I won’t quote the word salad that Donald Trump disgorged in “answer” to one of Sean Hannity’s softball questions. But when, in late June at Trump’s so-called “town hall meeting,” Hannity lobbed Trump the softest of softballs, slow and underhand, about his priorities for his second term, Trump treated his audience and posterity to a verbal rhapsody, with theme and variation on the word “experience,” that not only made no sense in and of itself, but had nothing remotely to do with the question. It was what a Rorschach test would be if it were rendered in words instead of ink blots, and it is what he’s doing more of these days, with fewer consequences from his rabid fan club.
Even so, there must have been enough blowback from memes, tweets and good old-fashioned eleven o’clock news reporting that this laziest of all presidents actually did something approaching work in order to fix it. It’s easy these days to imagine Hannity and Trump plotting the question and answer in advance on one of their nightly private phone chats. Because when Hannity asked the question a second time Trump actually had an answer this time — of sorts.
With weeks to prepare a good answer, he instead came up with a pallid one that, while making ostensible sense, fell far short of what it could have been. “Well, first of all I didn’t know I was criticized for that answer,” Trump began, because we all know how he has no idea what his critics say about him.
Trump continued, “First of all we are going to defeat the invisible enemy, and we’re well on our way, and, as I told you, the mortality rate is tenfold down, we’re going to rebuild the economy, we’re going to bring back jobs from all of these foreign lands that have stolen our jobs on horrible trade deals, we’re going to continue to make great trade deals, we’re going to finish rebuilding our wall, it’s going to be almost complete by the end of this year, or shortly thereafter, it’s made a tremendous difference, you see we’re doing record numbers on the border, very few people are able to get through … we’ve rebuilt the military, 2.5 trillion dollars, we’re fixing up the VA for our vets …” and so on. More about “protecting the second amendment.” More about adding more judges and justices. More about lowering drug prices, and so on.
Trump was clearly reading from a checklist. One that he and Hannity had probably prepared together. It was easy to tell because he’d adopted the same bored, slightly singsong voice he always has when he’s called upon to read something like a list, or a teleprompter or a book. It was just another weary con from the Conman-in-Chief.
But what’s really remarkable about it is how lacklustre and impoverished it was. This is Trump at his best defending his record and making promises for his second term, when it was in fact a laundry list of failures and lies. Trump’s record on “the invisible enemy,” coronavirus, is appalling, and yet he promises to defeat it without saying how. He’s spent the last five months doing nothing but crowing about his February partial travel restrictions on China. By that time coronavirus was already in the United States and making devastating inroads. There’s been little progress since, and America is still facing a raging pandemic with shortages of adequate PPE, and no cohesive government plan for moving forward. America is, in fact, still battling problems that many of her allies have largely solved long ago.
I’m not sure what Trump means when he says that he’s going to bring back jobs “from all of these foreign lands that have stolen our jobs on horrible trade deals.” What lands have stolen the jobs? Whose jobs? Whose trade deals? And hasn’t he been president of the United States for the last four years?
He’s going to finish the wall by the end of the year, he says? How’s he going to do that? In September 2019, Trump said he planned to build 450–500 miles of new wall by the end of 2020. So far only 3 miles have been built. How’s he going to build between 450 and 500 more miles in the next five months, let alone enough to cover the 2,000 mile border? Of course that’s just a lie, and since November isn’t, technically speaking, “the end of the year,” he’s hoping enough idiots will re-elect him on the strength of that lie.
Trump’s record with the military has been disgraceful. His promise to “rebuild the military” is nothing short of ridiculous, since he inherited the strongest military in the history of the world. What he has done instead is label credible intelligence that Vladimir Putin has hired Taliban hitmen to murder American troops in Afghanistan as “fake news.” That’s an appalling betrayal of his duty as Commander-in-Chief and he should be impeached and imprisoned for treason on that count alone. He’s also employed American troops for the disgraceful practice of assaulting American citizens engaged in lawful protests for the sake of a photo op.
Trump’s blather about the Second Amendment is his usual, obvious sop to his ammosexual drooling base. What he really wants to do is spend the next four years playing golf, tweeting, watching TV, and giving “re-election rallies” on the paper-thin pretext that the 22nd Amendment will be repealed.
Trump had a second chance to make good on his first stupid answer. It’s another example of how this weak and little man is constantly being given second chances — and he always blows it. The answer he gave the second time was only marginally less stupid than the first. That his answer had something ostensibly to do with the question was it’s only improvement. It ought to tell you everything you need to know about what Trump plans. He plans to spend the next four years screwing off, using the presidency to stroke his bottomless ego and being the center of national attention.
There are a million reasons why Donald Trump is unfit to be president of the United States, and this has been another of them. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.