Monday, September 25, 2017

A Basket Of Dotards

Eyes and brains to the dotard lethargic and dull,
Pale ravener of horrible meat.
-- from Herman Melville's "The Maldive Shark"
Kim Jong-un was on to something when he recently called Trump  a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.”  But he wasn't the first to do so.  The otherwise inimitable Charles Pierce had this to say back in May (in the context of L'Affaire Russe):  "He's not up to the job. This should be obvious by now. The most innocent explanation for the president*'s actions is that he's a blundering dotard who can't stop himself from destroying democratic institutions and from tripping over federal statutes."

The dictionary definition of dotard is “a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness.”  Seems to me this applies not only to Trump, but to the political party that enables him and the basket of deplorables that supports him -- no matter what he does. For example, they clearly lack the mental alertness to recognize that his juvenile taunting of the aforementioned North Korean leader could trigger a nuclear confrontation.  And they sure haven't exhibited mental poise at Trump's campaign rallies, like the one just held in Alabama, where they cheered the unhinged shit gibbon as he resorted to an unsavory combination of word salad, racist demagoguery and trampling on the First Amendment. 

Nationwide senile decay is as good an explanation as any for the inability to reckon with this country's legacy of racism and how it continues to taint every aspect of our society -- from mass incarceration and drug policy to police brutality and police killings to immigration bans and wall-building to confederate flag waving and neo-Nazis.  As Ta-Nehisi Coates argues in his latest must read essay, "Donald Trump Is The First White President," Trump's rise to power owes far more to white supremacy than to his appeal to the working class on economic and cultural issues.  And as Bryan Stevenson explains, our country badly needs truth and reconciliation, but before we can get to reconciliation, we have to tell the truth -- the truth about slavery and white terrorism, about lynching and segregation, and about entrenched racial inequality and discrimination in this country -- and confronting the truth is not something we, as a country, are very good at.  If it were, we would not have an ignorant, corrupt, racist as president. 

And so, Trump refers to the marchers in Charlottesville as "very fine people" while calling African American athletes who respectfully protest police killings of African Americans sons of bitches.  He continues to goad Kim Jong-un into war.  Meanwhile, he refuses to take note of the devastation in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria.  (Does he even know Puerto Rico is part of the United States?)  He supports another lame effort by the GOP to take away affordable health insurance from vulnerable Americans while preparing to propose a tax cut for the wealthy.  Meanwhile, his supporters -- an overwhelming majority of Republicans -- continue to hail his leadership.  And the leaders of the Party itself continue their race against time, hoping to get their tax cuts and to fill the federal courts with more right wing judges before he implodes or comes undone by indictments or unwittingly launches a war.

What a bunch of dotards.


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