Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light
Since I have been a big TV watcher for most of my life I have had a chance to observe, though the jaundiced eye of the media, the anything but meteoric rise of Donald Trump from celebrity without a clue to the most dangerous person on earth. My only hope is that his demise will be as meteoric as it gets.
The Famous For Being Famous Trump
I started watching Donald Trump more than 40 years ago, when he used to do the rounds on the TV talk show circuit.
He was sort of fascinating because he had a way of saying nothing at all and making it sound like something. He was also one of the first people in America to become famous for being famous. A complete media construct with a very thin veneer.
In all deference, he had an extraordinary amount of swagger, and a powerful personal brand before anyone even knew what the hell that was. Of course this was all powered by that sense of entitlement that a lot of rich white guys in America have.
But if you were reasonably awake at around midnight and he came on the Tonight Show and you listened carefully, you found that he was like a pilot circling the airport of ideas but never quite landing. The only things he could talk in an informed way about were his real estate holdings, which, of course were really his father’s. He just built crappy buildings on them. On every other issue, he would just jump back and forth like the indecisive buffoon we know today.
This sort of anti-intellectualism paved the way for a lot of other people to become famous for no particular reason, mainly because they were just another variable in the insatiable appetite of late night TV talk shows. And, one could logically argue (in hindsight), a rather potent part of the dumbing down of that country, and my one to some extent.
The Art Of The Deal Trump
I never read this book all the way through. I don’t real much non-fiction, although from what I did read, this may very be classed as a real fairy tale.
But he got out there and pushed the hell out of it, using all his celebrity to keep on blowing smoke up America’s ass and that willingness , coupled with his unrepentant chutzpah, propelled that book into one of Trump’s relatively few business successes.
But this time, he was calling himself a billionaire, and working on his second marriage.
The Reality Show Trump
I have to admit that I tried watching The Apprentice, just so I could get enough of a perspective on it to be able to review it.
Like most reality shows it possessed the stench of faked drama, and he projected the persona of the total dick boss, and kind of reveled in it. This was really the first clue that I started to get that this guy had some real issues with his ego.
It was massive, and I really do believe that all the buzz that this show generated turned him into the total attention junkie we see today.
That’s not to say that the Art Of The Deal Trump or the Famous For Being Famous Trump weren’t pre-cursers to that, but they were mild in comparison to what he projected on these shows.
The Deplorable Candidate Trump
In 1999, Trump attempted to run for President as a Reform Party candidate, but was forced to withdraw under pressure from a lot of real reform politicians who thought he was basically a charlatan.
But he never went away. And he leveraged his celebrity a couple more times in bids to run, but never followed through until 2016.
And we all are living with the result of that last kick at the can.
The Epic Fail President Trump
The election of Trump to the US presidency in 2016, will be filed in in the history of American politics under “Be careful what you wish for”.
For a big long list of reasons, America, or at least half of those Americans who vote, had gotten to the point where they were willing to take a chance of someone who had been hanging around for like ever, who originally wanted to run for president on the Reform Party ticket, publicly supported both Bill and Hillary Clinton, had no real understanding of how the American government functions, had no diplomatic skills to speak of, and whose only claim to fame was that he was one of the most despised and greedy real estate developers in the free world.
And in the ‘Be careful what you wish for file’, they ended up with a president who:
• Has not gotten a single piece of important legislation passed after 10 months in office.
• Has split his own (Republican party), which has shifted the balance of power in congress and the senate
• Has pissed off just about every leader in the world who matters
• Has not been able to complete a single campaign promise
• Has assembled the worst cabinet in the history of the country
• Has refused (twice) to publicly denounce Nazis and other hate groups.
• Made one of the country’s leading anarchists (Steve Bannon) his principal policy advisor.
• Has proven time and again that he has no regard or respect for minorities in America
• Has threatened to bomb a small totalitarian nuclear power back to the stone age
• Has told more lies publicly than any president in the history of the country
• Has placed family members in positions of power in his government
• Has been unable to fill hundreds of key government positions because nobody wants to work for him…
I could actually go on for hours, as many of you can yourself.
What I Have Learned From 40 Years of Trumpservation
I think the key thing that we can all take away from this man’s illustrious career are:
a) That it’s possible, in a free society, for anyone who can sound like they know what they are talking about to bullshit their way into anything.
b) That intelligence means much less than TVQ or celebrity.
c) That racism in America has always been bubbling under the surface and that Trump cut it open and now its running rampant.
d) That while the status quo may not be all that desirable, it is, by comparison, a hell of a lot better than the ‘alternative’ that Trump represents.
e) That the old rich, white male in America is really that country’s most endangered species, but is not going quietly into that good night.
NOTE: Contrary to popular belief,. I do not hate Donald Trump…In point of fact, I have no personal feeling at all toward him. But I do despise what he stands for and what little in the way of agenda he is pushing because it is divisive and hateful and it very much appears to be part of a movement or attempted paradigm shift that is doing more harm than good to the US and our world and has been for quite some time.
Trump’s incompetence as a president will, sooner or later catch up with him. The question of how long it will take to undo the damage is another matter altogether.
Jim Murray is a marketer, communication strategist, writer, art director & blogger. His partner, Charlene Norman is a business systems and operational analyst. Their collaboration is called Bullet Proof Consulting, headquartered in St Catharines, Ontario. Bullet Proof is designed to help companies change their thinking for the better, to become more productive and efficient, well branded and successful and better corporate citizens in today’s highly competitive business world. You can get a very clear impression of how we think at www.bulletproofconsulting.ca
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