Raise that name at a dinner party, and plan to leave early.
No leader of the free world has inspired more fear, bitterness, contempt, anger, and defensiveness than he.
As for the first four of those reactions — all negative — I seem to have lost my way. Or, the world has. The fog piped into the arena of politics by the Left’s escalating boldness in its overwhelming drive to see Democrats topple Republicans has blurred the vision of many. What once was a glass pane of fair transparency on the part of the news media is now a badly shattered window into the clear truth. What once was a mirror in which we saw ourselves and our moderate biases has become a sideshow funhouse prop. Facts have been distorted by way of lies; and as Charles Spurgeon once conveyed, “A lie will go ’round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.”
Subsequently, in this world of distortion, I find it difficult to see clearly.
And that is why I think what I do about Trump: nothing.
I think absolutely nothing.
I certainly have thoughts; but none of them are about Donald Trump. They are only notions about a notion. Ideas about the man’s White House win.
A long time ago, the world was small. Before cell phones connected us all, before the internet created neighbors of the coasts, before four tires could take us from one side of the continent to the other, before the world was small the way we know it to be, it was a different kind of little. The kind of compact where only a few communities comprised the United States. The kind of diminutive where word could spread fast, if only by mouth. The kind of petite where an idea could engage the tiny country, where the originator of it could literally stump for votes — by, as a campaign, speaking one’s mind from…a stump.
But the world got bigger. And bigger. And bigger. In fact, it grew so large, it demanded that technological marvels make it small again. And with that new smallness, great numbers could be reached by one person, with one ideology. We had returned to our roots. Except for one small, big difference: money. The kind of money that makes the world go round. The kind of money that buys a man — or woman — access to the masses. The kind of money that takes a whole lot of people with a whole lot of money to provide. And with that purchasing power, candidates became purchased. By all the funds it took to get any ideas at all to be spread across the big world as a small one. And so, lost forever was the possibility of the single person with a single mind who could singly speak from that proverbial stump words from within himself or herself, to the great big small world.
And the only way this system could ever be defied was if someone of immense wealth — a wallet the size of a horde of funders, the bank account equal to a thousand elites — came along and thwarted all expectation.
It had been tried before. Ross Perot — a peculiar man who better served as an inspiration for Dana Carvey’s comic genius than as a politician — attempted it in the 80’s. Even with all the money in the world, Perot didn’t come close.
Hence, we remained as far from that original idea — of a single person with a single perspective fulfilling that all-American of dreams — as the colonial east was from the uninhabited west.
Until him. That singular man who ruins dinner parties. And forum conversations. And social media exchanges. And friendships.
Until that man who people love to hate, or hate to love or perhaps dislike liking. Donald J. Trump — to me, a man of great importance, if only for the reason I suggest.
Is he brash? Is he foul? Does he think before he speaks? Is he composed? Is he refined?
I haven’t gotten to that part yet. I’m still amazed that he won. Not because of any of those flaws, but because he fulfilled the American ideal. The American plan. For the American presidency. He did what once could be done, and then no longer ever could.
And so, because he did the thing we were all meant to have the opportunity to do, he speaks his mind. As maddening as it may be to some. Like a corny comedy in which an unfiltered clown ascends to the nation’s highest office, he speaks unbridled. And tweets unbridled. And I, for one, appreciate it. Not because of what he says or who he is. But simply because, despite the Left’s constant condemnation of Trump as a corporation, his presidency marks the first time in a long time that a corporate mob hasn’t purchased a place in the Oval Office. This time around, an individual made it all the way. And, at least for me, that is something about this presidency to like. Even if, from time to time, I have to eat my dinner alone.
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