The jellyfish of August

Donald J. Trump is a grotesque figure and utterly transparent. It’s obvious he believes in nothing and so he’s also completely translucent. There are no interior details to examine. His identity is whatever he attaches himself to today, whatever he wants to be at this moment, whatever suits his immediate needs or desires. He changes form that easily. It’s disturbing. He must be a deeply wounded person and could benefit from years of professional psychological help. At seventy years of age though, he’s running out of time. And so are we. And so is the United States and the world. Seven months into his term and it’s only going to get worse. We’re nowhere near bottom. I suspect we’ll see a campaign-style rally for the president very soon, to boost his fragile, fractured ego, and then a full-on foreign war this fall. The upcoming rally will be held at an Air Force base or on an Evangelical college campus. Once again, as in mid 2016, a gleeful crowd will cheer his name and chant his slogans. This president after all needs to be told constantly that he’s wonderful. He wants to be adored. And he wants more than anything for the press to love him unconditionally. They won’t, so he despises them. He ran for office on an open racism rather than the usual dog-whistle politics. This should’ve got him voted out in the primaries. Instead he won the Oval Office after a general election in which nothing of substance was discussed and during which he faced a candidate who was hated almost as much as he was. He continues to campaign to this day, even though he’s held the presidency since January and was elected nearly a year ago. That campaigning includes what we saw yesterday: an American president again equivocating on neo-Nazis and racial violence. It’s truly astounding. What’s more astounding to me, though, is the silence, in many quarters, of those Americans on the right and center-right who should know better. If a person cannot speak up against Trump now because he or she is somehow lashed to Fox News or the GOP, then there’s no point to thinking anymore. Hand in your brain. Turn yourself inside out. You’ve become translucent like Trump and the jellyfish of August. You have no interior details left to examine.

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