. Thank you!” Yet another example of Trump’s upside down universe as the court documents in fact implicated the president in a felony.
The president is in distress as his reality, the one he had lorded over and forced upon others, now begins to dissolve into the larger universe where the majority of Americans live. For the first time in his presidency, or perhaps his gold-plated existence, Trump is forced to live in the real world where there are real consequences as Mueller continues to connect more dots in Trump’s relationship with Russia, and where Cohen has recently admitted to breaking of campaign finance legislation at Trump’s direction. Trump’s existential threat extends not only to himself and his presidency, but to his children as well. The Trump brand is but a tarnished coin in Trump’s new world.
Come January, the House will begin their investigations that will look here, and there, flexing their subpoena power to affect answers.
If Trump wants to continue his presidency, he needs to break the loop. Although many questions remain about Trump’s immediate future, one fact is not in dispute—Trump’s reality continues to dissolve. Where will it stop? Only time will tell.
k.g. Sambrano is a Canadian writer known for his works of literary fiction and poetry, and is an occasional freelance political writer. His latest book, Trump- the First 365 Days: America’s Fight for America was released on February 20, 2018.