The Liar Games: Cohen, Trump and the Stench of Decay
The circus is in town, and this time the people want blood. The credibility of the witness is dubious and the defiance of the accused is positively Caesarian, while the integrity of the stage is very much up for question. But as compelling as the theater of Cohen v. Trump may be, there’s little to be desired in the Machiavellian, end-of-the-Roman empire shitshow currently on display in the greatest arena the world has ever seen.The United States has got to a point where a sitting president is accused of lies and blatant criminality by his former lawyer and one-time campaign flunky (the same individual recently convicted of perjury for activities undertaken during that very campaign). Yet, rather than maintain a dignified profile, the country’s top elected official continues to mislead the nation over a non-existent (and impeachment-worthy) national emergency while blaming everyone else for the embarrassment.
But the plot thickens.
At the time of print, Donald Trump enjoys a 79% approval rate among Republican voters, many of whom agree that the president is the innocent victim of a witch hunt. With mounting evidence to the contrary routinely
dismissed in the favor of the words of one man, we find ourselves reaching cult of personality territory, and that’s a potentially lethal place for any democratic republic to stray. Yet here we are. The Cohen charade is another (albeit more potent) in a series of popular show trials taking blows at a hollow political shell that still maintains a not-insignificant number of supporters. But let’s not beat around the bush. What’s going on in the halls of government is a laughing stock and something we should be collectively learning from. And if the collective majority doesn’t know the lesson by now, we probably never will.
People are fickle and trends change, and 2016 is a long time ago in the world of two-second attention spans. But not in Washington, DC, it would seem. While mid-term successes like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Deb Haaland have become the latest darlings of the nation, the Clinton-era old guard continue to die with rancid bad grace, lacking the decency to step aside for a blue wave that they are not a part of. Hillary is as stale as last month’s bread. Joe Biden should retire and open a tiki bar in Nevada. And while we’re at it, what should be said for Bernie Sanders?
Certainly the man is a legend of American politics and will become a permanent fixture in history textbooks, but coming off a failed presidential bid into a field of energetic youth to potentially become the country’s oldest president is not the easiest task. Nor is it the most considerate. While Bernie has a great chance of winning in 2020, a Sanders
victory would damage the careers of rising Democrat stars and fellow presidential contenders such as Cory Booker and Tulsi Gabbard, and that is a long-term problem. Big names rarely become perennial candidates — Sanders
being a rare anomaly – with the premature blunting of potential a more likely outcome. Gabbard is, after all, only 37. Would a President Sanders be better than what we currently have? Sure; the hydrangea in my garden would be a more suitable fit for the Oval Office, but that’s not the point. As a nation, we must start to see our politics on the long-term, rather than in four- and eight-year chunks. And part of that is investing in youth and invigorating the country with fresh ideas that can last decades, rather than terms.
[Hanoi, Vietnam]: Kim Jong-Deux, the much-anticipated sequel to 2018’s blockbuster, Singapore: Dicktators in Arms crashed spectacularly last week when top-billed stars, DJ Trump and KJ-Un clashed on set over the terms of the movie’s contract. Concerns included an undisclosed allocation of $260,000 toward spray tan and Belarussian pornography, with a second red flag being raised when Mr. Kim demanded three million tons of uranium to be put toward “scientific research” and “other matters of national pride.” Shooting the final scene, both men looked like
divorcees forced to pose in their daughter’s graduation photo, but that didn’t prevent Mr. Trump from trying to salvage the situation. Speaking on the 2017 torture and murder of 22-year-old American national Otto Warmbier in North Korea, Trump commented, “I don’t believe [Kim] would have allowed that to happen. It just wasn’t to his advantage to allow that to happen. He tells me he didn’t know about it, and I take him at his word.” Which is reassuring; in a world where we can’t trust scientists, dark-skinned people, gays, immigrants, the poor, the tolerant,
the unarmed, the FBI and anyone who has a manbun, at least the message from Washington is consistent. Whatever happens, you can always trust the world of a megalomaniac.