Trump Wasn’t a Symbol, But a Man

 

Trump is done.  But he wasn’t a symbol or a symptom but a man.  Trump is gone, and with him the republic.  There will never be another Jefferson Smith or Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

Trump was a unique man, he did extraordinary things.  He was in many ways larger than life.  And I won’t bring up his failings here, because we all have failings, and are similar to every other man in this regard, but Trump was truly unique, perhaps even great.  Being a billionaire, large or small, is usually accomplishment enough for one man in one lifetime, but to be a longstanding television celebrity, star of his own show, and a billionaire gives him a rarified status.  And to run for political office once and to win the US presidency is another even more rarified accomplishment.  And to – inadvertently perhaps – take on the world’s deepest darkest political organization and to survive to fight another day is another rare feat.

Twitter is very likely gone, or more correctly on the way out, if it is intended to be a neutral public square: it will never be allowed to be.  But Trump has invested his time, money, and energy into creating an alternative to Twitter that will likely survive, even as it will not be the same, or as powerful.

But he is a man.  Old and in good mental and physical condition, but, being now cast in the shadow of Mr. Biden, is being depicted as too old, too subject to mental infirmity, and too likely to die in office should he ever run for public office again.

He is a man who taught us a lot – though some would say inadvertently – about the corruption of government at its highest levels, in the legislature, in the highest court in the land, and especially in his own executive branch; what I would call a runaway branch, and what some including me, would refer to as the de facto Fourth Branch of government, and one supreme to the rest.

He has taught us – again, perhaps inadvertently – that entrenched powers could destroy a US presidential administration through obstruction, planned malingering, deceit, and through the covert spy services which were created to protect the federal government from just such obstruction, deceit, and spying from foreign powers.

He taught us – though possibly inadvertently – that China was indeed our greatest strategic and economic threat.

And he taught us – contrary to the hand-wringing of politicians, political operatives, pundits, and the Press — that Russia and North Korea and Iran could be held at bay, sitting on their haunches, though waiting, licking their lips.

And, like Mr. Smith, the movie, which was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, winning Best Original Story, whether chosen by whim or fate, Trump has shown us that the American public of 1939 is mostly dead.

The public that turned to Trump is largely now turning their backs, saying that his time is past; they are turning to a new incipient American hero who, unlike Trump, cannot manipulate the adversarial Press to boost his candidacy, and who cannot self-fund his election campaign, and who is taking tremendous campaign contributions from and placing himself beholden to the usual establishment financial sources; and who, unlike Trump, is not so much a political innovator but has gotten his start standing on Trump’s shoulders and endorsements, who has learned to treat the Press with disdain as Trump showed him how, and who has been leading the wave of Trump’s political recalcitrance and impertinence, but who now is being wooed, perhaps willingly, into opposing Trump’s political direction.

This mostly dead portion of the populace is now either “over Trump” or, where it is not “over” him, remains in direct opposition to him.  At best, they say that Trump was a stenotic plaque, if you will, a symptom of a sclerotic Republican machinery, a club, a political corporation, whose best interests were never in service to the Americans they professed to represent and whose interests were never their own.

And so, much of the mostly living parts of this mostly dead republic revert to those candidates who go along to get along; voting in elections that are proven to be swayed beyond any so-called margin for fraud by Google’s prioritization algorithms; on electronic black boxes and that all go down simultaneously in important elections, when important Republican voters are most likely to vote in person; with judges who restrain voting centers from staying open late to address these unforeseen election calamities.

And they bewail the result, and speak of messaging and enthusiasm as if it were the cause of an electoral disappointment.

So yes, Trump was a unique man and a sign of the times, but he was also a symbol, a symbol more potent than the “Let’s Go Brandon” chant, so potent that the highest office in the land charged him with being the identifying symbol not of the deplorables, but of terrorism, and White Supremacy, and a Threat to Our Democracy.  And you became the focus of FBI, DOJ, and the government’s related social media companies along with the banking interests it regulates.  And such disdain and legal threatening can only be borne for so long.

I understand why you must now refer to Trump as “former President Trump” and say, He’s gone, and, I’m over him, lest you be singled out for social and political shunning and possible 5 a.m. raids by military commandos wearing police badges.

But let us lament the laying to political rest of Donald John Trump, the man, who showed us so much.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 101 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Trump was a great President.   He blew his own re-election by lack of discipline.    I think DeSantis or Youngkin would be more effective now.

