Trumpe-L’oeil

Trump’s campaign is the ruse of the century

It’s always risky to make assumptions only to find out later that you were completely off base in your assessment, but the prospect of a Trump presidency is so bizarre, I’m just going to go ahead and say this:

Trump is not in it to win it.

Pundits will argue that he sure as hell is in it to win it and it looks like he will, dammit.  Others will say that his unorthodoxy is part of what makes him the brilliant tactician that he is; that by making outrageous and seemingly offensive statements he is breaking the mold of the consummate politician thereby owning this election.  Another segment of the population is so offended by him and his Hitler-esque ideology (their words, not mine) that they’re predicting we’ll soon be goose stepping our way through a totalitarian dictatorship.  Still some, like me, just think he’s crazy.

Like a fox.

Do you really think Trump wants to make America great again?  Or is it something else?  When a guy’s got his name on more buildings than Sam Walton, it can’t be the fame.  Power hungry?  I get that, but there are other ways to be powerful without having to hoodwink the electorate all the way into the White House.  I know, Ronald Reagan was an outlier, too but who are we kidding:   Trump is no Ronald Reagan.

This isn’t my first assessment of the ruse of the century. In early August, and after Trump had announced his candidacy, I posted this vignette on Facebook.

august trump prediction

At this point, I’m not sure that this is exactly his motive, but I do think he has some O’Henry trick up his sleeve, you know, the surprise ending.  Because come on, you threaten to boycott a debate because you don’t like Megyn Kelly?  Really, Donald, if you can’t get along with the host of a cable news show, how are you going to navigate Putin?  Whining that you’re not coming to the party if Megyn is there rather emasculates you, don’t you think?  At the very least you sound like a petulant child who is picking up his toys and going home.

Most unbecoming, Sir.

His behavior is not logical, which is why some in the political sphere, like Rush Limbaugh, believe this is all part of his strategy.  To me, though, it appears as if he is setting himself up to be so reviled that he’ll either step aside and let someone else occupy his spot, or he really is a DNC plant.

Regardless, I both cringe and shake my head every time the guy opens his mouth, wondering what manner of cartoon character rhetoric is going to come out.  Would I keel and wail and render my flesh if he manages to get elected?  No.  Furthermore, I don’t think that’s going to happen.  This guy is too smart to resort to acting like an asshat, and he’s wily enough to fool people into thinking that he is.

If that circular logic baffles you, then guess what?  You’ve been Trumped.

It’s true because I read it on Facebook

Oprahs Book ClubIf you base your entire belief system on what you read on Facebook, you’re making yourself look like a real schlemiel.

Okay, so besides keeping up with friends near and far, selling a novel, and texting my sister via ‘Messenger’ because she refuses to buy a cell phone, I’ve culled some great stuff from Facebook. Stuff like, “8 things you didn’t know you could do with leftover bacon grease—number 4 will BLOW YOUR MIND!” or “Eliminate cat feces from your flowerbeds with ONE WEIRD TRICK!”

But what really boggles my mind is how people—individuals who are apparently intelligent enough to own a computer and create a Facebook page—can look at one meme or one story that’s gone “viral” and extract from that their entire political agenda. Everything from who they intend to support in the upcoming presidential election to their feelings on abortion, LGBT rights, and whether Donald Trump really does want to tattoo Muslims (he doesn’t) or build a wall and get Mexico to pay for it (he does).

Facebook is to the truth as Wikipedia is to research. It may be a good place to start, but if you base your entire belief system on what you read there, especially if you agree, like, share, or forward something about which heretofore you knew very little, you’re making yourself look like a real schlemiel. For crying out loud, you’re sitting at a computer with internet access (otherwise you wouldn’t have Facebook, but you knew that), so why don’t you do a little research and find out if Chelsea Clinton’s father-in-law really did serve time in prison for embezzlement (he did) or if Sarah Palin actually said, “I can see Russia from my house!” (she didn’t).

Even more misleading than actual Facebook posts are the memes floating among the flotsam and jetsam. These give the reader just a flash of an image or a set of carefully arranged words in an eye-catching font that are meant to completely change your opinion of everything you used to hold dear. This, for instance.

meme1

Really?  Says who? There is no identifying information within the image that I can research, just the words themselves.  Am I really supposed to believe this is true?  Or feel bad because I often identify with the GOP?  I submit to you that 80% of Americans don’t trust their grandmothers, either.

To further infuriate the masses, there are those pesky agitators out there—trolls, if you will—who will go so far as to post outlandish shizz  in order to stir up controversy; in this case (see below), to poke fun at or poke holes in certain segments of the population who refuse to use birth control, have their babies at home then eat their placentas, don’t vaccinate their young breed, and demand that you do the same under pain of hell-fire.

dotndI’ll admit that when I first saw this, I, too, said, “Bite me.”  But then I did a little digging and found that there was no “Disciples of the New Dawn”, the organization that allegedly created this Facebook page.  The page was the brainchild of somebody with too much time on his hands and a warped sense of humor.  It was specifically designed to get women’s panties in a wad (as if there isn’t enough of that going around). Apparently, somebody else was so offended that they created a Change.org petition to have site removed.

Guess who won Facebook that day?

Facebook is a platform for connecting with family and friends, for sharing ideas and showing me how to get the pee stains out of my mushroom-colored carpeting, and especially for posting cute pictures of babies and toddlers (however they are born and regardless of whether their moms ate their placentas or if they are vaccinated).  It’s also for watching videos of puppies doing cute things and kittens romping about and being clever.

And just in case you were über-impressed with the fact that Oprah Winfrey is clutching a copy of my novel in the first image, just remember that she left her venerable talk show in May, 2011, and my novel was published in March, 2014.

But I had you there for a second, didn’t I?

Don’t believe everything you read on Facebook.  A lot of it is simply fiction, just like The Gym Show.