We shouldn’t have to wonder any longer why President Donald Trump shows such high-five admiration for thugs posing as national leaders – that rogue’s gallery that includes Vladimir Putin, Kim Jung-Un, Recep Erdogan and Rodrigo Duterte. Trump apes their autocratic attitudes.
His declaration of a “national emergency” over his obsessive fixation on “The Wall” puts him square in the camp of the thugs – that is, egomaniacal power-mongers who stop at nothing to get their own way.
Not to insult sweet (or even naughty) kids, but these thugs are grotesque kids – dangerous ones – right out of a nightmare cartoon. They lash out and throw hellacious fits. They whine and pout, they strut and sneer, they brow-beat and threaten (or worse), they belittle and squelch any opposition because in their little minds they are the only ones who count. Nobody else matters. In Trump’s case, “nobody else” includes the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Congress.
On Feb. 15, during his Rose Garden announcement of his “national emergency,” Trump told yet another whopper, crowing like a strutting rooster on his hill: “I’ve already done a lot of Wall!”
Done a lot of damage is more like it. Damage to democracy; to the Rule of Law; to American institutions like the Department of Justice, the Congress and the Constitution.
From Day One, Trump has insisted that HE is the best – HIS inaugural ceremony was the biggest and best ever, HIS 2015 doctor’s report (dictated by Trump himself) was the best of all; HIS tax cut was the biggest and best of all time: HIS Wall is going to be the biggest, the most beautiful in all of history.
Does that rampant narcissism sound like derangement? Well, let’s put it this way: There are some people tragically suffering from delusions of grandeur, many of them under care in institutions. Some, sadly, might even imagine themselves to be president of the United States.
Trump has constructed his own world with its own twisted latitudes and cockeyed longitudes – with HIM being the center of it. He was – and is – furious when others in the regular world do not recognize and accede to his centrality, his all-knowingness, his royal Trumpness.
From his first day in office, it became quickly obvious he thought the entire government apparatus belongs to him. Legislators, law enforcement, attorneys, agencies exist as HIS things, pawns to protect him, to cover for him, to serve him, to do his bidding. That is how autocrats and thugs think – and act.
The Wall is yet another symptom of Trump’s autocratic bluster. To millions of his supporters that one word “Wall” is a code word for exclusionary attitudes and white nationalism: Keep “them” out of “my” country.
This desperate and dangerous announcement of a “national emergency” is only the latest symptom of total contempt for the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law. Even some Republican legislators, who have so long enabled Trump’s every crazy whim, are speaking up against this latest usurpation of power. The only hope is that they, along with Democrats, put a stop to it.
Statistics prove the so-called need for a Big Wall is not a national emergency in any way, shape or form. Border security? By all means. Wall as solution? Absurd.
Who can forget that Trump’s “I’m going to build a Wall” started as a campaign chant, a chunk of red meat, cynically tossed to frenzied rally-goers.
“And who’s going to pay for it?!” Trump would shout with a defiant sneer on his face.
“Mexico!” they would roar back. “MEXICO!”
Very funny. As if that was going to happen. No. That asinine fixation called “Wall” should be paid for by taking up a collection from the 30 percent of Americans who still insist Donald Trump and his Wall are the greatest things since cupcakes.
Author: Dennis Dalman
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.