    • #1
  2. Ole Summers Member
    Ole Summers
    @OleSummers

    Well said. Despite some flaws, perhaps some that showed its head today, what we have been left is an opportunity, a chance, perhaps our last one to build on what was a great administration. He gave us that chance at great cost to himself, regardless of the stumbles. That is the real measure of him – what we do with it will be our measure, my concern is deep

    • #2
  3. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Trump was a great President. He blew his own re-election by lack of discipline. I think DeSantis or Youngkin would be more effective now.

    Youngkin is still learning. I don’t trust his instincts. Nope.

    • #3
  4. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):
    He blew his own re-election by lack of discipline.

    Of course I disagree.  But this post isn’t to rehash past election fraud.

    • #4
  5. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    What I like about DJT’s recession is that we’re immediately discussing more than one potentially viable candidate. We’ve got lots of them, now that I think about it. Did anyone else not start surveying the field until just now?

    • #5
  6. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Flicker: This mostly dead portion of the populace is now either “over Trump” or, where it is not “over” him, remains in direct opposition to him.  At best they say that Trump was a stenotic plaque if you will, a symptom of a sclerotic Republican machinery, a club, a political corporation, whose best interests were never in service to the Americans they professed to represent and whose interests were never their own.

    Come back, Shane!

    • #6
  7. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Flicker: This mostly dead portion of the populace is now either “over Trump” or, where it is not “over” him, remains in direct opposition to him. At best they say that Trump was a stenotic plaque if you will, a symptom of a sclerotic Republican machinery, a club, a political corporation, whose best interests were never in service to the Americans they professed to represent and whose interests were never their own.

    Come back, Shane!

    Yeah, I feel that way.  The funny thing is that Trump is probably the only man in my lifetime who actually lost wealth by involving himself in politics rather than become rich by it.

    • #7
  8. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Flicker (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Flicker: This mostly dead portion of the populace is now either “over Trump” or, where it is not “over” him, remains in direct opposition to him. At best they say that Trump was a stenotic plaque if you will, a symptom of a sclerotic Republican machinery, a club, a political corporation, whose best interests were never in service to the Americans they professed to represent and whose interests were never their own.

    Come back, Shane!

    Yeah, I feel that way. The funny thing is that Trump is probably the only man in my lifetime who actually lost wealth by involving himself in politics rather than become rich by it.

    I thought you were deliberately going for the Shane parallel.

    • #8
  9. James Salerno Coolidge
    James Salerno
    @JamesSalerno

    Very well said, Flicker.

    I for one am thankful for Trump’s accomplishments, imperfect as they are. And I’m not turning on the one guy who finally addressed issues the GOP base had been promised would be addressed for decades.

    And I’ll be watching the NeoCons closely. These parasitic Luddites sabotaged MAGA and they’re already jumping onto the DeSantis bandwagon. Pay close attention to who’s saying what over the next two years. The scum that had to be dragged kicking and screaming into MAGA were “over” Trump the day after he lost the election. I have no respect for this filth and I know their subversive tricks.

    • #9
  10. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Symbol or man, bad orange or just well tanned, DJT is done now.

    • #10
  11. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    Flicker: This mostly dead portion of the populace is now either “over Trump” or, where it is not “over” him, remains in direct opposition to him. At best they say that Trump was a stenotic plaque if you will, a symptom of a sclerotic Republican machinery, a club, a political corporation, whose best interests were never in service to the Americans they professed to represent and whose interests were never their own.

    Come back, Shane!

    Yeah, I feel that way. The funny thing is that Trump is probably the only man in my lifetime who actually lost wealth by involving himself in politics rather than become rich by it.

    I thought you were deliberately going for the Shane parallel.

    Not in the OP.  But once you mentioned it, it was clear.  But I think it is a shame to discard and disparage Trump now.  He really gave up a lot to deliver a great service.  And now everyone’s badmouthing and blaming him.

    I’ve never intuitively understood jealousy, but somehow I think that the great comeuppance people celebrate in Trump’s casting out and scapegoating is not righteous indignation but some kind of latent envy.  Clearly I don’t understand the derision, demeaning and disparagement that some people now feel free to express.

    Whatever the reason, it’s all Monday morning quarterbacking.  No one who criticizes him could have accomplished 1% of what Trump did.

    That’s another reason Mr. Smith will never go to Washington again.  Who wants this kind of treatment?

    • #11
  12. lowtech redneck Coolidge
    lowtech redneck
    @lowtech redneck

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik (View Comment):

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Trump was a great President. He blew his own re-election by lack of discipline. I think DeSantis or Youngkin would be more effective now.

