On one of the internet bulletin boards I frequent is a user who has an acronym as a handle. It is WALIAC – We Are Living In A Cartoon. I nod in agreement with that image as yet another week passes and our Narcissist-In-Chief demonstrates repeatedly the reasons why he should never have taken the US government hostage. And yet. And yet he can set up another campaign rally where he denigrates all media as fake, drawing fawning adulation from his supporters who had nothing better to do than get in line at 1:30 AM for a 7:30 PM event. Those who believe in Donald Trump have not been swayed from their allegiance because of the events of the past 3+ months.
I maintain that we have a national case of cognitive dissonance. We as a nation hold two completely contradictory views of the Trump administration. His supporters see a man who works tirelessly on their behalf, one whose progress is being held up by the fifth column within the Republican party, or the immoral judiciary who dares to contradict their leader’s dictums, or (gag) the Demoncrats and / or the lyin’ media.
His detractors see the incompetence and internal squabbles of the administration playing out in firings, reassignments, strategic pronouncements followed immediately by bumbling retreats, and revealed hypocrisies. They see a changeling in front of the camera, a troll and not a man, who has not learned how to string two complete sentences together. If Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland made the “Hey, let’s put on a show!” meme famous, this is the group that put together “Hey, let’s put on a Federal government!” with just as much forethought.
Only the consequences of having this gaggle of historical illiterates in charge of the levers of power are so fraught with peril, that it makes survival within the cartoon iffy at best. And the imagery is getting worse. Just this week as part of the media crush to commemorate the centennial of days of this administration, came an observation from our President that the constitution is getting in the way of effective and efficient administration of the nation. You know, those pesky checks and balances that have worked for nearly a quarter of a millennia. This is where the real risk comes in, when an outlandish idea can be presented that is completely contradictory to our founding principles, but due to the cult of personality being developed, it gains traction.
That is the only way I can describe what is happening now in our nation. We are in the beginning of the creation of a cult of personality around Donald Trump. We’ve seen this happen in the past across the globe and the results are never good. First comes the normalization of the bizarre conduct. I have seen that especially in the financial arena where all of the inconsistency and incompetence is swept under the rug, just because “this administration is friendly to business”. Commentators who originally disdained Trump due to his persona during the campaign, have grown to accept him and all of his foibles, because his policies will make them money if they are adopted.
It is well established how Donald Trump’s misogynistic and xenophobic words and deeds have loosened the restraints from many of his followers. I’ve seen it on the internet forums where anti-semitism and racial hatred have been unleashed. We saw it during his rallies where he all but called for his followers to beat up demonstrators in the rallies. After all, he said he’d pay the bail and legal fees to “knock the crap out of them.” Society has a very thin veneer, and it seems as though Donald Trump is deliberately pouring solvent over the top of an antique table, looking to peel off the surface beauty in order to reveal the crude wood surface below.
Now, with a charismatic (to some) head of the government mumbling about the inefficiencies of our constitutional system of government, and with the movement already in place to hold an article V convention of the states colliding, bad things can happen very quickly in this country. An article V convention refers to the process whereby if 2/3 of the state legislatures have called for a constitutional convention, then such a convention will be convened. That means if 34 state legislatures call for a convention, one will happen, and once that happens, all bets are off. Know how close the Koch brothers backed forces are to getting their desired convention? The 29th state legislature supported it just this spring. Although many of the legislatures have called for only a convention to propose a balanced budget amendment, once such a convention is called, there are no constitutional constraints on its content.
So be afraid. Be very afraid. And speak up through whatever means you have to prevent a constitutional convention from being called, because if it is, fascism and dictatorship may soon follow.