Let’s Take A Moment To Laugh At Donald Trump
I have to confess that I felt an overwhelming sense of dread heading into the Republican National Convention this week. Not a “Ughhhhh I hate republicans they’re soooooo dumb” dread. A “Somebody’s gonna die” dread.
It was already another brutal American summer of death and destruction, and I was horrified by the specter of it culminating at the 4-day bacchanalian coronation of a demagogue who seems to be catenated to violence and racial tension, in an open carry state no less. We’d all seen the videos of the battle royales both in and around Donald Trump events, and I feared that the convention would be that times, like, a hundred gajillion.
That anxiety feels almost silly now, quaint even, as the fear dissipates and gives way to the realization that the 2016 Republican National Convention is the most farcical political event in modern American history, befitting the most farcical major candidate in modern American history.
Donald Trump is a silly man. He’s a horrible man, a dangerous man, a man who has used his platform to empower and enable the worst impulses in his followers… but he’s also quite silly. His hair is silly. The way he talks is silly. His insistence on placing his name in big bold letters on architectural mediocrities is silly.
Even the way he moves his body is silly. Look at that clip of him walking onto the convention stage like The Undertaker into the Royal Rumble. His posture conjures memories of a pimply 13-year-old with nobody to talk to at the middle school dance. And look at his tiny baby hands! Dude has no idea what to do with his tiny baby hands. They flop to his sides like a pair of suffocating Magikarps. In what should be one of the most triumphant moments of his entire existence, he still manages to look like a complete fucking dope.
Scott Baio spoke at this convention. Trump promised us a convention of Hollywood glitz and glamor, and he gave us Scott Baio. Scott Baio is less relevant than I am. We also got a vaguely ethnic soap opera star and Son of Homophobic Duck Man. It seems like the requirements for getting a speaking slot were “Was on TV that one time,” “Has a pulse,” and “Is willing to strap themselves to a walking metaphor for the superficiality of the American Dream.”
Rudy Giuliani wallowed in his own sustained irrelevance as he raved and ranted on national television like a toddler whose mommy won’t buy him the racecar he wants from Walmart. His speech about the dangers of treating those spooky brown and black people with basic respect and dignity will echo throughout history with the same resonance as a wet fart on a commuter bus. Ben Carson implied that Hillary Clinton worshipped Satan, and Chris Christie sang Springsteen’s “Drive All Night” while massaging Donald’s feet (I assume…I didn’t finish Christie’s speech).
Of course, all of this madness culminated in the speeches made by future Woman Who Regrets Signing Pre-Nup Melania Trump and never beloved Senator Ted Cruz.
What is there left to be said about Lady Trump’s address to the masses that hasn’t already been said (probably by Michelle Obama)? What does it say about a man that his wife had to google “nice things said by political wives about husband” in order to put together a speech espousing his virtues? What does it say about a man who got famous for firing people that nobody has been fired for the humiliation of his wife on a national stage?
What takes this all to a heightened level of farce is that even with the cribbed language, the speech wasn’t that good. She didn’t make the case for her husband being humanoid, let alone presidential. Not a single anecdote in which he showed kindness to his fellow man, or even indicated that he had an emotional inner life beyond the bubbling brew of greed and envy he lays bare on a daily basis.
And then there’s one Edward Cruz. Oh Teddy, you brass-balled blowhard. Just for this moment, I raise my glass to you. Your self-satisfied smirk when you dropped “Vote your conscience” as it dawned on the crowd what exactly you meant gave me life. It made my heart leap with the grace of a gazelle in the Savannah. The self-professed deal-making guru let Ted, in exchange for taking his name of the nominating ballot, get up on that stage in front of the whole country and refuse to endorse his party’s nominee, sticking his fork in the eye of “party unity” and further burying the supposed narrative of this debacle that Donald Trump would make a good President.
These are all ridiculous people, serving their Lord of Asininity. He isn’t The Donald. He’s A Donald. His deep hunger to be taken seriously is betrayed by his lack of seriousness. He is a man devoid of gravitas and strength, filled to the brim with bluster and bitterness at his inability to display even the most basic level of competence.
There is undeniable humor in a man who bills himself as a great businessman despite his utter failure in business (if not for his gaudy self-branding). There is humor in a man who claims to know and hire the “best people,” but is hiring contestants from his reality show to work for his campaign (Omarosa is his Director of African-American Outreach. That isn’t a hacky joke premise. That’s a thing that is happening). There is humor in a sad little man who gets so close to greatness yet manages to spectacularly fall flat on his face before ever attaining it.
Of course there is also terror. The thought of this petty imbecilic man getting his vulgar fingers on the nuclear codes is cause for great alarm. He sees the world in black and white, both in a figurative and very literal sense, and his inability to grasp both compassion and complexity makes his ascension and wholly undeserved place in American history all the more horrifying.
But I can’t live the entirety of 2016 in abject fear. I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to carry that with me in my every day life. That’s not a healthy way to live. So we have to set aside some time to laugh, to find joy in the dread.
There will be lots of time to hold A Donald in contempt for the his atrocities against decency and common sense in the coming months. But for now, let’s do the thing that truly gets under his skin the most: Let’s laugh at him.