    Youngkin is still learning. I don’t trust his instincts. Nope.

    I agree; he’s an exemplary blue state governor, but that does not necessarily make him a good candidate for conservatives at the national level.

    • #12
  13. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    James Salerno (View Comment):

    Very well said, Flicker.

    I for one am thankful for Trump’s accomplishments, imperfect as they are. And I’m not turning on the one guy who finally addressed issues the GOP base had been promised would be addressed for decades.

    And I’ll be watching the NeoCons closely. These parasitic Luddites sabotaged MAGA and they’re already jumping onto the DeSantis bandwagon. Pay close attention to who’s saying what over the next two years. The scum that had to be dragged kicking and screaming into MAGA were “over” Trump the day after he lost the election. I have no respect for this filth and I know their subversive tricks.

    Scouring the Republican Party is job one for the next few cycles. For all the good PDT did, he didn’t manage to leave a legacy. That sad fact is not all his fault. The Republican leadership has a lot to answer for.

    Edit: Ok. Judges. Thank PDT for the judges.

    • #13
  14. lowtech redneck Coolidge
    lowtech redneck
    @lowtech redneck

    Barfly (View Comment):

    What I like about DJT’s recession is that we’re immediately discussing more than one potentially viable candidate. We’ve got lots of them, now that I think about it. Did anyone else not start surveying the field until just now?

    At this point we have exactly one who might meet the requirements; the previously promising veterans have already made too many missteps while the newcomers haven’t proven themselves in word, deed, and accomplishment.

    Edit: unless that was your point, of course.

    • #14
  15. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Symbol or man, bad orange or just well tanned, DJT is done now.

    He’s done because of people who say he’s done.  And maybe “Dementia” Don knows something about DeSantis that most everyone else doesn’t — like what his intentions really are.

    • #15
  16. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Symbol or man, bad orange or just well tanned, DJT is done now.

    He’s done because of people who say he’s done. And maybe “Dementia” Don knows something about DeSantis that most everyone else doesn’t — like what his intentions really are.

    And maybe that whinging, embarrassing email came from a mind bathing in self pity. He’s broken.

    • #16
  17. James Salerno Coolidge
    James Salerno
    @JamesSalerno

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Symbol or man, bad orange or just well tanned, DJT is done now.

    He’s done because of people who say he’s done. And maybe “Dementia” Don knows something about DeSantis that most everyone else doesn’t — like what his intentions really are.

    NeoRon DeSantis?

    • #17
  18. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Symbol or man, bad orange or just well tanned, DJT is done now.

    He’s done because of people who say he’s done. And maybe “Dementia” Don knows something about DeSantis that most everyone else doesn’t — like what his intentions really are.

    Gasp. You’re right. You think he might want to be President? I hadn’t considered that.

    • #18
  19. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    lowtech redneck (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    What I like about DJT’s recession is that we’re immediately discussing more than one potentially viable candidate. We’ve got lots of them, now that I think about it. Did anyone else not start surveying the field until just now?

    At this point we have exactly one who might meet the requirements; the previously promising veterans have already made too many missteps while the newcomers haven’t proven themselves in word, deed, and accomplishment.

    Edit: unless that was your point, of course.

    No, but it’s good I was a little ambiguous. I suspect we do have a decent bench, but we might have to recruit from the private sector again. Remember that Barry Oh was a made man before he was a synthetic phenomenon.

    Edit: Corrected the order of metaphors.

    • #19
  20. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Symbol or man, bad orange or just well tanned, DJT is done now.

    He’s done because of people who say he’s done. And maybe “Dementia” Don knows something about DeSantis that most everyone else doesn’t — like what his intentions really are.

    And maybe that whinging, embarrassing email came from a mind bathing in self pity. He’s broken.

    Maybe Trump has decided not to run, and has decided to whinge.

    • #20
  21. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    James Salerno (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Symbol or man, bad orange or just well tanned, DJT is done now.

    He’s done because of people who say he’s done. And maybe “Dementia” Don knows something about DeSantis that most everyone else doesn’t — like what his intentions really are.

    NeoRon DeSantis?

    I don’t know what DeSantis’ policies are, and he won’t know until he’s in the oval office and gets the first memo.

    I keep thinking of Raul Ryan.  I always thought he was a great guy, right up until the weight was actually placed on his shoulders.

    • #21
  22. James Salerno Coolidge
    James Salerno
    @JamesSalerno

    Flicker (View Comment):

    James Salerno (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Symbol or man, bad orange or just well tanned, DJT is done now.

