You know Paul Rudnick from his work on movies like Addams Family Values, The First Wives Club, In & Out, and the screen version of his play Jeffrey. He’s written many other things, but I’ve been following his posts on Facebook lately and his astute observations have turned to politics, summing up the first 100 days of Trump.
“Trump’s first 100 days have revealed only what absolutely everyone in America already knew: that’s he’s inept, unqualified and an embarrassment. He’s accomplished nothing, outside of appointing the expectedly conservative and arrogant Neal Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and using executive orders to disenfranchise as many women, poor people and LGBTQ people as he can.
People on the left remain outraged, while Trump’s supporters stand behind him, for one simple reason: they never expected results. They knew his promises were empty blather. They’re not really all that upset about jobs or infrastructure. All they need to know is that Trump won, which means they won.
That’s all the Trumpites ever needed: attention and revenge. Once in office, Trump has behaved exactly as they would, as a hopeless amateur. President Obama and Hillary Clinton were smart, experienced and educated, which made them a threat. Obama and Hillary didn’t ignore a certain segment of the white middle class, but just by existing, they made those voters feel squirmingly inferior. No one ever feels inferior to Trump.
This is why, when interviewed about Trump’s sweeping lack of achievments and constant lying, his supporters say, ‘I think he’s doing great’ or ‘At least he’s trying.’ This is exactly what they’d like to hear said about themselves.
Trump has also provided his backers with the one other factor they crave: an enemy. When Trump bombed Syria, his fans said, “He’s showing the world that we’re in charge again.” And Trump’s constant harping on a wall which will never be funded or built continues to create an image of evil, most often accented and brown skinned outsiders, seeking to vote illegally, steal America’s jobs and sell drugs to our children. On some insane, restless level, many Americans miss war, as if war was some larger version of the Superbowl.
Trump can’t alienate his base, because they’re barely bothering to pay attention to anything he says or does. They can see his face and feel a sense of ongoing accomplishment. The eggheads have been vanquished. All of those whining women and their politically correct lawyers have been put in their place. The world is once again safe for vicious mediocrity, which is what the Trump folks refer to as “solid values.” Done.
As for the future? Democrats remain in a muddle, waiting for either a viable new leader, or some catastrophic Trump blunder. There’s also an exhaustion aspect, which, oddly, Trump shares. When he says “I never knew the job would be so hard”, he actually expects Americans to sympathize. This may end up bringing the country together, as everyone, red and blue alike, asks,
‘Have you ever had a job?‘” –Paul Rudnick