I live in Tulsa, and several of my family members contacted me before Trump’s rally, saying, “Don’t go downtown and protest. It’s too dangerous.”
They were concerned about three things: me possibly contracting coronavirus, me getting involved in a fracas with Trump supporters, or me getting injured by police if police got rough with protestors.
My family did not have to worry for a couple of reasons. One, Saturday night my younger son and his family celebrated his youngest son’s fourth birthday (I would have been in trouble if I missed the event); and two, Trump’s rally was a pathetic bust. Trump and his campaign boasted a cast of hundreds of thousands of supporters, yet they could not fill a 19,000-seat arena two-thirds full.
That is an optimistic sign heading into the November presidential election.
Trump support is waning – as it should. Trump is as pathetic as his June 20th turnout. His hour-and-a-half harangue was only more boastful baloney from a petty, self-centered, whining spinner of half-truths, out-and-out lies, and bizarre conspiracies.
But pessimism never falls far from optimism.
That anyone would show up to listen to a man who has shown little managerial or mental stability in the last three years – even his entire life – is unbelievable.
But such is our scary world, the world of the folk hero, which is not an American invention, but one Americans have refined to an absurd level, so much so that an American folk hero’s life reflects little of who they were or what they really accomplished. Jesse James was a murderous outlaw, but he’s been proclaimed a Robinhood in many tales. John F. Kennedy is touted by some as the embodiment of a utopian leader when he actually had little time to accomplish much. Ronald Reagan is remembered as a hardline fiscal genius when he doubled the US deficit to a record-breaking level.
And Donald Trump in the mind of way too many people is seen as a development wizard when his only accomplishment is putting his name on what others have created. Trump in the mind of too many is seen as a tough negotiator when he has fawned over dictators and caved to tyrants. Trump in the mind of too many is seen as a man to restore America to greatness through isolation and enmity when America’s greatness over the years has been its willingness, though reluctantly at times, to accept people of all faiths and nationalities into its borders.
Trump’s notoriety has not been built on hard work, intelligence, character, and good judgment. Rather it has been built on his father’s fortune, the illusion created by a TV (un)reality show, and the constant repetition of lies and fables until they wear down the bedrock of truth.
Trump’s rise to the presidency was realized when a political party primed itself to be deceived and abandoned its moral compass for financial gain.
Trump’s political demise will be when Americans decide to opt for honesty and integrity.