The New Normal: Trump’s Theater of the Absurd


By Robert J. Guttman
February 7, 2018

“They were like death. And un-American. Un-American. Somebody said ‘treasonous’. I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? ‘treasonous’, I mean, yeah, I guess,” snidely remarked our 45th president about Democratic senators who did not applaud his recent State of the Union speech.

“It is not treasonous, but it is un-American, actually, to accuse your political opponents of a crime against the nation for constitutionally protected dissent. It should not be necessary to spell this out, but here we are. The president does not understand the first thing about the country he was elected to lead, or about the Constitution that he swore to uphold,” states Ruth Marcus in a Washington Post column.

Trump actually received some praise from pundits usually not used to saying positive things about the president for his well- read speech off the teleprompter at his State of the Union address.

Of course, Trump being Trump he immediately stepped on his own message and started his normal bizarre, self-centered, vile angry approach to governing the country. He seems unable to stay happy or even to stay on any type of message for an entire day or even for an hour or from one inane or insane tweet to the other.

Trump likes to be liked but he does almost everything in his power to do the opposite. “Treason? Whatever. But even if Trump is not ready to round up his political opponents it is appalling-it is unthinkable-that a president would use this kind of language to describe dissent,” relates Marcus in her Washington Post piece.

Trump attacks and attacks and is always upset and never apologizes for his vile and totally narcissistic behavior. It is Trump 24/7. America and what is best for the country not so much attention is paid in his mind or in his actions.

“Who can imagine a senior Trump campaign official-say, Paul Manafort or Donald Trump, Jr.-saying the words, ‘That would be wrong’. Their degraded spirit has now invaded the whole GOP. By defending Trump’s transgressions, by justifying his abuses, Republicans are creating an atmosphere in which corruption and cowardice thrive,” remarks columnist Michael Gerson in The Washington Post.

Gerson goes on to state, “Trump has made a practice of forcing people around him to lower their standards and abandon their ideals before turning against them when their usefulness ends.”

And my favorite Gerson quote: “The nearly uniform cowardice among elected Republicans is staggering. One is left wishing that Obamacare covered spine transplants. The Republican-led Congress is now an adjunct of the White House. The White House is now an adjunct of Trump’s chaotic will.”

It is unbelievable that some Republicans and the really bizarre puppets of the White House at Fox News try to compare Trump to Ronald Reagan. Reagan was a man of character and principles and strong political beliefs who had been a two term governor of California before being elected president. Trump is a man of no discernible character-he is actually everything bad that we tell our children not to be like, he has no noticeable principles other than his ridiculous ‘winning”-sounding like the actor Charlie Sheen when he was having his problems, and Trump has no strong political beliefs whatsoever. The party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Ike, Reagan and the Bushes has sadly lost its way and is now almost blindly following this Know Nothing narcissistic unprincipled president. Sad, to quote one of Trump’s favorite remarks at the end of his many tweets.

Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen more correctly compares Trump to the former unprincipled US Senator from Wisconsin in the 1950s Joe McCarthy. “Today’s McCarthy figure is not a mere senator, but the president. Still, the modus operandi is similar. McCarthy railed against communists in government, and Trump and his allies inveigh against something called ‘the deep state’. As it was in the 1950s, the government has been seized by some force and is the enemy of the people. What’s more, Trump is, like McCarthy, a liar.”

Cohen continues, “Ultimately, McCarthy overreached when he attacked the Army, accusing it of harboring communists. Trump may have overreached by going after the FBI.”

McCarthy faded away as the GOP and the president back then turned against his bizarre often drunken ramblings. Sadly, the current elected GOP leaders, including the seemingly spineless Paul Ryan, are abandoning their principles, belief and any sense of positive norms by going along with this clueless, angry president who believes mainly in governing by deriding everyone who disagrees with him. Trump is divisive, often disgusting in his actions and comments and degrading to the office of the president.

His remarks that Rep. Nunes memo has exonerated him in the Mueller investigation is also ludicrous. The memo does nothing of the sort. Trump is trying to muddy the waters of the Mueller investigation. He is trying to divert everyone’s attention from the special counsel.

“Mr. Mueller’s team is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and whether the president obstructed justice. . . .Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) who helped draft the GOP memo said on CBS that he didn’t believe the issues the document flags hold any larger implications for the course of the Mueller probe,” states The Wall Street Journal article written by Michelle Hackman and Byron Tau.

While the GOP elected officials remain spineless and devoted followers of our angry president, Senator Tammy Duckworth blasted the president in a recent quote. She was responding to his calling Democratic senators like herself “treasonous” and “un-American”.

Senator Duckworth, an Army veteran who lost her legs after her helicopter was shot down in Iraq, responded to Trump: “We don’t live in a dictatorship or a monarchy. I swore an oath-in the military and in the Senate-to preserve , protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, not to mindlessly cater to the whims of Cadet Bone Spurs and clap when he demands I clap.” Her Cadet Bone Spurs comment relates to Trump’s many deferments in avoiding going into the military during the Vietnam War.

But, now today the president’s new ridiculous idea-even weirder than his obsession with a border wall-is to have a military parade. He wants to stand on a podium and watch troops and weapons go by and soldiers salute him. Such an insecure and angry person. He must have been watching the North Korean dictator reviewing his troops and them saluting him. With Putin and other dictators as his role models it is no wonder our 45th president has taken America off course domestically and overseas. The person who is un-American is not the Democratic Senators and Representatives not clapping at his State of the Union speech. It is Trump.

As one of my favorite authors and philosophers, Nobel Prize winning writer for literature Albert Camus, wrote about the theater of the absurd. Camus, tragically died young in a car accident many decades ago, but he could have been writing about the presidency of Donald Trump and our 45th president’s absurd antics, actions, and comments. Sadly, the president’s absurdities are becoming the new normal of America in 2018.






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