My favorite reading genre is spy novels beginning with Eric Ambler and ending with John LeCarré. I’m partial to these two authors because the years which encompass the best works by both writers – A Coffin for Dimitrios by Ambler, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by LeCarré.
were the two decades leading up to and then following World War II.
I started reading these books in the 1960’s when events and memories of the 1930’s and the 1950’s were still fresh and were talked about all the time. Today, the World War and the Cold War are long gone and rarely, if ever mentioned in the popular media at all.
Except when it comes to rants from Donald Trump. What did he call the members of the January 6th Select Committee the other day? Marxists? He called people like Liz Cheney a Marxist? Is there a single member of the Proud Boys or the Three Percenters who has the faintest idea of what the word ‘Marxist’ means?
Maybe you can still get some kind of reaction from an audience if you say that someone is a ‘Communist’ because that’s like saying that someone supports the political agenda of the Chinese. But the word ‘Communist’ used to mean governments that were opposed to the free enterprise system, and who could be more in favor of the profit motive than bunch running China these days?
Does Trump have any idea how shopworn and stupid his rants have become over the last couple of weeks? Is he even aware of the degree to which his falsehoods, exaggerations and outright lies are now so common that nobody is even surprised at how maudlin and banal he’s become?
Last week New York Magazine published a long article by Olivia Nuzzi which was based on an interview she had recently with Trump. I happen to think that Olivia has done the best reportage on Trump over the last several years, and this article only burnishes her rep a little more.
In particular, Nuzzi writes a detailed impression of the Mar-a-Lago event when Trump announced his 2024 run, and the difference between how she describes the lackadaisical and bored attitude of the audience compared to Trump’s braggadocio about the tremendous ‘energy’ and ‘excitement’ of the night is worth reading multiple times (which I did.)
The thrust of Nuzzi’s article is that Trump is finding it increasingly difficult to stay ‘relevant’ to GOP politics, which is a polite way of saying that nobody really wants him around anymore. Which probably explains why Trump’s daily social media missives are becoming increasingly crazy, angry, and shrill. Here’s his Christmas message:
"Merry Christmas to EVERYONE, including the Radical Left Marxists that are trying to destroy our Country, the Federal Bureau of Investigation that is illegally coercing & paying Social and LameStream Media to push for a mentally disabled Democrat over the Brilliant, Clairvoyant, and USA LOVING Donald J. Trump, and, of course, The Department of Injustice, which appointed a Special "Prosecutor" who, together with his wife and family, HATES "Trump" more than any other person on earth. LOVE TO ALL!”
Compare that text to the final paragraph from Joe’s Christmas message:
“As we sing “O’ Holy Night” — “His law is love, and His Gospel is peace” — may I wish you and for you, and for our nation, now and always, is that we’ll live in the light — the light of liberty and hope, of love and generosity, of kindness and compassion, of dignity and decency. So, from the Biden family, we wish you and your family peace, joy, health, and happiness.”
Better yet, compare Trump’s rant to what DeSantis sent out:
“We wish you many blessings and hope you are enjoying time well spent with loved ones. God bless you and God bless the great state of Florida!”
What Trump doesn’t understand is that the moment you’re off the public payroll, so to speak, you have a very brief shelf life. And a year from now, when things really begin to heat up for 2024, no matter how crazy his rants become, nobody’s going to be in the slightest bit interested in Trump unless he’s on his way to jail.
Remember the reaction when Sarah Palin first started using the phrase ‘lamestream news?’ Where’s Sarah Palin now? As Grandpa would say, in ‘drerd’ (read: dumped.)