Thursday, 18 May 2017

Breaking news: Trump assasinated

According to the entertaining cartoonist who inexplicably morphed into the parody geekbro and red-pillish men's rights activist still known as Scott Adams, we're witnessing "The Slow-Motion Assassination of President Trump", no less.

After all, as Scott has repeatedly pointed out, Trump is a master wizard, who's playing 10-dimensional chess, or whatever, while the rest of us clueless muggles don't even realise the game's started. Obviously, the only way such an omnitalented ├╝bermensch could fail is because his enemies have ganged up on him in a massive, sustained conspiracy. It's like JFK, except with bullets made of the purest fake news...

Up to a very limited point, I agree with Scott. There is probably less to the Russia thing than meets the eye. Trump's a careless blabbermouth and a security nightmare with an embarrassing man-crush on hunky Tsar Vladimir, but I'm not running with the outlandish idea thet he's some kind of Hollywood-style Manchurian Candidate.

But as for the character "assassination" idea, well, Mr President, you're no Jack Kennedy. If you want a historical parallel, Al Capone would be closer. Not because of Trump's alleged ties with The Mob, but because what got Capone in the end wasn't the stuff he was notorious for (being a gangster and killing people), but something far more mundane (tax evasion).

Likewise, Trump is notorious for a number of failings which are no secret to anybody. These include a short attention span, an incredible degree of ignorance, a lack of interest in remedying that ignorance, or learning the most basic facts he needs to do his job, an apparent inability to distinguish whether the stuff that comes out of his mouth is true, false, or even coherent, an admitted preference for living inside his own privileged filter bubble, a streak of petty cruelty, a desire to humiliate others and self-parodic levels of vanity. Don't just take my word for it - this interview transcript from The Economist gives chapter and verse on the evasiveness, the blustering ineptitude, the desire to escape from inconvenient facts and the epic vanity. As for the vindictive spite of the man, you shouldn't even need to google it unless you've been living under a rock, or on Mars, for the last couple of years.

Most of this stuff has been obvious for as long as people have been aware of Donald Trump. But, instead, what's damaging him is a less dramatic failing - inattention, combined with an underdeveloped theory of mind which mean that his attempts to explain the probably explicable end up sounding shifty and evasive. By the look of things, this is a guy who hasn't quite grasped the fact that a plain "I didn't do it" sounds more convincing than "I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, there's no way you can prove anything." But he seemingly can't help himself - every time somebody comes up with something circumstantial, but a bit dodgy-sounding, he manages to make it sound even worse - if he doesn't learn that less is more, and soon, he'll end up tripping over his own bizarrely over-long tie and falling flat on his big orange face.

And then, who knows? President Elizabeth Warren, according to Scott Adams, who clearly thinks that this would be a bad thing because, you know, the oppressive matriarchy, feminazis, whatever. However, by the end of his post, Scott goes back to his happy place and concludes with the consoling idea that President Warren, too, will only last a couple of years now that any president can be brought down by fake news and conspiracy theories. It would probably be useless to point out that Trump himself was only too happy to run with a ridiculous  conspiracy theory which was far less plausible than the Russia thing. Remind me, what was it called again?
"You're fired!"
Big Bertha? I'm sure it was something like that ... hang on, I've got it now:
"The FAKE NEWS media is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!"
Big birther. Turns out that if you sow the wind, you might just end up reaping the whirlwind. Who knew?

Speaking of irony, has anybody else noted the striking similarities between Trump and one of the characters in Adams's Dilbert cartoons, the pointy-haired boss? An entitled bully with weird hair, promoted way above his abilities who is way more clueless and ignorant than the people below him in the hierarchy. All these years I thought that Scott intended the pointy-haired boss to be a figure of fun, never realising that he was really a how-to manual for aspiring presidents. Whatever next? Steve Bannon as Catbert?