The reason why Donald Trump can’t seem to stop talking about winning the election by hyperbolic margins and inflating the size of the crowd at his inauguration is that he is still campaigning. And he is still campaigning not because he wanted to be President, but because he wants to be popular. He wants to be liked. Adored. Loved.
He made foolish, unrealistic and illegal promises to people because they cheered him on when he did it. And so now, every time his incompetence is revealed and the fact that he is out of his depth and has no idea what he’s doing becomes obvious and people mock him for it, he doubles down and reverts back to doing what made people cheer his name: He’s holding rallies at the point of a pen by way Executive Order. He’s not fulfilling his campaign promises, his issuing fiats that “play well” to the base.
Donald Trump’s War with the media stems from the belief that as a celebrity, all press, even bad press, is good press. In this country, as sad as it is to say, the Media has been complicit in marketing celebrity brands for decades rather than performing in their capacity as the 4th Estate. Donald Trump is a brand and the media marketed it. Unfortunately, everyone including Donald Trump figured out too late the vast gulf of difference between a celebrity and a public figure. But, because Donald still thinks his running in a popularity contest, he doesn’t understand the dynamic shift that had taken place, and does not understand that the Media is not his private PR firm. If they are acting like they are in promoting his “agenda”, then they aren’t media – they are propaganda.
Donald Trump doesn’t care about politics or platforms or agendas. He cares about being popular. Liked. Adored. Loved. The people who give him that are the only people that matter to him, which makes him vulnerable to the Steve Bannon’s of the world, who, although appears to be an evil genius standing next to Trump, doesn’t realize that a half-eaten sandwich and a pile of acorns standing next to Trump would hold the same distinction. The only difference is that Steve Bannon does care about an agenda – his own hateful, destructive agenda. He’s one of those kinds of people that just want to watch the world burn, but is too much of a coward to strike the match. He gets someone weaker in a higher position of power to do that.
In the midst of all this, the GOP plays the same game they did with the tea party – using them to forward their own obstruction agenda until it backfired horribly on them and they lost control of the party because they could never control the anti-government tea-tards. Somehow, failing to learn their lesson, they’re running this same gambit with a deranged narcissist, clearly giving little thought into how that could possibly go wrong despite having a very recent example of how exactly that is going to go wrong. It’s almost as if they think that refusing to acknowledge how quickly the wheels are coming off the bus is what will keep them on.
All in all, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and fatigued by the rapid-fire lunacy that we’ve all been subjected to for the last two weeks. Every day there’s something new to protest, and by the time we’re all done marching, we’ll either be dead from exhaustion or the healthiest country on the planet. But, the truth is that this whiplash pace isn’t sustainable. We need to find the common denominator, the eye of the shit-storm if we are going to galvanize this movement of resistance to counter the insanity that we are being confronted with, which is at its core, this: A Mandate of Contempt.
We are currently being “governed” by a group of people that absolutely hate anyone that isn’t them. Why else would they conflate the threat that refugees pose, or move to take away healthcare that would result in the deaths of 43,00 people every year? Why would they move to force a woman to have a child that she does not want as a punishment for having sex, even if that child was forced on her through sexual violence? Why would they take away resources from those who have served our country? Why would they characterize people of color, LGBT people and others as less than human, so undeserving of individual personhood that they’d frame single bad actors as representative of the whole group while shrugging their shoulders at the number of people killed every year in this country by white men? Why would they react with indifference to a city full of people in MODERN DAY AMERICA WHO HAVE NO DRINKING WATER? Why would they strip environmental regulations that protect our national, public lands from drilling for an outmoded fuel source to sell overseas?
The only possible answer could be because they hold us in contempt. All of us. And expect us to nod and smile while they do so. To swallow their lies about how they are acting in the interests of the American people while making it obvious they have no idea what our interests are. Nor do they care.
Donald Trump is not a political outsider. Donald Trump is the personification of the Politics of Contempt, and it is this what we have to rally a movement against. While we can all be more passionate about specific manifestation of that contempt – LGBTQ rights, immigration, healthcare, freedom from religion, foreign interference in our democratic process, etc. – but keeping in mind that it all stems from the same source will help us come and stay together, because the only way to counter the malignant self-service that Donald Trump and the current incarnation of the GOP now represent is to be in this together for all of us.