Day 34: Filth

I watched the entire presidential debate because my husband said it was our duty. I wanted to turn it off because the president was so disgusting. His speech and his manners were completely indecent. The polish he used to affect for the sake of “appearing presidential” was missing, exposing a loathsomeness (and screwiness) operating with disturbing force.

What we have in Trump is an imposter-in-chief. And the more Americans look into him, the more they discover what a despicable and self-interested con artist he is. The man who claims to have built up his own fortune was first and foremost the beneficiary of a multi-generational tax dodging scheme. His whole life has been devoted to skirting laws to the greatest extent he can. His ethos is deeply antisocial, in that it subordinates everything, including the presidency, to the goal of enriching himself and his family. The presidency isn’t an honor to Trump; it’s an urgently needed shield against legal prosecution. (Turns out, the White House is the safest place for a crook to hang out.)

Americans are beginning to get the facts. They are reading the nasty things he’s said in private about the military being “losers” and “suckers” and they are aghast. They see him failing to disavow white supremacy, instead giving a shout-out to fascists and throwing over black Americans. As support for Trump dwindles, his coffers thin and poll numbers slump. The closer he gets to losing the election, the more fearful, fantastical, and hostile he becomes.

Which produced the filthy spectacle I witnessed last night. A rude moron, who is supposed to be serving the nation and protecting its welfare, instead shirking his responsibility and spouting lies. Making wild promises about delivering a COVID vaccine. Claiming he has helped people get health insurance when he is taking it away. Claiming that he cares about making the air and water clean, after rolling back every environmental regulation he can. Insulting his opponent by taunting him and trying vainly to dispel his dignity. Trump’s heart is a cesspool. When this nation needs a hero, he turns coward–and doesn’t even have the tact to be ashamed.

This is the president: he can’t accept facts; he can’t follow simple rules; he can’t concentrate; he can’t empathize with suffering, he can’t handle dissent; he can’t be a good sport; he can’t be just; he can’t tolerate rivalry; he can’t admit unpleasant realities. To have such a person heading up our nation, which is premised upon compromise, openness, and interdependence, is, as Bob Woodward put it, a calamity.

Trump is dragging the nation through an existential crisis, daring us to figure out how to get free of a person so arrogant, so inept, so deceitful and vile.

RELATED:
“People who follow Trump’s advice and hang around watching polling places will be prosecuted, Nevada’s attorney general says.” (Business Insider)
“The People v. Donald J. Trump: The criminal case against him is already in the works — and it could go to trial sooner than you think.” (NY Magazine)