By Gallagher and Schleicher
Despite the noble efforts of White House Chief of Staff and retired Marine general John F. Kelly, there is an emerging “morale problem” among those supporting and working for our current commander in chief. Some fear the gut-wrenching stench drenching our capital city does not originate solely with the three super-sized corpse flowers at the U.S. Botanic Garden.
Staffers live in fear of the boot, conservative pundits bemoan damage to the movement and Vice President Mike Pence has been spotted in the Oval Office with a tape measure and an interior design consultant. Meanwhile, Trump golfs with a blithe spirit not seen since Nero fiddled.
A Trump voter confided to us she’s come to view him “like one of those trick candles that you can’t blow out, except it’s an industrial fire.” To add insult to injury, she confesses that “children are laughing at my red MAGA hat.” Another Trump voter suggests meekly that the president’s staff take away “that godd– f—ing phone and flush it down the commode so that SOB can tweet no more.”
Such angst is premature, disloyal and based solely on “facts.” A more subjective analysis underscores the same alt.reality that propelled Donald past 19 others into the gates at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. We find ample reason to continue pretending at winning. Bigly.
For starters, there’s “the lag” — the time it takes for large groups of people to assess complex information. While Trump reaches historically low approval ratings in record time, the lag virtually guarantees at least several more months of Trump support from a plurality. Even now — per a Fox News poll — he’s only five points less popular than Obamacare.
Plus the novelty has not yet worn off. In that same Fox poll, two-thirds of Americans judged him as least “somewhat unstable.” No other president has offered such reckless unpredictability in a way that seems both scripted and yet ad-lib (As Seen on TV™). With “fake news” charges inoculating his base from realizing it’s their country he’s destroying, his ju-jitsu media prowess means over 60 million Americans remain hopelessly devoted to you-know-who.
Speaking of media, launch of the new pro-Trump television channel ensures a safe place for viewers to go when legitstream media makes them feel as if they’re melting. Such “communication tools” are more than handy: they drown out criticism, fuel social media and better blur the lines between real journalism and propaganda. When we can’t win, we can pretend. And we need never go more than an hour without an image of our dear leader.
Threats of nuclear war? Cataclysmic natural disasters? One need not be Juan Perón to see the potential for campaign rally stops, campaign product placement and sound-byte “fire and fury” bonanzas, as one reassures those suffering that everything is just fantastic.
OK, not an entirely cloudless sky. Torch-bearing Klansmen in khakis and vehicular homicide don’t make for good optics. And one can only declare them morally equal to “Antifa” so long as the public doesn’t realize U.S. deaths at the hands of extremists are 74 percent from the right. Even defending the bravery of bronze statues will only get you so far. Try adopting a puppy instead.
Tax reform and infrastructure investment seem as doomed as health-care reform. (If only we had elected a dealmaker!) All the while Mother Nature becomes more and more difficult to ignore. Perhaps we shouldn’t have grabbed her by the permafrost. Not to mention the question of what happens to a Dreamer deferred. Perhaps Langston Hughes knows?
That Russia thing won’t go away either. But so long as Melania and the others don’t cop a plea and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman isn’t waiting at the other end, we can cross that Bering Strait when we come to it. In short, don’t worry; be happy. America is getting greater every day in every way, one tweet at a time.
Most importantly, science is on Trump’s side. Astrophysicists confirm dark energy has more power than gravity, is omnipresent and at an ever-increasing rate inevitably is tearing the universe apart. With odds like that, even a bankrupt casino owner is guaranteed a triple-crown reel.
David Gallagher is a transplanted Texan, living and working in London, tweeting @TBoneGallagher. David Schleicher is an attorney who splits his time between Waco, D.C. and Houston, tweeting @TheContranym. This piece originally appeared in the September 12, 2017 Waco Tribune-Herald, where the Davids are on the Board of Contributors.