Will 2020 Be About Trump Fatigue or Trump Numbness?

Just when you thought this president couldn’t sink any lower, now he’s fabricating weather forecasts. Nixon had Watergate, Trump has Sharpiegate. Not only did Trump falsely claim that Hurricane Dorian posed a threat to, of all places, Alabama, he doubled down on that claim by producing a chart that was clearly doctored with a black sharpie to indicate that Alabama was in the storm’s original path, even though the National Weather Service at no point indicated that was the case. So egregious was Trump’s stunt that the state of Alabama was forced to issue a press release to its citizens informing them that there was no danger posed by the storm.

I wish I was making this shit up, but unfortunately, I’m not. It’s all too real.

I keep asking myself, is this it? Have we finally reached the tipping point where the country will have an epiphany and come to the realization that this man is mentally and morally unfit for the office he holds? I mean, how detached from reality do you have to be to not be able to own up to what for most people would be an honest mistake, but for this man is akin to admitting defeat? Think about it: thousands of people were being threatened by arguably the strongest Atlantic hurricane in over a generation and all he gives a shit about is proving he was right about the storm’s path. The mind boggles.

The 2020 election has been on my mind a lot lately. And I know it’s tempting for many of us who have grown disgusted by this man’s depravity to assume that voter fatigue will ultimately be the undoing of him. Somehow, I’m not quite as optimistic.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no doubt that a good percentage of the electorate will vote for any Democrat with a pulse just to put an end to the insanity. But the more I think about it, the more worried I am that voters might be more numb than fatigued by Trump. Let me explain.

Imagine you’re sitting at the dinner table and there’s a child who’s acting up because he doesn’t want to eat his veggies. You look over at the parent, hoping he or she will do something to calm him down  and allow you to finish your meal in peace. After several futile attempts at “negotiation,” the parent concludes that the best way to get the kid to stop whining is to give in to his demands. Problem solved; everyone’s happy, right?

Don’t look now, but that could be the scenario that plays out next November. A lot of frustrated voters going off to the polls wondering what to do with the spoiled brat in the Oval Office who keeps embarrassing himself and the nation. They may just come to the conclusion that the best course of action is to give him what he wants: four more years in office. Maybe then he’ll shut the fuck up and leave them alone.

Now of course we know that won’t happen. Mollifying a spoiled child doesn’t really solve anything. It only delays the inevitable discipline that must be administered. A time out, a paddle across the behind, being sent off to bed without supper. All fitting ways of doling out discipline to a wayward son or daughter. Except that while Trump may act like a child, biologically he’s an adult. Actually, he’s kinda like your crazy uncle you had committed because he kept wondering around the neighborhood in his shorts.

And, sadly, he’s also the president, which means he gets away with shit other people would get locked up for. Picture that kid throwing a temper tantrum at the dinner table, only with two secret service agents sitting on either side of him.

Of all the things Trump said during his campaign, the one that stands out the most occurred during an interview he did on CNN in August of 2015. “I do whine because I want to win, and I’m not happy about not winning, and I am a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win.”

That in a nutshell has been the secret to Trump’s success. He keeps whining and whining until he gets what he wants. And even when the other side cries uncle, he can’t resist the urge to rub salt in the wound to make an example of them and to let everyone else know what happens to people who cross him. He’s not just a toddler, he’s Tony Soprano on steroids. Jesus, sociopaths are less antisocial.

In 1979, Pink Floyd released a song tiled, “Comfortably Numb.” The lyrics were written by Roger Waters to describe an event in which he received a sedative to allow him to go on stage and perform. One particular part of the song is noteworthy: “You are only coming through in waves. Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re sayin’”

My fear is that the public maybe tuning Trump out. Like the above song, his lips are moving but no one cares what he’s saying anymore. Perhaps they’re not “comfortable” with him, but since when is comfort essential in this day and age? So long as their 401k is up and the economy doesn’t go in the crapper, they could conceivably give him a pass and pull the lever for him.

And that keeps me up nights. The thought that this psychopath could whine his way to a second term and finish the demolition job he started in 2017.

Author: Peter Fegan

Progressive but pragmatic. Lover of music, die-hard Giants' fan and reluctant Mets' fan. My favorite motto? I'd rather be ruled by a smart Turk than a dumb Christian.