Poor, Poor Donald
Trump went onstage in Phoenix last night, and proceeded to bitch about the media for the first half hour of his speech. He complained about their unfair treatment of him, as he perceives it. The title of the speech should have been “Poor, Poor Donald.” He portrayed himself as the primary victim of the events in Charlottesville. He read back through cherry-picked lines from his reactions to the racist marchers, notably omitting the “many sides, many sides” equivocation that started such a firestorm. He made up stories about how the “red lights on the cameras back there are all going off––they don’t want you to hear what I’m saying tonight” (or some such, I’m paraphrasing.) But those cameras didn’t go off. I was watching the speech on one of the supposedly offending outlets. Trump was putting on a show, trying to make a big deal about the “camera lights going off”…yeah, a big show. Or where I come from, we used to call it a “lie.” Trump has to hit back at the media, because his ego is constantly threatened, and he can’t abide anyone questioning or disagreeing with him. His reactions are truly childish and pathetic, when you stop to think about it. And let’s not forget, working journalists are citizens of this country too. This country Trump says he’s trying to unite with his self-proclaimed politics of “love” and “unity.” Yeah…unless you happen to be a journalist, or maybe Mexican or Muslim, or a woman, or gay, or whatever shape, color or size happens to displease the Donald at any given moment. Trump labeled American journalists “dishonest” and “bad people.” With the exception of one: he expressed sympathy for Jeffrey Lord, who was fired from CNN after tweeting the Nazi salute, “Sieg Heil”. That’s one journalist who’s ok with Donnie. Yep. Trump rattled on and on about how great he is, and how his “words were perfect” about Charlottesville (everyone from the heads of all branches of the US military, to most prominent Republican politicians, to the descendants of Robert E. Lee, have strongly denounced Trump’s “perfect” words.) It was also interesting to watch the selected audience members seated right behind Trump. They plastered fake smiles on their faces and cheered mightily, to the point where I kinda felt sorry for ‘em, having to hold their poses for over an hour. Impossible to miss was a black gentleman who wore a “Trump & Republicans Are Not Racist” tee shirt, and who held up signs and gesticulated wildly. If he looked at all familiar, that’s because this isn’t the first Trump rally where he’s shown up in the crowd right behind Trump’s shoulder. The man’s name is Michael Symonette, aka Maurice Symonette, aka Maurice Woodside, aka Mikael Israel, aka “Michael the Black Man.” He’s a known radical fringe activist who formerly belonged to the violent Yahweh ben Yahweh cult; members of that group were convicted of conspiracy in over a dozen murders. Michael is also a full-on nut job conspiracy theorist, whose websites claim things like, “Obama, Clinton and Republican Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake are ‘White hidden MORMON/CHEROKEES’ ”, the Confederate Battle Flag is actually the “Cherokee Democrat Flag,” and “black & white Americans…were in the Americas before THE CHEROKEE INDIANS!” Any self-respecting presidential administration would distance itself from a controversial figure like this. But not Trump. He doesn’t see past the idea that there’s a black guy in his crowd––one of very few––and this guy is wearing a pro-Trump tee shirt. Game over. Well..as I’ve said before, it’s all pretty good “reality TV.” But it’s not much in the way of policy or leadership. Trump is all about soothing his wounded ego at this point, and lashing back at his perceived persecutors. “Poor, poor Donald.” Then at the conclusion of the speech, the outro music was “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” A song by the Rolling Stones, who have previously demanded that Trump stop using their music at rallies. But those are the sorts of things Trump cares very little about: what other people want, what’s decent, what makes good common sense. He’d rather play a song by a band that’s asked him not to. He’d rather pretend his words about Charlottesville were “perfect.” He’d rather lie about the ghost cameras and the sizes of the crowds and the popular vote and the Russian interference. Hell, back in the ‘90s, Trump used to pretend to be a publicist named John Barron, aka John Miller, who would call up members of the press and tell stories that lavishly praised one Donald J. Trump. Rambling depictions of how many famous women wanted to go out with Trump, and how Trump had at least four girlfriends at any one time. You can’t make this shit up, folks. Ego-driven to the point of disintegration. Unstable and unfit to serve. Former director of National Intelligence James Clapper––long known for being fair minded to both parties––reacted to last night’s speech by saying, “I really question [Trump’s] ability to be…in this office, and I also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it…downright scary and disturbing.” A pretty damn accurate assessment. But, hell, at least there’s something to watch on TV, right?