In the past few days we have seen a … strange version of da trumpeter. I am not sure quite how else to define him. Yes, he was always strange, but one gradually, over time, becomes accustomed to the strangeness and comes to expect it. Then, when the strangeness morphs into something else, still strange, but in a different way, one is left … perplexed. Such is this writer’s reaction to the new and un-improved version of da trumpeter.
In the beginning, he spewed hate, stupidity and vileness every time he opened his mouth. Many seemed to eat this up, loving him more by the day, so he stayed on that path with no filters for his vile rhetoric. Then, once it was clear he would be the Republican nominee, what’s-his-name, Paul Manafort, was hired by the campaign to help Trump learn to ‘tone down’ his rhetoric, but there were few, if any, signs of that happening in the few short months of Manafort’s tenure. Then along came Steve Bannon, the former head of Breitbart “News”, a loudmouth, radical conservative who seemed to want to just let Trump be Trump.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. Trump tried to be less “Trumpy”. First, he issued a very insincere, but nonetheless un-Trumpy apology, saying he regrets “some things” … no mention of what, precisely, he regrets, but something, apparently. Or so he has been told. Then for the last few days he has flipped and flopped like a fish out of water about his immigration rhetoric. In fact, he basically said, if one reads between the lines, that he agrees with President Obama’s handling of immigration policy, and would follow along the same lines, albeit with “more energy”. All of which has left the nation, but especially his lemmings, scratching their heads and wondering if he has been exposed to some virus that changed the structure of his minimal brain cells.
Note, however that beneath the mask, da trumpeter still lurks. Even my latest Idiot of the Week tried to get Trump to specify his “apology” and backtrack a bit on two of the victims of his verbal, racist abuse that have cost him a great number of potential supporters. Take a look at the conversation between Hannity & Trump last night:
Hannity: “They say, ‘Please, I love Mr. Trump, but tell him to be quiet about Judge [Gonzalo] Curiel, about the media, about Mr. [Khizr] Khan, and only focus on Hillary and Obama. Now, my question to you is: We’ve got less than 80 days to go, are you focused on only those two?”
Trump: “Well, look, I have to be who I am. I think that’s why I won the primaries. I think that’s why I got more votes in the history of the Republican primary. Nobody’s gotten as many votes. I have to be who I am. But this is now about Hillary Clinton versus myself. And you know, I win. I win. In life, I win. I want to win. I have a very winning temperament, okay? I know how to win. And we are going to win. And we’re going to make America great again. You know, we are going to make America great again. That’s what it’s all about.”
See … he is still playing the same old song, titled “Wonderful Me”, and did not even make note, it would seem, of the question at hand. And if there are two things Trump should most regret (out of the thousand or so), they are Curiel and Khan. It’s rare you see three-quarters or more of Americans agreeing on much of anything, and yet that many Americans agreed Trump was wrong in both instances.
And then he tried to play nice with African-Americans, since in many states only 0%-1% are Trump supporters. His way of playing nice, however, is akin to the schoolyard bully trying to smile while stealing your lunch:
“You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. Fifty-eight percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?”
Fortunately, African-Americans are mostly smarter than Trump gives them credit for and they were not fooled … in fact, most saw it as a slap in the face, since Trump obviously has no concept of how they live or what their needs really are. Schoolyard bullies rarely change their attitudes, they just go on to become even nastier adult bullies.
Those of us who are still capable of coherent thought understand that nothing has changed. Somebody, possibly Bannon, but more likely his new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, has crafted a mask that Trump has agreed to don … sometimes … for now. But it is just that, a mask, a façade. The real Trump is lurking just under the surface and it will not take much before he emerges with a roar and snapping jaws. A single insult, I think, should do the trick. We are not fooled.
His supporters, his lemmings, on the other hand, are puzzled, and perhaps not happy with the un-Trumpy. Remember, the thing they most liked about him from day one was his screaming, yelling, bigoted, violent rhetoric. They liked the fact that he wanted to ban and expel all immigrants. They liked that he claimed he would abolish the status quo and just change everything. And now they are left wondering … will he really build a wall, or will he change his tune on that too? They want their old Trumpy back! This decidedly un-Trumpy is boring, he is not turning over new phobic rocks for the vermin to slither out from under. No worries, lemmings! Your Trumpy cannot wear the mask for long and soon enough he will be back to spouting the nastiness that you all know and love!