Five Days and Counting Down

trump[Dear reader: If you have just come to this website for the fiftieth time to see if I have finally got off my ass and written something, I apologize to you. I created the expectation that I would have content here for your consideration with reasonable frequency, and I have not delivered. Mea culpa. Moreover, this is the second long, unexplained, absence in less than a year. Mea culpa maxima.

I don’t know the right label for the syndrome — depression, writer’s block, burnout, Deep Ennui, aggravated laziness or what. I don’t know if, or when, or for how long, it will come for me again. But today, it has let me out of my dungeon to frolic in the sun and spread cheer and good will. Carpe diem. — Tom Lewis]

Five days into the Trump Administration and there can be no doubt about what to expect for the next four years. Any delusions we may have had that he is not delusional, any benefits of doubt we were willing to grant that he is not a thin-skinned egomaniac, any hope we had that he will not destroy what is left of our poor country, all of that was stood up against a wall and shot, by Trump himself, doing what he has always done but doing it now as President.

The most vile face of the future was shown to us all on Saturday night, when an obviously rattled Trump functionary, under orders from his furious boss, summoned the White House press corps to a tonguelashing. Looking in his ill fitting suit like a cross between Beaker the Muppet and a KGB interrogator, Press Secretary Sean Spicer harangued the press corps for daring to spread the truth — that there were fewer people at Trump’s inauguration than at Obama’s, or at the Womens’ March the next day. Never mind the objective and conclusive photographic evidence, he told them, they should instead be reporting that Trump’s ascension was watched by “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe.”

Then came the truly ugly part. Remember, this is day two of a new administration. Yet there is the spokesman of the Ministry of Truth telling that nation’s press that if they continue to prefer documented reality to the Donald’s self-aggrandizing fantasies, they should expect to be “held accountable.” “That,” said an obviously shocked White-House correspondent later, “was a threat.”

If this does not make you recall every movie you’ve ever seen about the advent of a Reich or a Soviet or a Great Leap Forward, then you haven’t been watching this movie closely enough. Let’s review:

Day One: In a speech to CIA personnel dragged into the office for a Saturday soiree, Trump says of the Iraq War, “we should have kept the oil. Maybe we’ll get another chance.” Holy crap! There’s going to be a do-over?

Day Two: “You will be held accountable.” What’s all that noise in the Rose Garden? Are they building a scaffold? No. Not yet.

Day Four: The President declares the day of his ascension to have been a national holiday, proclaimed after the fact as “A National Day of Patriotic Devotion.” Don’t you wish we had known at the time? So we could have been more devoted, and got the day off? Sales of Orwell’s 1984 skyrocket across the country. [Do we have a Ministry of Truth yet?]

Day Five: Almost immediately after the mayor of Chicago suggests that Trump should have more important things to do than worry about his crowd size,  the Donald tweets that if Chicago doesn’t get its “carnage” under control, maybe he should send in the “feds.” To conquer crime? Or to shut up the mayor?

Let the word go forth from this time and place: It is no longer possible for the densest among us to overestimate the Donald’s intelligence or to underestimate his self-regard. With regard to his intelligence:

  • When he says we should have kept the oil, he obviously has not the slightest idea what he is saying. Does he think the oil in Iraq was available at taps, for people to fill their tanks and sail away? Does he think someone somehow got the oil out of the ground, transported it hundred of miles to ports and distribution points, ready to go. Does he think?
  • When he says that unless Chicago gets its murder rate down he might send in the “feds;”
    • what does he mean by feds? FBI? Homeland Security? Federalized National Guard? Answer: he doesn’t know what he means. Stop thinking that he does, when he riffs out vague, easy solutions. He’s not concealing the answer from you, he doesn’t have an answer.
    • does he really believe the solution to violent crime is simply armed force? Of course he does, and why should anyone be surprised? He has never read a book or finished a complex thought, and he comprehends the principle of cause-and-effect at the level of an eight-year-old.

With regard to self regard: Donald Trump obviously believes, as his supporters do, that he has been elected King. He and he alone will declare wars and cancel treaties and direct the affairs of enormous corporations and put his enemies in jail. He and he alone will lower taxes and invest in infrastructure and reopen West Virginia coal mines and bar Muslims from the country. He seems to believe this. His supporters believe it entirely.

He is, as Forrest Gump said, “not a smart man.” By the time he figures these things out he will already be running out of time. By the time his supporters figure it out, he had better be in hiding.

I know I will be, because by that time the world will have had its way with us.

Do you get it yet? The most powerful country on earth has been turned over to a profoundly ignorant, vengeful bully who is intent on convincing us that he, and he alone, can save us. And if we don’t see that on our own, well, has has command of a bunch of “feds” now.

It’s going to be a rough ride, starting five days ago.


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20 Responses to Five Days and Counting Down

  1. R G says:

    The Air Apparent

    Devoid of the least majesty,
    I can’t abide this travesty.
    I hear the song with utmost grief;
    The words transposed:”Hail to the Thief”.
    He, with every addled neuron,
    President? an oxymoron.
    An inept abomination
    Destined to mislead the nation.
    Not just another talking head,
    He flaunts his ignorance instead.
    He is, in absence of a brain,
    America’s Le Petomane.
    Good grammar joins the darker arts
    When speaking from your nether parts.
    So ring the fractured victory bell
    To celebrate triumphant Hell.
    The Devil’s Choice anoints a ring
    Of Demons to surround their King.
    Their knowledge, ethics, expertise
    Is comparable to that of fleas.
    Accomplished human parasites,
    Have greed’s rewards within their sights.
    Every sin is now set free
    By absolution, for a fee.
    Now must we genuflect and cower
    At ravings from the Coning Tower.
    Lewd Mayhem seized the Jester’s crown.
    Democracy has birthed a clown.