    He’s done because of people who say he’s done. And maybe “Dementia” Don knows something about DeSantis that most everyone else doesn’t — like what his intentions really are.

    NeoRon DeSantis?

    I don’t know what DeSantis’ policies are, and he won’t know until he’s in the oval office and gets the first memo.

    I keep thinking of Raul Ryan. I always thought he was a great guy, right up until the weight was actually placed on his shoulders.

    DeSantis’s congressional voting record is not good on these particulars, but that’s by no means definitive. I accept the fact that people can change. Youthful exuberance and what not. Just something to consider. 

    • #22
  23. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Symbol or man, bad orange or just well tanned, DJT is done now.

    He’s done because of people who say he’s done. And maybe “Dementia” Don knows something about DeSantis that most everyone else doesn’t — like what his intentions really are.

    Gasp. You’re right. You think he might want to be President? I hadn’t considered that.

    I think he’s inexperienced, unproven, hasn’t been leaned on yet by those who can really lean, has a young wife and children, and has Trump’s freedom or ego but not [his freedom or] determination (ego necessary to wanting to be president being an even 11 across all candidates except JEB!  — a 2 — and perhaps Bernie Sanders — who’s only a 10).

    In short, I think it’s most likely that he will crumple like a cheap suit.

    • #23
  24. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Good one Flicker.  Like the guy’s results as President. But we have a  better candidate to kick D ass. DeSantis.  Which is why Trump going apesh*t over him.  Fla. Gov. just as conservative.  Did a great job in Covid crisis. Stood up to insane Teacher’s Union.  A much more appealing candidate in my opinion. And his wife as hot as Melinia. Sorry, couldn’t resist. And he was Navyjag. So that get’s him some more points. 

    • #24
  25. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    James Salerno (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    James Salerno (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Symbol or man, bad orange or just well tanned, DJT is done now.

    He’s done because of people who say he’s done. And maybe “Dementia” Don knows something about DeSantis that most everyone else doesn’t — like what his intentions really are.

    NeoRon DeSantis?

    I don’t know what DeSantis’ policies are, and he won’t know until he’s in the oval office and gets the first memo.

    I keep thinking of Raul Ryan. I always thought he was a great guy, right up until the weight was actually placed on his shoulders.

    DeSantis’s congressional voting record is not good on these particulars, but that’s by no means definitive. I accept the fact that people can change. Youthful exuberance and what not. Just something to consider.

    I don’t think that the president’s personal views are important anymore.  I’m trying to think of one president who hasn’t gotten us into unnecessary (that is, free-choice) foreign wars or destroyed a country since Reagan.

    Clinton?  And Trump.  I don’t think anyone any longer can withstand the determined force of the MIC and the State Dept.

    • #25
  26. TempTime Member
    TempTime
    @TempTime

    Flicker (View Comment):
    I’ve never intuitively understood jealousy, but somehow I think that the great comeuppance people celebrate in Trump’s casting out and scapegoating is not righteous indignation but some kind of latent envy.  Clearly I don’t understand the derision, demeaning and disparagement that some people now feel free to express.

    I could not agree more.  Particularly with the idea that celebrating, plotting, wishing for the undoing of Trump makes any sense at all.   The level of ugly, NEVER made any sense to me.   The hatred  always seemed too loud, too vicious, too personal;  felt more like betrayal or something visceral.  But what?   It seemed ‘unnatural’;  I was always left wondering, What’s really going on?  This level on raw hate does not originate from reason or ‘harsh tweets’.  So, what is it?

    The only situation I’ve ever experienced in my life, that was similar to such ‘irrational’ levels of ugly reactions/expressed hatred/take-no-prisoners point of view is …  the Coronavirus-SARS-2 …. uh, thing.

    But eventually I realized the Corona thing had to do with triggering primal fear levels.   But what was it about President Trump that could trigger the same level of irrational fear?  Again, I reapeat, it never made sense to me.

    I console myself, by reminding myself of this truth:   ‘You cannot reason with someone who’s perspective/pov/thoughts were not reached via reason.’   (Yes, I am paraphrasing; and no, I cannot recall the author.)

    But perhaps you are correct, it was simply driven by a confluence of deadly sins:  vainglory, covetousness, envy, and wrath.

    P.S.   I disagree about President Trump’s status;  I don’t think he is done by a long shot; as long as he is still breathing.

    • #26
  27. James Salerno Coolidge
    James Salerno
    @JamesSalerno

    Flicker (View Comment):

    James Salerno (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    James Salerno (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Symbol or man, bad orange or just well tanned, DJT is done now.

