If you hadn’t noticed by now, our president is something of an oddity. In the infancy of his presidency, we were warned not to ‘normalize’ our billionaire president or his abhorrent behavior. He travels around the country to host campaign rallies even though he’s already been president for months now, ranting and raving as the cameras catch every second of bluster from our commander-in-chief. In Phoenix, Trump drew a crowd and again he breathed fire at the media while many, many more were outside protesting. He fumed (again) about how they were unfair to him, how he stood up for the forgotten men and women against the elites (then went to brag about what an elite lifestyle he lives), slung arrows at his enemies (John McCain and Mitch McConnell) and along the way threatened to shut down the government over his border wall (one of the main promises he made during the 2016 campaign).
For more than an hour, Trump threw a temper tantrum to the delight of his hardcore base, and offered nothing new. It was the standard Trump routine, and what they warned us has come true: We’ve gotten used to our angry president stomping around the stage like a petulant toddler. It was so old-hat that rally-goers walked off and stuck their noses in their phones instead. It was a dire scene, obvious to all but his most loyal followers who will insist until the very end that every word he spouted was solid gold and that it was CNN who humiliated themselves.
Listening to his speech was like listening to a greatest hits album of an overplayed artist on the radio. There are no surprises, no insights to be gained, just a weary resignation that you’ve heard it all before in every kind of take imaginable. For more than an hour, he acted with all the restraint of an angry dog chewing on furniture, and it was wearying to the very soul. Trump, unlike normal people, does not move on. Trump does not get over slights. Trump does not learn any new material. Our nation has been putting up with this for less than a year, and we have so much further yet to go.
With this thought in mind, we must remind ourselves that our president, Donald Trump, is an oddity. Despite how old his shenanigans may get, he must remain an anomaly. The threat of normalization remains ever-present, and we must remember that there existed a time when the rooms of the White House were staffed by professionals, seasoned lawmakers and men and women of honor and conviction. Not blowhard reality
stars or desperate, sycophantic hangers-on who get in line to kiss Trump’s ring hoping for a juicy position. Trump was, and is, the hybrid germ of the internet troll and the Peak TV era in which we are entertaining ourselves to death with endless content.
Our president tries to be a one-man stop for all our news and entertainment needs. It’s his need to dominate the news cycle that drives him to get up and pretend to be president for another day, it’s why he launches into diatribes about fake news over the way he’s portrayed. This has never been normal behavior for a president, nor should it ever be. President Trump knows that his shtick is in need of an update, driving him to ever-lower depths of depravity and incoherence with every statement and speech and rally. Right now it’s still hard to tell if the Phoenix rally was the bottom or if things can get worse. That’s the problem with being a caricature of yourself—it doesn’t give you much room to ratchet things up. How much louder can Trump yell? How much more venom can he spew at his enemies? How much more bloodthirsty and vicious can the barbarians at our borders get?
Despite the over-the-top rhetoric, despite the onslaught of news segments and articles hitting us every day, we have to remember that this is still not normal, no matter how many months or years down the line. Donald Trump has eviscerated any shred of normalcy there once was in our country. He continues to push the boundaries of politics, power and behavior and not for the betterment of America.
DeWitt, a freelance writer whose interests include horror, electronic entertainment and politics, lives in Jacksonville with his wife Cammy.