Donald Trump is not an idiot. He is not an entertainer, or a carnival barker, he’s not a TV star running a tongue-in-cheek protest-experiment-as-campaign. To dismiss him as such is to validate the idea that hatred can even BE a sad function of poor intelligence rather than a cancer all its own, that American bigotry can be a legitimate form of entertainment.
No: Donald Trump is not these things. Donald Trump is a Frankenstein monster of white supremacy, new life breathed into it as it was by the mere sight of a person of color in the White House, ISIL hysteria & fatigue, a small loan of a million iotas of the alleged authority that success in business supposedly lends a person—as if the building of a brand was ever anything other than the building of an empire, with all its attendant destructions of the opposed, the subjugations of conscience, the horrific cults of the absolute; as if telling a people they have a right to the feeling of greatness simply because of the accident of their birthplace was ever anything other than naked fascism, eugenic fantasy, racial mythologizing.
No: Donald Trump is not a brilliant businessman who’ll brilliantly business-man America’s business back to good business—he is the resurgent breath of that familiarly American voice (amplified to apotheosis by a cynical & despicable media, deliriously giddy at the prospect of cashing in on a cow from Hell) that has always sought to reassure its fairest that they are entitled to feel great on hijacked land, to eat & drink & prosper from the blood of enslaved laborers. Donald Trump is the amusement of the “we-who-wear-white-skin-but-know-better,” but a thought leader for those who do, but don’t. Donald Trump is the fear that flicks at men with long beards as they enter or exit a prayer service. Donald Trump is the embarrassment that creeps on womyn in hijabs from the cold, suspicious stares in a grocery store. Donald Trump is the shame that chokes Brown children on a playground at the huddled whispers behind their backs. He is the id of every American West-pusher, manifest-destiny-manifester, greedy land-speculator, unscrupulous developer, overzealous prosecutor, & miserably ignorant corner-store pontificator put together.
No: Donald Trump is not an invitation to pop popcorn—he is a thrower of flame, an enabler of darkness, an emboldener of the unspeakable. He is the orange hue of a rot that feeds on its own bacterial filth. Donald Trump is the desperate, exasperated broken psyche of a people who have lied to themselves for 400 years. To even feel glee at his purported immolation of the Republican Party is to simultaneously celebrate the loss of home, of basic decency his ascendancy represents.
In what Universe are you allowed to admire ethnic cleansing on a Friday and win elections on a Saturday? 1990s Rwanda? 1930s Germany? 1910s Ottoman Armenia? …1492-to-the-present Americas? What are we to say to our friends around the world? How are we to continually face ourselves? What is terrorism if not the pernicious, persistent threat of theoretical violence, the theft of comfort in one’s own skin & country?
No, Donald Trump is a lot of things, but Donald Trump is not a joke—and I hope that no one is left laughing, anymore.