As we enter Day Six of Sharpiegate, it’s tempting to dismiss it as just another week of our shitty, Trumpian New Normal. “Alabama would have been washed into the sea without my psychic intervention! CNN is evil! Fox is full of apostates! Debra Messing bad! Wall good!”
Sure, that bellowing you hear from the Oval Office may sound like the rantings of a kooky slowcoach accidental president of limited cognitive abilities. You could ascribe it to his obsessions and twitching, reflexive rages over even the slightest correction or disagreement as an act. We could blame it all on whatever slurry of toupee worms, mental illness, creeping dementia, tertiary syphilis, scurvy, and windmill cancer occupies his wee noggin, but it’s so much more, and it’s so much worse.
Trump has entered the eccentric dictator phase of his presidency, so strap in.
In every crapped-out hellhole dictatorship, there are rules. Sure, they may be arbitrary, capricious, and inhumane, but they do exist. For those of us who were thankfully raised in the relative freedom and sanity of the West, we’re not always familiar with the niceties of the Dear Leader Lifestyle, so let me acquaint you with a few. Consider it my civic duty to prepare you for the glowing future into which the Divine Lord of Don Shinrikyō will lead us.
From Stalin to Mao to Mugabe to Pol Pot to Saddam to Trump’s sleepover bestie Kim Jong Un, Donald’s defining emotion is not contempt, but envy. These men enjoyed the life of power, wealth, control and freedom from accountability that fills Trump’s political spank bank.
The Dear Leader is never wrong. Even when the record, the obvious facts, the basic rules of physics and economics, and plain facts are biting him on the ass, Kim Jong Don can never be wrong. Ever. Even when admitting an error would be politically or personally smart, the Dear Leader can never admit it.
The Trump MAGA cult has repeatedly demonstrated that no matter how ludicrously overdrawn Trump’s lies are, they believe him. They’re the vanguard of post-truth America, so it’s no wonder a large number of them believe in absurd conspiracy fantasies like QAnon and that Donnie Big Boy weighs 239 pounds.
Facts are what he says they are. Minister of Propaganda Kellyanne Conway kicked off the administration’s post-truth stance in the earliest days, giving us a presidency based on “alternative facts.”
Trump’s political allies know better, but as in every place where authoritarian madmen rule, they want to keep their jobs and their heads. Sure, their parliaments, Congresses, and courts are mere puppet shows, but to keep their positions, they’ll nod and clap like trained seals whenever the Sun Who Rises From The Tanning Bed To Illume Our Woeful Lives speaks.
Republicans learned a key lesson for today from Saddam Hussein’s reign in Iraq: Don't be the first guy to stop clapping when the Dear Leader speaks. Watch your back, because snitches are all around you. Never let an iota of light or doubt creep into your public proclamations, and even if the pressure grows to the point where no rational person could stay silent.
Laws? Elections? In the Dear Leader universe, these are mere echoes of the weak, corrupt past. Of course, the Life-Giving God Who Graces Us With His Umber Glow is above the law. The laws are for the little people, and the fake news media. Ditto with elections. Trump’s joking references to a third term are growing in number and intensity, and some part of his rat-nest consciousness is thinking, “I bet I could get away with it.” The 2020 efforts to kill off the Republican primary to clear the field for Trump are a preview. I mean, why bother with elections when there’s so much winning going on?
What dictator is complete without the ultimate accessory of a personal propaganda network? The Dear Leader in North Korea has one that treats him the way Trump imagines he should be treated, with the screeching pink lady Ri Chun-hee praising his golf game, his height, his accomplishments, his intellect, and the length of his little dictator. And no, Fox, it’s not you. You’ve been insufficiently loyal to the cause. Move over, Rupert; OANN is the Voice of the Mountain of Love For All His People.
Dictator chic is another thing you’ll need to keep in mind. Set aside that Trump already has a decorating aesthetic that looks like Liberace and Saddam got together and said, “Let’s do something really over the top.” Sure, the proles usually end up in boiler suits or whatever dingy native garb the Kraplakistanis sport, but the Dear Leader is always rocking bespoke uniforms. Why should Trump be different?
While First Term Donald’s modesty keeps him stuck in off-the-rack Brioni tater sack-cut suits with a skosh more room in the seat and thigh, Second Term Donald is going all out. Doesn’t the POTUS with the mostest deserve his own Commander in Chief uniform? Something with hella epaulets and gold braid? The designers will need to leave plenty of room for medals; let no man forget his heroism at the Battle of the Bowling Green, his Defense of Alabama Service Cross with Sharpie Cluster, and his Purple Shart with Bone Spurs Device.