"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

The Circus Is Coming To Washington - Trump's Big Top Is Back!

'Impossible', say progressive Democrats who have assumed that someone as evil as Donald Trump would be gone forever, dismissed, discredited, and eliminated.  If evil were not enough, his various lawsuits should be compelling evidence of his moral, civic, and financial corruption.  Yet, here is is, beating their man in battleground states, coming on like gangbusters, not chastened or diminished one bit by the legal initiatives against him but energized and as comedic, insulting, and outrageous as he ever has been.

 "I'm back"

Meanwhile Biden supporters are nonplussed - befuddled, shocked, and in paralytic disbelief.  All their work, all their efforts to ridicule the former president has come to naught.  Their claims of misogyny, racism, homophobia, and capitalist greed have fallen on deaf ears.  If anything Donald Trump is more popular than ever before.  How could this be?

It certainly could be and is the perfect storm -  a wildly popular former president and a doddering, balky, current on not sure of what's what let alone the nation's business. The more the passionate left ramps up demands for transgender athletes and double-surrogate mother/father gay men; the more they hammer on about the rightful place of the black man atop the human pyramid and the toppling of the white man; and the more they howl about the rightness of unlimited brown people from below the border, the more Trump gains in the polls 

Enough wokeness, enough 'infrastructure' blank checks for corrupt municipalities, enough billions for a Ukrainian war supported on the basis of principle not geopolitical reality and too little support for Israel, America's only true ally. 

Americans love Trump's Borscht Belt one-liners, roasting AOC and her claques, pillorying the side show transgender sideshow headliners showing in the Administration, exposing the weird eccentricities of 'inclusivity' and revival of discredited Soviet-era ideas.  He is a one man Henny Youngman, Jackie Mason, and Buddy Hackett - a hilarious, untamed, outrageous spieler.  

His imitations, his accents, his build-ups and pauses had a comedian’s timing.  His lambasting of the Left’s toppling of the statues of Jefferson, Grant, and Washington showed the comedic master’s understanding that ridicule, not umbrage, gets laughs and exposes the idiocy of the cancel culture.

Every Northern Liberal, shouts Trump, has a slaver in his family tree; a greedy, land-grabbing capitalist, and anti-Semitic misogynist, so what’s the big fucking deal?  He goes after the secular, anti-religious liberal creeds. “Black Lives Matter, Women’s Rights Are Human Rights, No Human Is Illegal, Love Is Love, and Kindness Is Everything” nostrums that have replaced the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds.

This president has been one of a kind – a one-man circus act and vaudeville headliner all rolled into one, a Borscht Belt comedian with timing, irreverence, and honest humor.  Who said that there was one way of ‘acting presidential’? Who said that the Eastern image, the Upper West Side image of a president was the only one?  Most Americans are either like Trump or want to be like him – rich enough to have trophy wives and girlfriends, yachts, five homes, and enough money to say screw you.  They are as Las Vegas glitz and cheap glamour as he is.  They are as fake news, soap opera, Hollywood, and the mean streets as he is.  Finally they have a president who is one of them.

He, more than any temperate middle-of-the-road political observer who laments the erosion of free speech, the rise of the cancel culture, the pervasiveness of intellectual campus shutdowns, calls out progressives for their rabid, hump-and-jump faux reformist hysteria.  Of course he has played fast and loose with the law.  Who said that New York real estate was a fussy, girly-girly girl, make nice business?  What man of Hollywood and Las Vegas ever played close to the vest?  And who cares? The man in the White House is past-his-pull-date fairytale idealist whose bedtime reading is Goodnight Moon. 

Donald Trump has a genius for understanding Americans, our love of glitz, ribbons, and tinsel, our dismissal of the somber and the presumptuous   Thanks to his intelligence, arrogant confidence, absolute ambition, and vaudevillian sense of timing and audience appeal, he has just begun another perfect electoral campaign. 

Donald Trump is a man of Hollywood, Las Vegas, vaudeville, and Barnum & Bailey.  He is the first candidate to understand – and embody – our deliberately illogical preferences, our passionate anti-intellectual populism, and our anti-establishment moral rectitude. Issues don’t matter for either him or for his supporters.  Not even Ronald Reagan stirred so many legitimate aspirations.  No more logic, issues, and moderation.  The way forward is visceral, and absolute.  There is no on-the-one-hand-on-the-other dispassionate consideration here. The circus is the message.

The problem is that Biden will have to run against the most savvy vaudevillian circus performer in the nation’s history.  Trump’s entire first term has been resetting the political calculus.  No more political correctness, compromise, respectful debate, or honorable disagreement.  Trump has been a clown, a comedian, a bare-knuckles John L Sullivan street fighter, a man cut from an American cloth with an amoral approach to power and individual interest.  Biden will be sorely tested by this master of sarcasm, cynical darts, and innuendos.

Trump has always played fast and loose with the facts, and by so doing  has invigorated his base and enraged his opposition.  His supporters know that there is no such thing as ‘the truth’ – everything is distorted, manipulated, transformed, and reconfigured to suit political ends; every politician is venal and self-serving; and that there is no such thing as higher values in politics.  So his supporters love Trump’s railing at the media’s fake news; at  his dismissal of Democrats’ Salem witch hunts and rigged trials; at his low blows and irremediable politically incorrect references.

So the flaps to the Big Top are now open, and the circus is coming to town.  This will be a once in a lifetime campaign, and win or lose, the Trump circus has been a wild, unpredictable and fun ride; and many hope that it will continue. 

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