Somebody once noticed that George W. Bush was at his most articulate when summoning the martial powers of the presidency. By contrast, when enunciating the softer measures involving the gentler, more charitable aspects of presidential power, Bush would frequently stumble. He would have difficulty finding the right words. His rhythm would break and he’d become a less assured, less effective speaker. When video example after video example of the contrast between Bush as warlord and Bush as peacemaker was shown in juxtaposition, the conclusion was inescapable. For some reason Bush reveled in the role of Mars, somewhat less so in the role of Venus.
Donald Trump is never articulate. Sometimes his written speeches are marginally intelligible, but that is a function of his substandard, occasionally competent speech writers. But when speaking extemporaneously, Trump is a virtual tossed word salad of incoherence. He’s just as bad at speaking as an authoritarian as he is on the rare occasion when he is being conciliatory. So unlike Bush, we are left to distinguish his priorities from his antipathies not by their relative lucidity, but by their number.
Trump loves to speak in authoritarian terms and he does it as often as he can. He enjoys laying down the law and putting people in their place. For Trump, that’s one of the big thrills about being president of the United States. He gets to yell, he gets to hurt people, he gets to threaten and he gets to intimidate. For Donald Trump the presidency is less a bully pulpit than it is a pulpit for a bully. He does it for one reason and one reason alone, because it’s fun. Shouting at people and wielding authority gives him pleasure, like playing golf, like watching Fox News, like eating Big Macs.
I come not to praise George W. Bush, but I will say this about him. For all his faults — and they are legion — I believe on balance that he really did want to do the right thing. The best part of George Bush sincerely wanted to leave America better than when he found it, and he wanted to do it for America’s sake, not his own. While I strenuously disagree with his assessment of what he considered “better,” I do not doubt his sincerity. I do not believe the same of the child raping murderer Donald Trump. Certainly Trump wants to appear to have improved America. He wants to take credit for America being a better place for everyone. But he doesn’t care, not even slightly, if it’s true or not. Appearance is all he cares about. Everything else is academic.
This is why Donald Trump recently claimed he has absolute authority to reopen all the states. He said it not because it’s Constitutional, it isn’t. He said it not because it would be good for the American people, he doesn’t care. He said it not because all the states need to be reopened, some of them haven’t even closed yet. He said it because it’s fun, because it’s cruel, because he is a bully and he likes being a bully. Nothing else — and I do mean nothing else — matters.
Donald Trump isn’t just dangerous and incompetent and incoherent. He’s also a hateful, brutal man, a man who likes to beat people up and mock them and laugh at them. That is his idea of fun. He is a sadist. That’s why he does the job in the first place. Because he gets to play at being the most important person in the room and he can use that importance as a weapon to do harm. He’s a sadistic, evil man. A thousand Americans a day are now dying and all he cares about are his ratings and his image. All that’s important to him right now is that reporters be nice to him. He likes it when they are. He gets to abuse the ones who are not nice, and he likes that too. This is what happens when the Marquis de Sade becomes president of the United States.
For me, Trump’s presidency ceased being about politics a long time ago. It’s now about the question of whether or not America can survive and, by extension, whether or not the world can survive, four more years of this malignant, hateful, little man. I don’t believe America can survive him. I do believe that four more years of George W. Bush would be vexing but survivable, at least. I don’t think America will survive four more years of the child raping murderer Donald Trump, and it’s a coin toss at this point whether or not America can survive four more months of him.
One hundred and eight years to the day after the RMS Titanic went down, we need to learn Titanic’s lesson. We need to stop rearranging the deck chairs and start saving the passengers. We need to unite as a single voice in November and get this child raping, murdering monster out of our White House. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.