And I’m Crazy for Loving You, Donald
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is a 1963 comedy film with a title that describes the United States today – except that it ain’t funny. We are being led by a man whose direction often turns on a dime, and nobody except his diehard followers knows where he’s heading next. Those followers don’t know, either, but won’t admit it.
And it’s mainly those loyalists, not just President Trump himself, who are defining us as a country gone crazy – because there are so many of them. A recent poll had his favorability rating at 38 percent. That, my fellow Americans, is about three out of eight people. We have a guy at the helm who is a pathological liar; who compulsively Tweets in demented fashion against anyone who has offended him; who has zero government experience yet makes important decisions while refusing the counsel of statesmen with abundant knowledge of diplomacy, and tells our arch-adversary, the criminal Vladimir Putin, that “it’s an honor to meet you”; who puts family members equally inexperienced in positions of great responsibility; who, in short, is flailing about in a job for which he is in way, way over his goofy head, never mind his multitudinous violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clause with his global business holdings.
Yet his deplorable behavior seems to have no effect on his supporters.
That’s what most worries moderately conservative pundit Kathleen Parker, who wrote recently in her syndicated column for the Washington Post that this large segment of the population “seems to be suffering from a reality discernment malfunction. Thus, when Trump speaks in his fourth-grade, monosyllabic, syntax-challenged verbiage, they hear lyrical lucidity. When he brags that he has accomplished more than any president, save for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his starry-eyed minions just nod.” Parker noted that Trump said he could shoot someone on the street in Manhattan, and these people still would love him.
“This is the definition of equal madness,” she wrote, and reminded readers that his top administration appointees engaged in a “circular kiss-up” in a recent Cabinet meeting, a sycophancy that was sickening to anyone with a capacity for nauseating disgust at such craven behavior.
What’s a book got to do with it?
So Bob, you say, you’re the author of a mystery novel based on a real, sensational crime: Murder in Palm Beach: The Homicide That Never Died. What does this Trump thing have to do with books?
Funny you should ask. Parker reports that more than two dozen mental health experts are coming out with a book this fall titled The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump. In it, they conclude that he is a “‘complex, if dangerously mad, man.’ They also propose that his illness is affecting the nation’s mental health as well.”
So it appears there might be a tangential connection to my book, which portrays a murder committed over an insult.
Parker is far from the only conservative pundit appalled by our president. In fact, I know of none who isn’t – except, of course, the radio bloviator Rush Limbaugh and fake news creators on Fox News, chiefly the Neanderthalish Sean Hannity, now that the sleazy liar Bill O’Really?, I mean O’Reilly, is gone. Among the far-right columnists dismayed by the nonsense that Trump propagates is Mona Charen, whose ultraconservative views usually cause me to gnash my teeth.
Et tu, Mona?
Here, however, is what she wrote a few days ago about Trump after his whining about being the victim of a witch hunt over the Russian collusion investigation: “One column cannot accommodate the list of things you must believe if you trust that Donald Trump is truly the victim of a baseless witch hunt. Consider this a mere stab.”
Charen went on to list 12 phenomena propagated by the Trump administration as truth that are transparently false. She begins with: “Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner did nothing wrong by meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian offering dirt on Hillary Clinton …” She ends with: Donald Trump’s obsessive attacks on ‘fake news’ are not an attempt to inoculate himself against future revelations but just good old-fashioned right-wing hatred of liberals.” In between: “White House objections to sanctions against Russia, which passed the Senate 98-2, are purely procedural.”
President Richard Nixon
As I write this, I hear a report on the TV in the background that Trump is angry at Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from matters involving the Russian investigation, and says he regrets having appointed Sessions. The havoc is heating up.
Maybe we’ll get lucky, and this national nightmare won’t continue nearly as long as the one in the early 1970s, when Richard Nixon resigned following impeachment.
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