For quite a while I didn’t quite get it about Donald Trump. I wondered why he is going out his way to say nutty things during this Presidential race — insulting everyone from parents of slain soldiers to U.S. generals to babies, making up weird statistics out of whole cloth and then immediately reversing himself, embracing torture, claiming Vladimir Putin as a role model, that ostentatiously insane “Mexican Wall” thing — the list is incredibly long. And every day he adds to it.
But now I finally get it, thanks to his recent “Birther” announcement. As you know, since he goaded Barack Obama into producing a long form birth certificate back in 2011, Donald Trump has continued the charade, claiming in numerous TV interviews and public statements that the birth certificate might be a fraud.
So when he now announces, straight-faced, that he never said the things that he obviously said on record — and that it’s easy for the Press to show everyone that he said on record, just by rolling the videotapes — it can only mean one thing. Trump is telling the Press: “You are all my bitch.”
What we are seeing now is a raw undisguised flexing of power. And clearly it’s working. Sure, Colbert and Seth Meyers can skewer him all they want, but it doesn’t matter. The very point of Trump’s message is that he can lie bare-faced straight into the TV cameras, in a pointedly obvious way, and it won’t hurt him.
So here we have a candidate for President who is running nearly even in the polls with only one real message: I am an unstoppable strongman, and my power is absolute.
The world has had a few of those before within this past century. I can’t say it has ever turned out well.