On some level, Donald Trump really does see himself as the hero—white hat, steed and all. As a one-time newbie candidate without a platform, it was not coincidental that Trump adopted the Populist approach, one that appealed to the “average” American. His stance on immigration, transgender persons in the military, and most recently his Tax Reform Bill, remains unpopular with the majority of Americans, yet these policies are the white horse upon which Trump believes himself to ride. And the platform that allows him to maintain his political base.
In the New Times interview of July 2017, reporter Maggie Haberman shared a quaint anecdote where Trump’s granddaughter, Arabella, visited the Oval Office during the interview. The interaction between grandfather and granddaughter became a defining moment far beyond anything else he has done, not so much as president, but as a person.
Let me be clear, Trump does not want to be the villain. This is not surprising, as the most poignant villains in literature, film and history, always believe they are fighting for a noble cause.
Marshall McLuhan’s 1960’s mantra, “the medium is the message” could be a vital key to understanding both Donald Trump’s presidency and the seemingly mystical following he has cultivated. Focusing on the impact of the internet and Twitter, rather than the content, provides insight into a baffling political and social phenomenon.
We first noticed it while Trump was still a presidential candidate. It continued into his presidency and seemed to have culminated with the events of Charlottesville, Virginia. While many may think I am referring to racism, I’m not. I’m referring to what may be a pillar of racism—intolerance. The most recent example may be the arrest of a female schoolteacher during what would have been an otherwise peaceful meeting of the Vermilion Parish, but for the fact that a woman dared to challenge the “white” mostly male establishment. But we’ll get back to this.
In Brampton, Ontario a public meeting also took place where a female heckler disrupted the meeting, walking to the front of the room to confront the male speaker, a Sikh. She continued to rant and interrupt the meeting for a little over four minutes as she physically and verbally chastised the speaker. He took control of the situation by speaking of an inclusive Canada where nobody is left behind leading the audience as they chanted, “We welcome you, we support you and we love you.” No violence. No arrest. No handcuffs. No joke. Welcome to Canada.
By way of contrast, let us return to Vermilion Parish where a woman at a school board meeting and is granted an opportunity to speak, during which time she is not unruly or disruptive in the least—not raising her voice or even making threats yet halfway through her questions she is forcibly escorted out by a Deputy Marshal. Seconds later screams emanate from the hallway where the woman is on her knees as the Deputy Marshal attempts, and eventually succeeds in cuffing her and removing her from the building. Continue reading “Opinion | Free Speech, Intolerance, and Violence in the Age of Trump”→
Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury, will not set the Trump administration on fire. Best to look at this new release as fresh kerosene, rather than a flame-thrower. Unless Wolff is able to lead Special Counsel Robert Mueller to where bodies are charred and buried (and thus far the book has not) after the smoke clears, the revelations as to the inner sanctum of the White House promises to have no substantive impact other than gossip. The GOP knows it, loves it and sleeps well at night because of it. In short, Mr. Trump remains the person to support.Continue reading “Opinion | Why the Republican Party Continues to Enable Mr. Trump”→
When my father proposed to my mother, he did so on one knee. The Knighthood ceremony requires the candidate to take one knee before the Queen. When we bend down to speak to a small child, we often do so on one knee. I don’t know why Donald Trump hates one knee so much, but for the simple fact it challenges him— everything he is and ever wanted to become.
The last week has held America’s emotions hostage. Outrage. Shock. Awe. The more we learn about the Niger incident are the more questions we have. Like a hydra, we chop off one bureaucratic head, only for two more to grow in its place. We look for leadership, moral or otherwise, and it’s not to be found. Trump obfuscates his responsibility as Americans and the families of four fallen soldiers are left to piece together the remains of the in Niger incident.
Smash bang crack ‘em up, its crash up time my friend!”
There is a game from my childhood called Smash-Up Derby. It was the only gift Santa did not bring me…until now. The game’s concept was simple—two toy cars get smashed together again and again. You could send them rocketing into walls, tables, and chairs—as their doors and engine hoods blew off on impact, only for you to snap them back together for the next round. The commercial’s jingle — “Bang, crash, smash ‘em up!… Smash-Up Derby is fun!” is the same song echoing through the White House as Donald Trump continues to bang, crash, smash ‘em up with everyone from world leaders to his own Secretary of State. It’s “crash up derby time” for Trump. Continue reading “Opinion | Demolition Man: the Smash-Up Derby of Trump’s presidency”→