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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