Donald Trump’s empty bluster


There are certain claims among certain people that are nothing if not inauthentic. I’m referring to the kind of person (you probably know one personally) who publicly brags about the heroic deeds they’d perform if only circumstances would permit them. For example, there are some people who have never served in the military and yet insist they’d be fearless in combat. But that’s not fair to people who have actually and unflinchingly done it. It’s stolen valor, and besides, “nobody likes a braggart” as my grandma used to say. It’s antithetical to the notion of letting one’s deeds speak for themselves. It’s speaking for one’s own deeds without actually performing them, or something.

Then there’s the person who not only brags about what they’d do under perilous circumstances, but blames others for not being able to. I’m thinking of Donald Trump, of course, my go-to man whenever I need a counterexample for human decency.

Trump is the guy I think of when I need to illustrate a point with a small, vicious, uncouth or little man. For example, remember after one of the numerous school shootings Trump claimed he would have single-handedly disarmed the assailant? Yes, while a school was in trauma and parents were shrieking in anguish, Trump made it all about himself. How that example alone, out of literally hundreds of other disgusting examples, didn’t cause Trump’s instantaneous political suicide is one of life’s enduring mysteries. Yet his devotees continue to be exasperatingly devoted.

It really is a mystery to me why he’s so popular with some people in the first place, it really is. We see his archetype on TV all the time. He’s the bully or the villain or the village idiot in the movies. People see someone like Trump on the screen and they’re automatically repulsed. They boo him while rooting for the good guy. He’s Biff to Marty Mcfly. He’s Larry Vaughn to Chief Brody. He’s the lawyer in “Jurassic Park.”

So it was no surprise to me when Trump recently proclaimed that his one regret about January 6 was he didn’t march to the Capitol like everyone else. Trump said he would have, of course, but the secret service stopped him, of course. Sure he would have. No doubt about it. You take one look at Trump and “danger man” is the first thing you think of.

This is the man for whom venereal disease was his personal Vietnam. If only that lousy doctor hadn’t diagnosed him with bone spurs, the story of the conflict in Southeast Asia would have turned out very differently.

   

Why in the name of hell do people admire this man? What in the name of hell am I missing? Is there anyone more automatically disgusting, more viscerally repellent than this stuck up sanctimonious braggart? I’ll never figure it out if I live to be a hundred. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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