In the past few weeks, we’ve gotten to see first-hand what happens when we replace a political party with a cult of personality. Every standard, once etched into stone in our memories and conscience, becomes malleable to fit the behaviors of the leader.
To paraphrase more intellectual commentators, we’ve discovered that one man in our country can literally do anything he wants and will suffer no consequences…as long as he can retain the support of any 34 members of the United States Senate.
We’ve learned that in our experimental, self-governing, democratic republic, the rule of law is inviolable…unless you’re the POTUS, in which case you’re a de facto monarch for four or eight years. You can do whatever you want, because the laws do not apply to you. And not only will you get away with it scot-free, you’ll have an entire cadre of dingleberries defending you—for free—at every step.
It’s good work if you can get it. The monarch job, I mean. Not the dingleberry job, just to be clear.
These Klingons won’t merely defend the ass around which they orbit. In service to His Royal Highness, they’ll go way farther. Farther than any of them would have thought they’d go before they jumped onto the Matterhorn of slippery slopes.
They’ll levy ad hominem attacks on career civil servants and Purple Heart recipients. They’ll suspend logic (which is, admittedly, not a huge departure for believers in trickle-down economics). They’ll trot out bizarre hypotheticals, amplify silly conspiracy theories, and even sue imaginary bovines. Okay, that last one really only applies to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Fantasy Land), co-sponsor of the Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act. But that’s the kind of vigorous “throw common sense and dignity and the Constitution to the wind” advocacy you can expect from your subjects if you become the almighty King of America.
The King’s minions will put on sackcloth and ashes, dramatically decrying the democracy-crushing ills of nepotism. The Princes and Princess, employed by the King and paid from the Treasury, will unironically regurgitate those haughty condemnations.
His sycophants will defend a war criminal, turned in for his crimes by his own team and convicted by a jury of actual enlisted peers. The King will, in turn, ignore the decision of the military court and admirals to whom that decision was appealed. He’ll opt instead to publicly, loudly reinstate the war criminal’s rank and status.
Attention members of the military: the so-called “moral high ground” from which you nobly fight was just lowered to match the caricature of warfighting that lives in a draft-dodger’s syphilitic brain. Apologies in advance when you get stabbed and your dead body is posed with for an ISIS-fighter’s Instagram glory.
And when the Secretary of the King’s Navy objects to such a chain-of-command jumping, ill-advised move? Jettison his mutinous ass. The King can’t suffer silly trifles like “order” and “discipline” and “the rule of law.” The King’s opinion trumps all else, irrespective of from whence fever dream or cable-TV-news-manifestation-of-a-fever-dream that opinion comes.
Think we’re better than that? Not anymore. We can’t be better than that, because the King is not better than that. We have to lower our standards and our reputation to make sure a petty man is a rightful king.
Mountains of evidence can be presented to demonstrate His unfitness for the throne. Diplomats can calmly articulate first-hand accounts of his blatant flouting of the law. His own appointees—even those who believed so much in him that they paid $1 million for their job—can place him at the scene of the crime. Every journalistic entity can report that the King was“implicated” in, at a minimum, bribery, and at most, raw treason.
But as long as any 34 partisan members of the Senate side with HRH Donald I, First of His Name, the Mother of All Fuckers, the King wins.
And as long as 34 partisan members of the Senate can be counted upon to ignore their own eyes and ears in fealty to their King, every buttnugget in the rest of the public sphere has zero incentive to speak out. Why die on a hill you’re destined to lose anyway? As the Baltimorean philosopher Sir Omar Little once said, “If you come at the King, you best not miss.” If you’re one of His jesters, even if you’re slowly waking up to the reality that the King is insane, what can you really do about it?
I mean, what can you do besides, “have personal integrity and prioritize the Constitution and nation over your cult/party.” That’s just a non-starter, obviously.
So here we are, watching live as the Mad King unravels the tapestry of our history.
He had to do it. He had no other option. The ghosts of Lincoln, Kennedy, Washington, and Jefferson were always in His shot, making Him look small and inept. Besides, we can package the tapestry’s threads and sell them, there’s profit to be made!
And the spirits of McCain, Cummings, and Bush were casting shadows on His face, so He shot out the lights of the Shining City on a Hill.
What choice did the King have? With the corrupt media always doing things like “reporting verbatim exactly what He said and did,” we the people left Him with no option but to rebrand our country in His image.
His handlers and protectors in government and media get it. Better to be in the good graces of a petulant King than to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous mean tweets. Fuck your Republic, Pollyanna. I am not going to risk losing my gerrymandered congressional district.
Lo, take solace, ye peasants! Lest you believe all hope is lost, remember that the American monarchy is temporary. If you cannot rely on a few senators to bravely stand up for the Republic, you can at least rely on time to heal our national wound. O joy, the King’s reign only lasts for four or eight years!
Well, for now, anyway.
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Need some more Hitting The Trifecta right now? Try this one: These Are The People In Your Neighborhood. Sorry. Or how about this one? When In Doubt, Don’t Bark. I like this one, too: To Tell The Truth, I’m Obviously Lying.