    He’s done because of people who say he’s done. And maybe “Dementia” Don knows something about DeSantis that most everyone else doesn’t — like what his intentions really are.

    NeoRon DeSantis?

    I don’t know what DeSantis’ policies are, and he won’t know until he’s in the oval office and gets the first memo.

    I keep thinking of Raul Ryan. I always thought he was a great guy, right up until the weight was actually placed on his shoulders.

    DeSantis’s congressional voting record is not good on these particulars, but that’s by no means definitive. I accept the fact that people can change. Youthful exuberance and what not. Just something to consider.

    I don’t think that the president’s personal views are important anymore. I’m trying to think of one president who hasn’t gotten us into unnecessary (that is, free-choice) foreign wars or destroyed a country since Reagan.

    Clinton? And Trump. I don’t think anyone any longer can withstand the determined force of the MIC and the State Dept.

    I hear ya. FWIW, Trump wanted to repair relations with Russia and was called a traitor. Uncovering corruption on a phone call with The Greatest Democratic Country in the World got him impeached.

    Trump wanted to withdraw from Somalia and Mattis told him “you have no choice.”

    Trump started the plan to get us out of Afghanistan, but Biden messed it up for political reasons. In all fairness, Afghanistan was always going to be a mess. And Trump did not have the political capital to do it. Biden did. Trump would have been impeached, again, on the backs of 6 dead soldiers on the 6 o’clock news, in a war that Trump inherited.

    I firmly believe that Trump’s foreign policy was what drove the uni-party’s hatred. What do I think of Trump’s role as head of state? Thumbs in the middle leaning up. Best foreign policy president since Coolidge. 

    • #27
  28. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    navyjag (View Comment):

    Good one Flicker. Like the guy’s results as President. But we have a better candidate to kick D ass. DeSantis. Which is why Trump going apesh*t over him. Fla. Gov. just as conservative. Did a great job in Covid crisis. Stood up to insane Teacher’s Union. A much more appealing candidate in my opinion. And his wife as hot as Melinia. Sorry, couldn’t resist. And he was Navyjag. So that get’s him some more points.

    My real concern with any DeSantis candidacy is whether Casey can even wear 8″ heels.  Melania has set a pretty high bar.

    • #28
  29. J. D. Fitzpatrick Member
    J. D. Fitzpatrick
    @JDFitzpatrick

    I guess we can make all the pronouncements we want and then see what, you know, the GOP voters decide if Trump chooses to run again.

    All those pesky voters who haven’t spent their lifetimes learning how to craft sentences for a crowd of literati … but who have a visceral sense of the danger the country faces and the best candidate to face it.

    • #29
  30. James Salerno Coolidge
    James Salerno
    @JamesSalerno

    TempTime (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):
    I’ve never intuitively understood jealousy, but somehow I think that the great comeuppance people celebrate in Trump’s casting out and scapegoating is not righteous indignation but some kind of latent envy. Clearly I don’t understand the derision, demeaning and disparagement that some people now feel free to express.

    I could not agree more. Particularly with the idea that celebrating, plotting, wishing for the undoing of Trump makes any sense at all. The level of ugly, NEVER made any sense to me. The hatred always seemed too loud, too vicious, too personal; felt more like betrayal or something visceral. But what? It seemed ‘unnatural’; I was always left wondering, What’s really going on? This level on raw hate does not originate from reason or ‘harsh tweets’. So, what is it?

    The only situation I’ve ever experienced in my life, that was similar to such ‘irrational’ levels of ugly reactions/expressed hatred/take-no-prisoners point of view is … the Coronavirus-SARS-2 …. uh, thing.

    But eventually I realized the Corona thing had to do with triggering primal fear levels. But what was it about President Trump that could trigger the same level of irrational fear? Again, I reapeat, it never made sense to me.

    I console myself, by reminding myself of this truth: ‘You cannot reason with someone who’s perspective/pov/thoughts were not reached via reason.’ (Yes, I am paraphrasing; and no, I cannot recall the author.)

    But perhaps you are correct, it was simply driven by a confluence of deadly sins: vainglory, covetousness, envy, and wrath.

    P.S. I disagree about President Trump’s status; I don’t think he is done my a long shot.

    Trump is over six feet tall, managed a financial empire, and had sex with supermodels.

    He’s the bad guy in Revenge of the Nerds in a generation that viewed Revenge of the Nerds as an existential struggle.

    • #30
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.