Donald Trump spoke at CPAC last week Friday. I have many comments and observations but none so telling as my analysis of him telling the story about the snake. Let’s explore.
The acronym CPAC stands for Conservative Political Action Conference. This gathering is perhaps the clearest illustration that the inmates have taken over the asylum currently known as the Republican Party. Conservatism, while I may not adhere to its principles, is a legitimate and sane political philosophy. The assembled at CPAC 2019 may call themselves conservatives but they are far to the political right of conservatism and a danger.
For decades the Republican Party has been the de facto conservative political party in America. In 2008 its presidential standard bearer was Arizona Senator John McCain. While I often disagree with him on policy, McCain is a legitimate conservative and a war hero. He is a man of character; we just happen to disagree on many policies. During the 2008 campaign when a misinformed woman at a McCain rally attacked his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, for being neither an American nor a Christian, McCain politely retrieved the microphone and informed the woman she was incorrect. In the process he said Obama was a good man; they just disagreed on policy. In contrast, Trump rallied the radicals at CPAC by blaming McCain for his own failure in leadership to get Obamacare repealed. That tells us a lot about Trump and his base.
While much of Trump’s performance Friday was recycled campaign rally material he did throw in a new wrinkle or two. He bragged about his cosmetology ability in hiding his bald spot. For some strange reason Trump is proud of his massive and ridiculous comb over. A 71 year-old man having a large bald spot is not unusual; like say a 71 year –old overweight and out of shape man shooting a 73.
To keep the rally spirit going at one point Trump attacked his 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton which led to chants of, “Lock her up”. For right wing extremists chants like that are just such a hoot.
Trump touched on current events when he repeated his call for arming teachers. Trump wants to sound reasonable as he repeats insane NRA talking points so he stated that he only wants to arm a small percentage; say 10 to 20 percent. He would select among the specially trained tapping former military and police. The latest numbers I have seen show that .57% (slightly more than one-half of one percent) of our teachers are military veterans. I don’t have any data on how many retired law enforcement personnel now teach but I’m willing to bet they constitute less than 1% of the educators in American schools. Sounds like Paul Ryan did Trump’s math for him on this one.
In 2004 Dick Cheney taught Republicans the value of fear mongering and Trump included some in Friday’s theater art in Maryland. He warned the assembled that if they were complacent and allowed the Democrats win in November that they would repeal both the Trump Tower Tax Cut and the Second Amendment.
A repeal of the Trump Tower Tax Cut would benefit most of the members of the audience but they are too economically ignorant to know that. In any event the chances of that happening with a Republican in the White House are nil.
A constitutional amendment would be required to repeal the Second Amendment. The passage and ratification of a constitutional amendment is a very arduous process. Only 27 times has the Constitution been amended in our nation’s history and ten of those were part of a deal to secure ratification. Furthermore, only once in our history has a constitutional amendment nullified an existing constitutional amendment.
Of course no Trump performance would be complete without a rendition of his story about the snake. This story is portrayed as a warning about taking in immigrants; that despite the facts that Trump’s own mother was an immigrant and his current wife’s parents are about to become American citizens via what he calls chain migration. In any event, at the story’s conclusion the snake bites the old woman and informs her, what did she expect because when she took the snake in she knew what he was.
I’m asking my readers to take a slightly different look at Trump’s snake story. What if there is some iota of decency in the man and he is trying to warn his supporters that he in fact is the snake? I can see it now: Trump is led away from his office in disgrace; the entire population finally realizes it was all a scam and he says, “What did you expect. You should have known that I was a snake.”
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One thought on “The Ominous Snake”
I think Trump is so outrageously self confident that he feels like he can tell the story of the snake (which is, for him, clearly autobiographical) and his followers will love him anyway…in the same way that he would lose no votes if he walked out on 5th Avenue and shot someone. Was it Donna Brazile who said: “When someone shows you who he is…BELIEVE HIM!”?
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