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Politics as Performance Art?

Tom Tomorrow
© Tom Tomorrow

It would be a fantastic performance, except for the fact that he has a chance of becoming our next president. Even worse, that more than a third of all Americans have been fooled into taking him seriously and actually want him to be president.

And unfortunately, with his talk of how the election will be rigged, we will have to live with the aftermath of Trump even if (when?) he loses. It could be very bad.

UPDATE: Trump seems to be once more blaming his failures on his staff, reorganizing his campaign again. And the new “campaign CEO” is the executive chairman of Breitbart News, Steve Bannon, who thinks that Fox News is too liberal.

As always, Trump surrounds himself with sycophants, with Breitbart being a primary cheerleader for Trump’s agenda of nationalism, racism, and sexism. “Bannon has convinced Trump that rest of campaign needs to be bare-knuckles brawl, w/ full-bore populism/movement politics” and “brutal fights with Clinton”. If you thought Trump was ugly before, you ain’t seen nothing yet.



  1. Ralph wrote:

    Donald Trump wanted to become America’s president but wound up becoming America’s IQ test. – John Fugelsang

    And if his spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson, is any gauge, devoted Trumpeteers score barely above their waist size.

    Hey, remember when Donald “Believe Me” Trump promised to surround himself with all the best people with the best ideas and the best words? Hmm, well maybe his third campaign manager in two months will be the charm that turns it all around. Manafort’s under investigation now for his shady ties to Ukraine/Russia (but still on the Trump payroll) and Pierson was reportedly busted some time ago for shoplifting (apparently not library books). She’s become Trump’s Sarah Palin.

    Beyond this disaster on wheels, it’s arguable the whole Trump phenomenon can be seen as symptomatic of the failure of our public education system, especially at the primary and secondary levels when the die is cast. Under- and mis-allocated funding and staffing, particularly in many inner city schools, along with an encroachment of religion into many states’ science classrooms (thanks Texas school board, for those biology books with Intelligent Design alongside the chapter on Evolution!) has produced several generations, and counting, of citizens who far too often lack adequate analytical and critical thinking skills. Administrators, school boards and teachers unions can all take a share of the blame here, while students often get lost in the scuffle.

    Coupled with today’s flash-bang digital news/edutainment media and hate wing radio, and you have a recipe for the emergence of a political demographic that thinks a thin-skinned, vindictive circus barker in the Oval Office with the nuclear codes is just what this country needs. And yes, it’s no coincidence that the corruption of our political process has facilitated this development. People of all persuasions can see the system is clearly broken. How to repair it is where we often differ.

    But somehow within that debate, with so many who see voting against their own self interests (or even their own humanity!) as the solution to their problems brings us back to the issue of our failing schools. I wonder how hard it was, for example, for Triumph’s crew to assemble a room full of geniuses like this. Can’t decide yet whether this one is funny, more frightening at the implications, or just plain sad. I mean if you can’t laugh, you have to cry, right? Anyway, for what it’s worth, take a look if you dare:

    That’s my long story and I’m stickin’ with it!

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 8:05 am | Permalink
  2. Hassan wrote:

    “except for the fact that he has a chance of becoming our next president”

    He has no chance whatsoever, why I see liberals panicking? The liberals are not going to vote for him, the independents are not going to vote for him, half of conservatives are not going to vote for him.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee wrote:

    Ralph, great rant.

    Hassan, yeah, that’s what they said about the primaries.

    I don’t think liberals are panicking, they are freaked out that more than a third of this country supports this freak of hatred and belligerence.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink
  4. Dave, TN wrote:

    Hassan, he doesnt need a majority of voters so much as he needs a majority of electorial votes. The presidental election of 2000 is a prime example of how things can get skewed up. Swing a few critical states and the balance tips in the deranged direction.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 10:13 am | Permalink
  5. ebdoug wrote:

    My neighbor has a very slim waist. She just got done telling me how she hates all these immigrants coming to this country. “Weren’t your ancestors immigrants,” I replied. I continued”mine didn’t get here until early 1600s on my father’s side and early 1800s on my mother’s side. The native Americans have been here 12,000 years.”

    “And I hate how those five immigrants raped that woman, and she lit herself on fire because the Judge wouldn’t do anything about it.” I wasn’t sure, but I told her that was India or Pakistan.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink
  6. Dave, TN wrote:

    Edoug, sounds like we might be neighbors, or at least have similar ones. Mine was going on using the favorite FOX catchphrase “we need change, someone who is not a politician”.
    I responded I too am tired of fast food but that doesn’t mean I’m about to change my diet to broken glass, I further illustrated the point that some change is not necessary for the good. He responded that he didnt undetstand. I had further simplify my argument in simply saying that Trump is insane. I dont like to describe people in such terms because the truth is always more complicated than that, but in this neck of the woods it often pays to not make things too complicated.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink
  7. Wildwood wrote:

    Oh my, that focus group was so depressing that I might have to have a liquid cheer-me-up a little later in the day. I’ve done a few of those focus groups over the years. I’m glad that none of them were political in nature or I might be on one of those videos, although I’m pretty sure that I’m not that stupid.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    Appalachian Mountains here. You might be part of it in Eastern TN

    I know in Ralph’s rant that my grandchildren are learning of the various Religions in school as history. I’m glad they are.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Permalink
  9. just me wrote:

    “He has no chance whatsoever” is what my Auntie in Minnesota said just prior to Gov. Jesse Ventura taking office…

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 6:56 pm | Permalink
  10. Ralph wrote:

    Anon – that’s precisely where Comparative Religions should be taught, in history class. Or for any specific religion, the church, mosque, temple, or your private school of choice. Just don’t promote any one of them in public using my tax dollars. So kudos to your school district. Here in PA, we have the Philly and Pittsburgh metro areas, and in between is basically Alabama politically, so it’s pretty much a mixed bag.

    One thing we rarely hear, however, is that freedom of religion also implies freedom FROM religion. But atheists (present company included) are generally obliged to keep a low profile in this country for fear of reprisal, both socially and even physically in some circles. When is the last time we saw a self proclaimed atheist running for political office? That’s right, never, because it’s never happened. It’s a non-starter in American politics. Freedom of religion? Sure, so long as you pick one. Spoiler alert: Obama is not a secret Muslim socialist dictator in mom pants. He’s a closet atheist, but knows how the game is played so you’ll never hear him, or any politician, admit it publicly.

    IMHO, Hassan’s assertion is becoming more likely by the day, given Trump’s penchant for continually shaking up his staff at this late date. It reveals that he must know his campaign is practically on life support. And to quote a classic movie line – Show me the money! Trump has yet to run a single ad from his own campaign funds (only a few have aired through a couple PACs). For someone who’s bragged endlessly of how really really rich he is, he’s coming off as really really stingy, or has been bluffing all along (another reason for not releasing his tax returns perhaps). He’s even further behind than Romney was at this point. After repeatedly blasting Romney for running such a terrible campaign, the emerging irony here is delicious.

    So I’m less concerned about Trump pulling off an upset than the Republican hangover and repercussions after the election. Wonder what the over/under is in Vegas on how long it’ll takes Mitch McConnell to say something again like “Our first job here is to make sure Hillary is a one-term president”? I smell another 4-8 years of gridlock.

    Thursday, August 18, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink