I just had to see what that headline looked like. Looks good.
Not true, not ever true, not going to be true, but good.
In this past weekend of exposés and confessions, I don't think many needles moved at all.
Of course if anyone had believed that Trump possessed a brilliant mind for business before Sunday evening's New York Times exposé, that person is either delusional or ignorant. Trump's adult life is littered with bankruptcy and failure, all motivated by an all-consuming rapacity and permeated by dishonesty and fraud. The Times article was complete, accurate, and painstakingly assembled with graphs and graphics and timelines and photos. The figures were astonishing—he paid no taxes, minuscule amounts, or received refunds while the rest of America was paying its fair share. Even so, had anyone really thought that wasn't the case? Had anyone considered him an honest man? I don't think Sunday was a big day for epiphanies.
If that article sets in motion a sequence of events that draws Trump away from the aegis of the Attorney General and lands the predator in court to face charges, then I'm interested. If it doesn't, then it's no less shocking or revealing than the Access Hollywood tape that, in the end, left him unscathed.
And then, to quote an old song title, Along Comes Mary (again). Anyone who has ever read King Lear knows that a filial love can vary from child to child, so for Mary Trump—the president's niece—to lament that her uncle chose financial solvency over the well-being of his father and the rest of the family is about as shocking as a sunrise. Yes it was cruel and self-serving, and yes the father who bankrolled Donald deserved much better, and yes disgust and revulsion are natural responses to an act so unnatural, but surprise? No. Donald Trump cannot see a world outside himself, one in which his own enrichment must be subjugated, so for him to abuse his father seems well within his boundaries.
But two genuinely frightening events did transpire this past weekend, one new, one old. New: Trump nominated an arch-conservative religious zealot who opposes not only abortion but who will swing the Supreme Court toward the final dismantling of the Affordable Care Act.
Old: the United States cruised past the 200,000 mark for Covid-19 deaths. As of today, 205,963, have succumbed to the illness. I call that old news because we're treating it that way, just as Trump wants us to. It doesn't lead anymore, and the administration avoids discussing it, but the impact on our daily lives is immense, unavoidable. As bad as everything else may be—tax avoidance, family tattletales, a conservative court—nothing should supersede the fact that millions of Americans are going to suffer loss and sadness during the coming holiday season. There'll be empty chairs at the table, solemn celebrations, jokes that won't be told and nostalgia that won't be shared—and all because of the failure of Donald Trump to do his job.
Every time we push that failure to page two, we do the presidents PR work for him. We did it with the imprisoned children (they're still there) and now we're doing it with the pandemic.
Look, we know what Trump is and we knew it before this past weekend. So arrest him for tax evasion or vote him out of office. Everything else is distraction, and the more distracted we are, the better his chance of getting four more years to take America down.