  2. roy says:

    The clock in the picture shows the picture of Trump’s crowd was taken an hour after Trump’s address when part of the crowd had cleared out. An example of fake news.

    There were only two choices in this election, Mrs. Clinton, WWIII and extinction or Mr. Trump and Civil war and probable extinction.

    A rising tide raises all ships and so it was with available, affordable and quality energy raising most standards of living. With peak energy starting down the Seneca Cliff we are entering a zero sum game. Trump will use the power of the US to asset strip those he can to maintain the illusion of growth. Eventually he will run into some one who will fight back resulting in extinction.

    Have a nice day.

    • Tom Lewis says:

      The clock in the picture, on the Smithsonian Tower, is broken and has showed the same time — 1:15 — for months. Trump’s face, making his inaugural address, is visible on the large screens in the picture.

  3. Russ Day says:

    Tom – glad you’re back. Have missed your comments. This sea of misery will eventually pass and hopefully some of us will be around to pick up the pieces. Russ

  4. Sara says:

    Any woman who has survived/endured/escaped an abusive relationship could tell you what dRumpf is the minute he opened his mouth. I cringe at the sound of his voice and cannot stand to look at Der Groppenfuhrer. There are some(?) men who, the ‘wronger’ they get, the louder they become. DT is one of those and he was taught that “skill” by Roy Cohn, himself an abhorrent SOB. I don’t think sufficient attention has been given to how one toxic personality has contributed to the development of another. Maybe it could inform us in dealing with and getting rid of this abomination.

  5. Davebee says:

    Wasn’t it Mark Twain who mentioned the economic lunacy involved in the let’s-all-get-rich-scheme of everyone taking in each others laundry?
    Mr. Trump has obviously not received that memo yet.
    Can’t wait to see how all the Infrastructure Build, Great Wall of Mexico and all the other fantasies are ACTUALLY gonna be financed.
    Please tell me: Not by Surf and spin drying..WAAAAHHHH.

  6. Steven Martin says:

    Who to vote for instead? Dems pulled the rug from under Bernie in their corrupt mania to elect a corrupt woman. The woman candidate, an alleged champion of women’s rights, took huge money from the Saudis and Qataris. I hope she goes to prison for her corruption. Study the electoral map. Why not instead get on board to move our country forward.

  7. Tom says:

    Welcome back, Mr. Lewis. I have sincerely missed your thoughts and worried about your mental state.
    Commenting on our on-going extinction is truly tough on the psyche. After working through the various stages of grief (and it does take time), one usually ends up in stage seven (coined by Guy McPherson) – the “fuck it” stage – where the disappointment, depression and disgust at the human condition no longer has the effect of paralyzing the soul, and one can speak ones’ mind.

    Trump at least pulled the U.S. from the TTTP and is actually FIGHTING ISIS now (as opposed to supporting them with arms, but telling the American public that we’re fighting them). Otherwise, I agree completely with your assessment above.

    There are lots of undercurrents flowing along that may change this at any time (like the article saying the GOP is playing along until they can “dump” him, while the Dems are planning impeachment over conflicts of interests, etc.; then there’s always our rogue CIA – controlled independent assassination to consider, and others).

    One thing is for sure: we’re in for some “interesting times” (in the Chinese curse sense) as long as this entire Republican controlled government is in power.

    The Dow hit 20,000 yesterday, but very few noticed that it coincides with our national debt hitting $20 TRILLION! It’s like commenting how beautiful the sky is while your home is collapsing into a sinkhole.

    Looking forward to your continued commentary this year. All the best!

  8. TA Reese says:

    Glad to you’re back at it. And look forward to your take on this new path we are traveling. Events in DC and the world certainly have refocused us on our local community. Not sure any of our centralized systems can withstand the coming upheaval.

  9. Kathleen says:

    We’re seeing the classic first steps toward tyranny:

    Tightening the noose around the press
    Controlling (or trying to control) the news
    Presenting and underlining the Big Lie (“alternative facts”)
    Threatening to jail political opponents
    Moving toward militarization of cities (Chicago)
    Restricting the vote

    And now he wants to reinstitute torture.

    They’re all deeply troubling. All generated by the hollowness inside this deeply troubled man-boy whose inner neediness is so desperate that he cannot accept being anything less than the most, the biggest, the greatest ever, in anything he does. Truth? An inconvenient pebble under the red carpet leading to the throne.

    By creating chaos and casting doubt on our key institutions and processes, he destroys our faith in what makes our republic work.

    I don’t know why I even care, since I subscribe to McPherson’s analysis of our situation. But I can’t go down without a fight against this tiny, tiny, shriveled husk of a person who now controls so much. At least let’s go out with some dignity, holding to the ideals that we claim guide us.

  10. Pintada says:

    I think I checked more than 15 times. LOL

    Everybody deserves a break today, and as things get harder, the breaks may perforce become more frequent. That has been certainly true for me.

    Hang in there buddy,

  11. Rob English says:

    Welcome back, Big Guy!

  12. UnhingedBecauseLucid says:

    I had a particularly shitty day at the near end of a particularly shitty week — Truth be told, it was a delightful surprise to see you back at it; and reading this post with a glass of wine took a burdensome and consuming chunk of angst off of me…

    Glad to see you back at the helm.

  13. Oji says:

    So glad to see your hiatus was not the result of some serious infirmity or accident.

  14. Michael Fretchel says:

    Thank you for writing again! As for a ministry of truth person, I think Steve Bannon falls into that role as perfect as if you auditioned thousands for the part.

  15. Marieann says:

    Your absence was missed. I checked every day you were gone.I remembered your last absence and was sad for you