Saturday, July 23, 2016

Donald Trump: Move Over Jesus

by Catherine Giordano

The Republican Convention was a hate-fest.

Munch Scream Trump Pence Poster
Maher used the Munch painting "Scream
to create a Trump Pence poster.

There’s almost no need for satire because the convention “hoisted itself on its own petard.” (This phrase comes from Shakespeare and it literally means to be blown up by one's own bomb, but as an idiom it means "to be harmed by one's own attempt to harm someone else.") 

Nonetheless, Bill Maher, on his special convention shows, struck a few more blows, ripping into the convention, and particularly Donald Trump, with his razor-sharp humor.

Maher said that “Trump stole his speech from a Saw movie,” the horror-movie where a villain uses a chain saw to kill his victims. It was definitely from the slash-and burn school of politics.

Trump depicted the United States as a country in crisis, beset by criminals, terrorists, economic decline, everything but rampaging zombies. Maher described it like this: “Did you see Donald Trump’s speech? If that had been any darker it would have been shot by the police.”

Trump’s speech was so negative and so focused on arousing fear that it could best be depicted by a poster that Maher created—a take-off on the famous Munch poster kown as “The Scream.” I’ve recreated it and put it at the top of this essay.

Trump’s speech, aside from being really dark, was full of lies. Fact checkers had a field day—some found that 80% of his statements were false, misleading, and/or exaggerated.

Trump screamed every word of his speech and went on for 75 minutes—one of the longest acceptance speeches on record. He had evidently decided that when you have nothing to say, say it very LOUD and very looong, and hope no one notices that you are an orange ignoramus.

There was so much wrong with Trump’s speech that it is hard to know where to begin. I’ll just focus on things relating to religion.

After detailing his Hellish vision of America, Trump said, “I alone can fix this.” This led Maher to say, “Move over Jesus. There’s a new savior in town.”

Maher said it to be funny, but I think he is onto something. Trump enumerated problem after problem and said over and over a variant of “This ends on Day One when I become president.” He never gave any hint of how he would fix things and how he would pay for everything he wants to do. (Remember, he’s going to slash taxes, too.) . It’s all just magically going to happen. Perhaps he thinks he has God-like powers. (What was that blue smoke about on the first day of the convention if not an attempt to make him seem to be a god?)

Note: Trump never mentioned God at all in his speech, except for the ritual “God bless you” that all politicians say at the end of their speeches. Make of that what you will.

Trump also touched upon one of my pet peeves: Tax exemptions for churches. I want to end them; he wants to expand them. More specifically, he wants to allow churches to openly participate in politics so Evangelicals can [“speak] your minds from your own pulpits.” OMG! His proposal is so unconstitutional, but it might come to pass if he is elected. Churches using government money not only to preach, but to tell people how to vote!

Read more about tax exemptions and why they should be ended.  Should Churches Be Tax Exempt?

Last point: I am dismayed that Trump continues to pander to Evangelicals, and even more dismayed that they are falling for it. He proclaims that he loves the evangelicals, and apparently they love him back despite the fact that he is the embodiment of everything they preach against.

Read more about how Trump has pandered to Evangelicals from the early days of his campaign to now.   DonaldTrump: I Love the Bible and Other Panders

 The Making of Donald Trump
[Here's a book by a Pulitzer-Prize wining author that can explain why The Donald is The Donald. The Making of Donald Trump by Donald Cay Johnston is a brand new book, and you can be among the first to read it.]

Trump showed his love for the Evangelicals by choosing Mike Pence as his running mate Pence is an ardent Evangelical, and he is one of the most socially-conservative politicians in the country.

Pence was chosen by Trump (or maybe for Trump) in part to shore up his support among Evangelicals. Trump clearly has no respect for his running mate; he belittles Pence at every opportunity.

  • Pence had been told by the campaign that he was the VP pick. He flew to New York for the public announcement. Pence was sitting in his hotel room, while Trump made a call into Fox News to say he hadn’t made a final choice. 
  • When he announced Pence as his choice, Trump talked about himself for about 30 minutes and barely mentioned Pence. 
  • Usually, the nominee stays on stage when his VP makes his remarks, but Trump left the stage. Trump not only left, he walked in front of Pence, pushing him backwards so he could pass. 
  • At their joint interview on 60 Minutes, Trump treated Pence as if he was his kid brother, giving him a shoulder-nudge as he forgave him for making a mistake by voting for the Iraq war.
  • The next day Trump said, pretending it was joke, "If I don't win, I'm gonna blame, Mike, right! “ Pence was standing right there behind him when Trump said this. 
  • After Pence’s convention speech, Trump came on stage and gave him a big air- kiss. It was the kind of thing a drunk uncle might do to his 6-year old nephew after the kindergarten pageant. 
Pence grins and bears these humiliations—what else can he do? Trump is such an ego-manic narcissist that he can’t bear to share the limelight, even for a minute. I don’t like Pence, but I feel sorry for him. On the other hand, he sold out for a chance at power. No other Republican with a future wanted the job.

Question: If Trump treats his own running mate so poorly, how will he treat average Americans?


Yuge Trump Doonesbury
You know who is really smart? Gary Trudeau who does the comic strip Doonesbury. He has inserted Trump into his comic going back to the eighties. It is eerie how he predicted so much of what Trump is doing and saying now. I saw this on TV and had to have it.

Back to Bill Maher

Trump may be presenting himself as a “Savior,” but what he really needs is someone to save him from himself. If this were the “Donald Trump Runs for President Reality Show,” it might be entertaining, but it is actual reality, and it is frightening.
Here’s the video of Bill Maher discussing the Republican Convention. It includes the Edvard Munch "Scream" painting transformed into a campaign poster for Trump-Pence.

Trump is losing according to the most recent polls. But, you never know what can happen. "Heaven help us" if he becomes president. (Just joking about the "Heaven part." I'm an atheist just  like Bill Maher.)