Karma as Justice — -women, minorities troll the Trump reelection bid.
TICS AND TELLS
For all who feared Joe Biden would be a gaffe machine, or appear frail and old as the campaign wore on, or thought his boyhood stutter return and would lead some voters to believe it was a sign of cognitive loss, we can relax.
I include myself among those who worried that this election campaign would be a test of wills — -as in last wills and testaments. I recall those awkward moments on the campaign trail when Joe challenged a questioner to do pushups, or offered to arm wrestle, or used “man” like a Maynard G. Krebs-era relic (wiki him if you are too young or don’t subscribe to Antenna TV.) Joe has a boatload of tics and tells that indicate his age and remind us that he was born before generations had letter names, His views on governance, however, are hardly calcified and belong to an ageless American theme. At 77 years-old his message is resurgent and embraces a future far different than that of his opponent. His choice of a black female as his running mate is further evidence that despite his age, he gets it. Joe and Kamala are, well, woke!
At this late stage in the campaign, it appears that Joe’s opponent has gaffed and blundered his way to a looming political defeat. Trump’s age and flaws are all on display. For all but his base, the more of him you see and hear, the more likely you are to recoil. Joe, on the other hand, has survived and prospered in the limelight. Like a male Sally Field, you like him, you really like him. Choosing Kamala Harris as his running mate may indeed prove to be his masterstroke, a secret weapon against an opponent who is inept and befuddled dealing with both women and minorities.
WHO’S LOCKING UP WHOM?
Donald Trump has bought into his own misguided perception of himself as invincible. The virus was the final indicator that his Midas touch, believing he had reinvented retail politics and could replace kissing babies with porn stars, was a curse, a cruel hoax. Fate had teased him with power that was unearned and ephemeral. There is no overwrought James Comey this time out to provide him cover; no Clinton emails to pillory; no secretive Russian campaign to surreptitiously misinform and divide us. As the saying goes.”Fool us once…”
No, Trump, ever derivative, hardly creative, is reduced to an overtly fraudulent plot, concocted in Russia and spun by Rudolph (the red-nosed) Giuliani. The latest email scandal involves a conveniently abandoned laptop with a compromised hard drive, dropped off anonymously at a Delaware computer repair shop, belonging to — — you guessed it, Hunter Biden. The computer guy when pressed for information about the laptop he worked on for free, was cryptic when pressed for more details:
The shameless plot befitting a shameless president was orphaned by its authors at the New York Post, who refused the byline and hid behind their computer screens, obviously searching for lifeguards as well.
Trump is reduced to leading chants to “lock-up” his opponents even as his administration has had at least 8 close associates indicted for crimes committed on behalf of the Trump campaign and administration. In addition, it is with the full knowledge that he, himself, has been identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in crimes committed on his behalf by Michael Cohen, his personal lawyer. It takes a special brand of hutzpah, a deepening sense of desperation, to go on the stump consciously reminding the nation of crimes associated with your own crew. For Trump, the battle for the presidency has become a race against statutes of limitations and his own vulnerability to prosecution once he leaves office.
The past four years have taken the sheen off our own bloated view of ourselves. In Trump, we have been humbled. I am reminded of a passage from the New Testament that, ironically, pertains to all of us. It is both revelatory and oddly timely — -a passage that could pertain to both Trump and to those who hold dear the theory of American exceptionalism:
For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you. — 1 Corintians 4:7
The president’s deliberate and reflexive answers in recent Town Halls and debates clearly demonstrate that his plan was never to inform or defend, but to disrupt. His pre-debate attacks on the moderator of the upcoming (maybe) third debate and the news that he abruptly ended his 60 Minutes interview with Leslie Stahl are further evidence of his cynical strategy. Given an opportunity to speak compellingly to a national audience about his accomplishments, Trump’s cat-fits and contretemps are his way of hiding the truth — that they are few. That all three moderators in question are women, only adds to the recognition Trump is a man under siege by self-spawned demons. He is cracking up in front of us in real-time on our television screens. The race has become the ultimate presidential version of reality TV’s “Big Brother” where the “warts and all” are the stars that compel our attention.
What is most telling is his inability to deal with the fact that he must answer to anyone, let alone a woman. There it is. Compare his reaction to Chris Wallace’s questioning and Savannah Guthrie’s. Trump is so at home running over, under, around, and through Wallace’s attempted moderation but becomes apoplectic when a woman dares to demand an answer.
Paul’s question above, “who regards you as superior,” is really the underlying insecurity that lies within the Trump psyche. The answer is “few”, as in those from whom he could command respect, adoration, and dominion. The presidency is Trump’s ultimate conundrum, the office, and not the person, commands the respect of the governed. His current position has offered him the opportunity to wield great power, a perk he has wasted and misused. However, the presidency has also provided him a sinecure from the awful consequences of his own overly documented personal life. The political crimes are certainly front and center in this discussion, but with his choice to enter the political arena he has been revealed to be racist, misogynist, a bully, and a dullard. Most if not all the “love” he has experienced in his lifetime has been either bartered or paid for. Unfortunately for the Donald, there are no electoral prenups, no voter NDA’s to protect him from himself. His bristling over the size of his hands when he campaigned for the nomination has been repurposed to support his claims of outsized wealth and crafty business sense. The bankruptcies prove those lies.
In a world in which justice is karma, the coming election is a window into Trump’s greatest fear. The man who has been credibly alleged to have forced non-consensual sexual advances by 26 women has been laid bare by women journalists who have stripped the emperor of his fig-leafed pretense of governing. Sure, he could shake off allegations of his human failings, they have been carefully nurtured and embedded in his DNA. What he cannot abide in is the public humiliation that awaits a loss. In a wave that would most likely be led by minorities and women, his undoing could not be more emasculating, could not be more appropriate.
Originally published at https://www.dailykos.com on October 22, 2020.