A Brief Commentary by Doug Draper
Posted May 28th, 2016 on Niagara At Large
Thursday, May 26th, 2016 may go down as another one of those days that may live in infamy.
It is the day that cable news channels in both the United States and Canada broke into their regularly programming with the announcement that Donald Trump had stopped being funny and had become the nightmare come true at least some of us have dreaded by winning over enough delegates to become the Republican Party’s candidate for what is still one of the most powerful offices (if not the most powerful one) in the world.
The only reason I am calling it, for now, a day that “may” live in infamy rather than one that “will” is because there is still a slim chance that Trump may crash and burn come final voting day this November if the Democratic elites stop fixing the nomination for Hillary Clinton and all of her tattered old baggage, and let Bernie Sanders run against him.
In yet another major poll, released shortly after the infamous news, showed Sanders leading Trump in a national race by double digits compared to Trump and Clinton statistically tied at a time when Clinton’s rankings with eligible voters for popularity and trustworthiness even lower than they were a month ago.
But the fix appears to be in and America’s mainstream media is reporting as if a Clinton coronation at this July’s Democratic Convention is already a given.
If that is the case then what seemed incomprehensible a year ago – a Trump presidency – may very well be the reality show of reality shows, even making Ozzy Osbourne look as tame as Ozzie Harriet from the 1950s Nelson family TV sitcom, by this time next year.
It got me thinking of lines from my favourite writers and lyricists, starting with this one from an early Bob Dylan song for all those out there who still don’t get why so many millions of people have had it with what has passed in recent years for politics as usual.
“Something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?”
Something happening, alright, and that leads me to a few lines from the late Rolling Stone magazine correspondent and self-titled “gonzo journalist” Hunter St. Thompson after he cited the same Bob Dylan lyric in his end of the last century book of essays, ‘Kingdom of Fear’.
“We are living in dangerously weird times now,” Thompson wrote in a November 19th, 2000 essay titled ‘The New Dumb’. “Smart people just shrug and admit they are dazed and confused. The only ones left with any confidence at all are the new dumb. It is the beginning of the end of our world as we knew it. Doom is the operative ethic.”
The “new dumb” may be all those “under educated” people Trump claims he loves so much and that show up at his rallies in the thousands to cheer his promise of even higher border walls.
Then finally, I turn to a few lines from a David Bowie song called 1984, titled after the George Orwell hellish novel about living in a fascist state.
“Someone to claim us, someone to follow. Someone to save us, some brave Apollo. … We want you, Big Brother!”
I turn off my Bowie record and turn on the cable news, and there Trump is again. No escape. The orangy yellow comb over, waving his arms around wildly while hurling one liner invectives at “crazy Bernie” and “crooked Hillary,” and at Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who he’s taken to calling Pocahontas as a way of mocking her for saying in a 2014 memoir that she has some Native American blood.
Once again, a few words come to mind, this time from Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’.
“The horror. The horror.”
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“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders