And the Band Plays On

At some point, a competent investigator will have to look into the Wharton School, Fordham University, and even Kew-Forest Elementary to figure out how this goddamn idiot matriculated through their institutions. For all the racist angst over “social promotion” the past few decades, no inner-city school has ever sent one of its graduates onto the White House with a third-grade aptitude.
If not for his father’s wealth, Donald Trump would undoubtedly be among the poorly educated he so admires. Even with his financial advantages and purchased degrees, Trump is unable to construct sentences sturdier than a pillow fort, and reads teleprompters with the cadence of that kid who used to piss on himself during story time.
Trump’s ignorance isn’t news, even if there are daily episodes that reveal he is even dumber-er than we imagined. It’s never surprising to hear reports of one of his cabinet or staff members calling him “a fucking moron” or “dumb as shit,” or when he proves it by making suggestions like eliminating birthright citizenship via executive order.
More than half a million Americans died in the events that led to adoption of the 14th Amendment, which granted a citizenship that had been denied to tens of millions more during centuries of human bondage. Trump likely knows neither that history nor the legislative process required to undo it, but he’s sharp enough to recognize his supporters being as stupid and baseless as himself.
So what if Trump had gone one step further, and aimed his tweets at the 13th Amendment? It’s not even remotely implausible that the president of the United States would be awake at 3am, his mind and thumbs so inexplicably amped-up that they wonder aloud, “What was so bad w/ slavery? Lot’s of people aksing if we shall bought back!”
Is there anything from the past three years that would leave you to believe his supporters would do anything but remain aboard, playing their instruments as he sank to greater depths of indecency? Trump’s snuff fantasy about shooting someone on Fifth Avenue with immunity has proved to be uncharacteristically modest: He could shoot a viable, immaculately conceived fetus on any number of streets across the United States; he could target any person, or constitutional tenet, or societal norm, or sacred history; he could load the bombs and bullets that are flying across this country on his behalf, and his supporters will hail their allegiance.
Whether Trump is peacocking about soldiers using gunfire in response to rocks thrown at them by migrants, or celebrating the politician who physically assaulted a journalist, his supporters only cheer louder and sink lower. One of the most disturbing elements of Trump’s administration is not that he would turn the U.S. military into assassination squads or enslave non-Aryans, but rather the third of our population willing to bargain with any devil in order to save the white-washed America of their memories or imaginations.
It’s hard to be optimistic about this week’s midterm elections, which will be decided after this column goes to print. Even a best-case blue wave will not bury the racist stupidity that accounts for Trump’s power — power he uses with genius.