I’ve mentioned before, I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions but this year I feel compelled to do so. This one is much needed, but will test my resolve like no other. I have managed to eschew most forms of dependence up till now, and am confident in thinking that I don’t have an addictive personality, and yet, I find myself straddled with a monkey on my back for close to a year. This addiction is perhaps more of an obsession but the results and the pain it causes is the same. That, gentle reader, is my obsession with Donald J Trump! I derive some comfort that I do not suffer from this preoccupation alone; talk of this man infests locker rooms and cocktail parties. A day does not pass without his name, being mentioned in the most unlikely places.
I have spent much time trying to figure out the roots of the Trump phenomenon and why I and many others have fallen victim to it. All I have come up with is that, perhaps, for the first time in history Donald Trump has shown that a president of the United States is not much different from a chubby dictator with a funny haircut, or a shirtless ex KGB operative running to be president for life.
Trump may not have opponents assassinated, yet, or offensive news media silenced but the transgressions this man gets away with in one of the world’s supposedly greatest democracies is really on par with the megalomaniac utterances and actions of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un or Russia’s, take no prisoners, strong man, Vladimir Putin.
Trump has proven time and again that words and deeds truly don’t matter. He can tweet and say anything that comes to his childlike brain: bold face lies, insults, xenophobic, misogynistic, racist screeds, name calling and belittling with impunity. He can admit to acts of misogyny and assault, fire or pardon whomever, whenever he pleases; put his family members in positions of power and practice diplomacy with such reckless abandon that it imperils the rest of the world through ill-advised nuclear brinkmanship with North Korea. Even with insurmountable evidence that Russia is systematically medalling in American elections and taking every opportunity to weaken it, he still holds Putin in high regard. His move to put the American embassy in Jerusalem will forever scuttle any hope for future Isreali-Palestinean peace talks. All the while he vilifies the press as “fake news” whenever it exposes his lies as a Republican Congress and Senate, holding a razor thin majority, line up behind him, for the most part, afraid to call out any of his behaviour, forever showing the world, in my humble opinion, that America has lost its moral compass and all claims to legitimacy.
Where presidents and Hollywood celebrities have been impeached or fired for far less unsavoury and criminal misdeeds Trump remains standing. The Trump White House is like an alternative universe that we gaze upon at our own peril, averting our eyes with horror and fascination.
Whenever I turn on CNN it is like watching a game of whack-a-mole; wondering, some hoping, if Trump’s latest tweet will be his last or will he rise to insult and confuse again, forever tarnishing America’s image.
So, before I lose all hope that the world is going to hell in a hand basket I resolve to stop watching CNN, the network I have affectionately come to refer to as the “All Trump, All the Time Network.” Realistically I only hope to curtail my viewing, cold turkey would be just too hard too bare. I hope in some not too distant viewing our lives will be made great again.