I remember as a college student during the Watergate hearings no one going to class and everyone huddled around the TV. The dominant tone was amazement. “They did what? You have got to be kidding. How could anyone be so stupid.”
The amazement quickly morphed to rage. It was a rage that could not be pacified or talked away or distracted. It was a rage born out of realization that the most powerful person in the country had no moral fiber and literally thought he could do anything and a plot that wouldn’t make through a 30 minute situation comedy was going to destroy this country.
It was a rage born out of the realization that Nixon in his stupidity thought he was invincible….that the citizens of this country could not figure it out and if they did they would not do anything about it and the politicians who depended upon him would cover his ass if worse came to worse. In the last couple of weeks so much of it, forgotten for so long has come back to me.
One gift of that time is that we seem to never have a shortage of “gates…” I don’t know if this is Flynn-gate or Trump-gate or what but it sure feels like another gate. Stupidity still thinks it is invincible. It thinks in time alternative facts will help everyone to see the “real truth” and that self obsession, lying, scheming, manipulation will have no consequences because “huge” people are not supposed to be subject to the same rules as everyone else. The current campaign seems to be one of “move on and get on with the business of America.” There is little insight into the idea that the moral fiber of its President and his possible collusion with a foreign government that is not exactly our best friend or ally is the business of America. Trump likes to talk about General Patton. Somewhere in some suddenly spooky cemetery General Patton is turning over in his grave.
A friend told me not to worry but I am worried. Donald Trump, he said, is more like the villain from “Blazing Saddles” than anything else and maybe he is right but I am worried. I worry that the Republicans who are convinced that Trump is the only way to further their legislative agenda will try to throw the biggest and biggest blanket over the whole thing and make it go away. I don’t think many people right now are much in the mood for such blankets and the possibility for things getting really ugly are really real. No one yet has given a very convincing explanation why Michael Flynn would commit treason with the Russians without being told to do so. I can still remember Walter Cronkite saying, “The question is what did the president know and when did he know it?”
Perhaps this is all much ado about nothing. I don’t know. I think the killer evidence is yet to surface. But I fear Donald Trump may soon find out that Alex Baldwin’s impression of him may be soon mild compared to what millions of other Americans think.