The Expected Joyless Depravity Of An Unhinged Trump Rally
Republicans appear poised to save America from the tyranny of a constitutional democracy. It's hard to predict how an unrestrained Donald Trump will act. He's already in full "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" mode. This is the GOP's king, as we saw in shocking detail at his Des Moines, Iowa, rally Thursday night. He gave them quite a show, and he reminded his audience that he's the James Brown of Al Capones.
TRUMP: Look, you know, I could make this speech really short. All I have to do is say, "Uh, hello Iowa. You have no choice but to vote for me. Otherwise, everything you have loved in your entire life will be gone. Goodbye, Iowa. Have a good time." Instead, I work my a-- off up here, OK? True. You think this is easy? It's a little hot in this room! This room wasn't designed for this many people.
The MAGA hat crowd didn't seem to care that Trump implied the facility they're in can't safely contain them. They might all die like that Who concert disaster in 1979, but that'll just show the liberals and their socialist fire codes. Everything's going so well for America with Trump at the helm. He can't understand why Democrats are obsessed with his law breaking. Trump went on to describe the last few years with a verbiage normally reserved for Star Wars opening crawls.
TRUMP: Congressional Democrats are consumed with partisan rage and obsessed with a deranged witch-hunt hoax. You know, we're having probably the best years that we've ever had in the history of our country and I just got impeached! Can you believe these people? I got impeached. They impeached Trump.
It's as if the part of the brain that triggers despotic tendencies also makes leaders refer to themselves in the third person like a common Doctor Doom.
TRUMP: They want to nullify your ballots, poison our democracy, and overthrow the entire system of government. That is not happening, I can tell you that. Washington Democrats have spent the last three years trying to overturn the last election. Why am I not worried?
Just a hunch, but I think Trump isn't worried about elections in general any more now that Republicans have given him a license to steal them.
TRUMP: Remember Nixon, it was a dark time. With Clinton, it was not good. With Johnson, a long time ago, none of us remember, it was a very dark time. This is a happy period for us.
You can lose yourself down a nasty rabbit hole trying to find logic in anything Trump says, but it's super unclear which President Johnson he's referencing. Contextually, he must mean Andrew Johnson, who was also impeached. (He avoided removal by a single vote -- probably an ancestor of Lamar Alexander's.) But it's bananas that he'd describe Andrew Johnson's presidency as a "long time ago, none of us remember." It was literally the 19th Century. None of us were alive, not even the top two candidates in the Democratic primary.
TRUMP: This is a happy period because we call it "Impeachment Lite." Crazy Schiff, Shifty Schiff. He's a sick puppy... The Democrats are trying to overturn the last election. We will make sure they face another crushing defeat.
Politico ran a glowing review of this crapfest called "The Unexpected Joy at a Trump Rally in Iowa." Trump is on "the cusp of beating two articles of impeachment" and his supporters are in a "celebratory mood."
They danced and raised their hands over their MAGA hats when The Village People's "YMCA" played. They joined arms and screamed along to the chorus of Lee Greenwood's God Bless the USA. Even for Iowa it was an overwhelmingly white crowd. But it was also reflective of the total takeover of the GOP by Trump in that it was old and young, and blue and white collar. A group of female college students from Iowa State took selfies and danced. When Trump mentioned his reelection, a bidding war erupted: "Four more years!", "Twelve more years!", "Thirty more years of Trump!"
Jesus Christ. The article contrasted the energy of this rally to the "small and subdued" events for Joe Biden. (Please clap.) The senators in the Democratic primary who were occupied with the sham impeachment trial had to send "low-wattage" surrogates to the state. These b-listers were Amy Klobuchar's daughter, Bernie Sanders's wife, and Elizabeth Warren's dog.
Looks like everything's coming up Ukraine for Trump, who warned his audience about the threat Democrats pose to our bovine community.
TRUMP: Wonderful cows! I love cows! They want to kill our cows! You know why, right? You know why? They want to kill our cows. That means you're next.
My God, this can't be happening. Can it?
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).