Not even two months in, the world has already run out of metaphors to describe the Donald Trump presidency.
On the bright side, the death toll appears to be 0 — so far. As with everything with Trump, however, there’s a caveat. The tragic death of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens was the result of a mission engineered before Trump stormed the White House. That he exploited the horrific loss for political gain speaks only to his brief legacy as Washington’s most outrageous carnival barker, a feat not to be dismissed.
True, human casualties haven’t begun to rack up yet, but the collateral damage Trump & Co. has foisted on honesty, America’s righteous reputation, tolerance, justice, virtue, the environment, the poor, morality, the wretched, the Office of the U.S. Presidency, human dignity, the sick, foreign policy, truth and, above all, American camaraderie, is breathtaking.
We have become the Divided States of America. And within every state, battles flare daily between “Us” and “Them.”
In just the past few days, the Trump administration:
• privately made a bid for war with nuclear nut-cases in North Korea, allowing only a right-wing blog writer to witness the shocking development.
• released a budget blueprint that would cut deeply into programs protecting the working poor, the environment and ailing rural communities to beef up military spending, already larger than what the world’s other top 13 countries spend combined.
• persisted in forcing his staff to perpetuate discredited lies that President Obama spied on Trump before the election and coerced the British to help him. It’s now become a multi-international incident that not only has brought a great deal of shame and ridicule upon the United States, Trump may have finally delivered the deathblow to his credibility.
• vociferously backed an ill-conceived plan to modify Obamacare that does nothing he promised as a candidate for president, It’s under siege from conservatives, liberals, doctors, insurers, providers, hospitals, researchers, Republican governors and powerful groups that represent older and poorer Americans.
• fell deeper into a quagmire of ties between Trump’s political associates and Russia and its interference in the last election.
• blasted one of the most critical aspects of American constitutional government when new courts overturned Trump’s latest attempt to ban Muslim immigrants and visitors.
Those were the week’s highlights.
Despite the gravity of each and every one of these calamities and the tirades and tweets each outrage prompts, he continues unhampered. Congressional Republican leaders let him. Starved for the power to finally run the show and seeing Trump as just the stooge they needed, GOP leaders coyly look away from Trump’s bamboozling. It seems a small price to pay for the Capitol’s political gold diggers.
They’re unnerved by protests and sinking polls but unmoved knowing that history will not be kind to their folly. They’re clamoring unafraid to get on board Icarus Airlines with Trump for a quick trip to disaster. Most Americans feel sad that poor people have to go back to being sick as well as poor under the proposed changes to Obamacare. But God help the congressman who votes on a health-care bill that raises the insurance rates of a 63-year-old unemployed steel worker or coal miner five times what they’re paying now.
As a country, we’re already exhausted by all this.
It’s depressing to think that for years to come we all must hope that whatever crazy or stupid thing Trump does or says today, something or someone will prevent him from bringing a world of hurt into our own lives.
Our luck is running out, and it’s amazing that the heavy smoke in the cabin has only got a few key Republicans worried.
The rest of us are left to watching out the window for parachutes from the cockpit, and digging for new metaphors and similes to get through another week.