Ever since the 2016 election, I haven’t really engaged in the “not my president” meme. Don’t get me wrong. It should be obvious to anyone who knows my work that I have a gut-level hatred of Donald Trump. Indeed, it’s the first time I’ve ever hated a president. Even if we strip out his ludicrous policies and agenda, he’s still just a vile, unrepentantly cruel and ignorant loudmouth.
He’s Tony Clifton with different hair. He’s a damaging figure whose very presence inflicts harm upon our system of government. As a student of the presidency, I thoroughly resent someone of such low class occupying that heretofore sacred office. But, regardless, he’s still the president, though I won’t go so far as to claim ownership. He’s not “mine,” he’s our president, whether we think he won legitimately or not.
All that said, I’m reconsidering my position. Especially this week when Trump made the calculated decision to reject and ridicule every American who isn’t a member of his slackjawed peanut gallery of Red Hats.
During a rally last weekend, Trump literally described Democrats and those who support Democrats as “evil” and as “an angry mob.”
“The radical Democrats have turned into an angry mob,” Trump told supporters at a Kansas rally this weekend. “You don’t hand matches to an arsonist and you don’t give power to an angry left-wing mob, and that’s what they’ve become. The Democrats have become too extreme and too dangerous to govern. Republicans believe in the rule of law, not the rule of the mob.”
Take it from Trump: a guy who’s done plenty of business with the actual Mob, as in Mafia.
It turns out, I didn’t have to reject his presidency. The president rejected me instead.
Let’s be clear: I don’t care if Trump approves of me or my party affiliation. I’m not outraged, nor do I feel rejected by any of his horseshit. However, Trump doesn’t want to be my president. Fine. It turns out, I don’t want to be one of his subjects. I’m merely interested in making sure he leaves office as quickly as possible and that the damage is minimal.
The thing he said that really pissed me off, though, is when, on Monday night, he held another neo-fascist rally in which he unironically referred to Democrats as “the dims.”
Again, it’s not necessarily that I was offended by being called an idiot — it’s that we were called idiots by a president who’s the dumbest stooge to have ever drooled upon the Resolute Desk. It’s not unlike when a Trump voter accosts a political celebrity online, not realizing that their beloved president is absolutely a celebrity whose TV series, “The Celebrity Apprentice,” literally had the word “celebrity” in the title. In this case, I’m offended by this textbook illustration of Dunning-Kruger staring into a camera and telling me I’m stupid when a simple glance at the record shows he’s barely smarter than a bag of pudding.
We’re all “dims,” even though Trump couldn’t name the three branches of government. He couldn’t describe the nuclear triad. He thought Frederick Douglass was still alive. He referred to the previous hurricane as “tremendously big and tremendously wet,” then followed it up by saying the hurricane is among “the wettest… from the standpoint of water.” During the campaign, he said it’s easy to be awarded the the Purple Heart. He once said we need the climate crisis because it was snowing in New York City. He needed several tries to accurately spell “counsel,” and he still can’t do it.
Yet 40 percent of American voters think he’s a genius.
Even though I’m not taking it personally — his complete rejection of half the nation’s voting population, it’s still a significant problem. His remarks aside, we’ve seen how Trump behaves when, say, a hurricane hits a blue area like Puerto Rico, contrasted with how Trump snaps into action when one hits a red state, such as Florence or, this week, Hurricane Michael. My late friend Chez once predicted Trump wouldn’t bother with California if a natural disaster struck. He was damn right, of course.
A year ago this week, the Santa Rosa firestorm became the most destructive wild fire in California history and I was smack in the middle of it. The initial wave of fires decimated Sonoma and Napa counties at upwards of 200 feet per second in some places, destroying 36,807 acres of land and reducing 5,636 homes and business to dust. The aftermath looked like a nuclear bomb had detonated in some neighborhoods. And Trump barely mentioned it. Not that we needed his meddling, it’s just that it underscored how Trump only wants to be the president of the states that elected him, while turning the states that voted against him into punchlines for the amusement of his bug-eyed loyalists. Again, Puerto Ricans especially know what I’m talking about.
Barack Obama repeatedly told audiences that he’s not the president of the blue states or the red states, he’s the president of the United States. He didn’t always reach out to red states with his policies, though his signature achievement, the Affordable Care Act, was drawn from Republican plans, specifically Romneycare in Massachusetts and a conservative Heritage Foundation proposal from the 1990s. Likewise, Obama didn’t pass the recession-killing stimulus plan strictly for the blue states. He passed relief funds, infrastructure spending, and tax breaks for middle class Americans of all affiliations. Trump, on the other hand, gave you an extra $1.50 per paycheck — for now — while passing gigantic tax cuts for the super-rich.
To say this has to stop is an understatement. The presidency, while inherently partisan, has always been inclusive. Trump’s presidential hero, Andrew Jackson, famously plunked a big wheel of cheese in the lobby of the White House for all visitors to enjoy, regardless of whether they voted for John Quincy Adams. Trump, however, wouldn’t cross the street to piss on your shoe. He wants to rule over us, yet he doesn’t want to acknowledge us as his constituents.
You might not think he’s your president and you know what? He just doesn’t care. In his worm infested mind, he’s never been your president and he never will be. In the end, he’s inadvertently pardoning us from being held responsible by history for the disaster he’s creating, and I’m totally okay with that.