What's Tony Thinking

Trapped In Trump World


I’ve never been trapped in an abusive relationship. But now I feel like I am, and that we all are. Trapped in an abusive relationship with our former President. Will he never go away?

Here we are — three years since he lost the election and two and half years since he left office — and yet he dominates American life on a daily, even hourly, basis. Can’t we get a retraining order? A no-contact order?

Trump didn’t just have sex with a porn star. He is a porn star. A star of the porn of performative self-gratification. We are all trapped inside his never-ending crazy-house video.

I am grateful that the justice system is doing what it is supposed to do, and that Trump is under multiple indictments, with a high probability of more to come. Yes, thank you to the dogged investigators and attorneys, the long-suffering grand jury members, the archivists, the defamed prosecutors and special prosecutors, the derided judges and the thousands of others who are part of bringing Trump to justice.

And yet . . . it feels as if we’re trapped, trapped in Trump’s world, caught in an abusive relationship that will never end.

It feels, to change the metaphor, like a game of whack-a-mole. With every prosecutorial whack (indictment), more lies pour forth, more Trump defenders make more preposterous claims and arguments, more claim the bully is the victim. Fox News called Joe Biden a “Wannabe Dictator,” who has jailed his “Major Political Opponent.” As Joe likes to say, “C’mon, man!” I guess Fox is really desperate to get back the viewers it lost when Tucker got too costly even  for Rupert Murdoch.

But of course bullies and abusers aren’t solo operators. They need enablers. Which is where 95% of the Republican Party comes in. They have enabled this abuser, this bully, this boorish cad. With the exceptions of Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, Mitt Romney and a handful of others, no Republicans have had the guts to say, “No.” “No, this is not okay.” “No, this shall not stand.” Some like Mitch McConnell have occasionally spoken up, but then failed to act on the truth they know. Abusers are enabled by people and systems that turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the wrong, the hideous and the evil.

The chief enabler, the Republican Party and its politicians, have had help. Help from the — I was going to say “conservative” media — but the Trump promoting media aren’t conservative in any true or meaningful sense of the word. True conservatives have actual principles. You may disagree with those principles, but they do have them. They have a moral compass. The Trump-enabling media, have no principles, no moral compass. Money and power are their gods.

America won’t be free of the scourge until his enablers stop playing their mostly behind-the-scenes, hidden-from-view part in it all. They are every bit as guilty as Trump is himself.

And then there are my brother and sister Christians .  .  .

And how, dear reader have you and have I, played our own part in all that has enabled Trump, Trumpism and the degradation of our nation? Or to put it somewhat differently, when and how have I played the game of “go along to get along”?

It’s exhausting . . .  but please, I beg you, don’t give up. Work to strengthen our civic immune system against this malignancy. Tell the truth. Stand up for democratic institutions. Respect the law. Be decent. Be as kind as you can manage. And fly the flag — today, June 14, is Flag Day.



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