In an hilarious scene from the first movie in the Bad Moms series, a marriage counselor played by comedian Wanda Sykes (Dr. Karl) is urging a married couple to role play in order to develop empathy between them. When those tactics fail, the couple dissolves into a fit of flat-out anger toward one another. At that point, Dr . Karly has seen enough:
Dr. Karl : Okay, remember when I said that all marriages are savable? Well, it ain’t gonna happen for you guys.
Amy : So what do you think we should do?
Dr. Karl : Well, as a therapist, I’m not allowed to tell you what do to. But, uh, as a human being with two fucking eyes in my head, yeah I think you should get divorced as soon as possible. This is some catastrophic shit.
That same scene is playing out on a grand scale between Trump supporters and the man they claim to trust to Make America Great again. Because just like the uncomfortably evasive husband in Bad Moms, the character we know as Donald Trump breaks up relationships as fast as he claims to form them.
The list of people that has resigned from Trump’s service since the man took office is long and keeps growing. His lap dog Scott Pruitt even got kicked out the door, and his former pet kitty Hope Hicks ran for cover as well. Trump reportedly also demeans his staff on a regular basis and pays little attention, it would seem, to any sort of counsel on either a political or legal basis.
The fact that he has hired the eternally feckless Rudy Giuliani as his public voice and legal counsel is evidence of how hard Trump is trying to hide behind a Mini-Me whose good deeds and reputation are buried so far in the past the public hardly recognizes what made the dude famous in the first place. Just like Trump or any other Bad Husband, the good times are all in the past.
But Trump people are determined (if nothing else) to not let the truth show when things are going badly in marriage or any other enterprise. So Trump supporters are loyal even in the face of the outright cons committed by “their guy” and the gaslighting of America that comes about in its wake. So despite the fact that Trump is creating some catastrophic shit with his trade wars and his inhumane immigration policies, his followers are determined to ‘save the marriage’ despite what they can see with their own two fucking eyes. This isn’t going to end well. For them, or anyone else.
Denial by fiat
The cognitive dissonance necessary to maintain support for Trump depends on an unrefreshingly selfish brand of borrowed ideology and Facebook memeology. It also rests on single-issue claims to virtue such as alt-right views on immigration, a childish take on the economy and a churlish desire to be right expressed mostly by throwing around terms like “national security” and “America First.” This is sixth grade shit gone viral.
That approach lets almost everything else fall through the cracks. Never mind the fact that tax cuts are predicted to swell the national debt, or that trade wars with China could gut the very people Trump promised to protect. Like George W. Bush during Hurricane Katrina, the lowlands of American are flooding and all Trump can do is stand on a hill and shout at people to swim harder.
And let’s not forget the fact that little children are permanently separated from their parents by a policy implemented in brutish fear toward hopeful immigrants. Trump wants us to ignore all that because they got their way in the short term. That’s a “win” for hate, and Trump paused on his way to Air Force one in mid-July to shout in retort to questions asked by reporters about the fate of tiny children held in cages and camps across the country, “Tell them to come to our country legally, not illegally.”
Trump clearly views groups of people like animals in a zoo. They are there for his entertainment, and that is all. If they cease to entertain him, they are forgotten.
If there was ever such a thing as self-gaslighting, we’re witnessing it in America right now. Trump supporters are convinced their man can do no wrong and repeat that fact ad infinitum, and every day. This is because the internal voice that informs most rational people on how to react to a man like Trump has been turned off inside the heads of people so sold on their own needs they cannot comprehend that their job is to serve the country as much as it should serve them?
But here’s why it’s so hard for Trump supporters to step outside the ringing in their own ears. They too much love the dopamine effect of Trump’s angry rants. Their conscience has been replaced by an inward pointing megaphone that amplifies the sound of a demagogue barking along with racists, crowing like a xenophobic rooster and snarling at helpless people seeking asylum in America as if they were wolves at the door.
Yet the screeching inside the heads of angry Trumpians is ultimately the recipe for a failed political marriage. If Dr. Karl from Bad Moms were to intervene in the relationship between Trump and his supporters, she would likely sit back and ask why people are so eager to embrace such violent, fearful language. “Are you fucking kidding me?” she might inquire.
But it has become fashionable to cower behind the laws invented by chickenshit faux patriots who can’t seem to function without carrying a gun on their person. Since when did aimless vigilante bullshit suddenly become so important to the American dream? And why, given the fact that more Americans have died on American soil than all the soldier killed in foreign wars… is it not evident that our gun laws are criminally insane?
As it stands, our nation collectively enables mass shooters to buy military-grade weapons and blast away in schools, churches and concerts. The NRA has become a terrorist organization by any definition of the term, and the well-regulated “militia” as found in the Second Amendment turned into a farce by people whose principal purpose in owning guns is to resist the government in the event that it comes to take away those same guns.
This is no way to protect any homeland. It is a confused mess of selfish reasoning and racial fears tossed together in a punch bowl filled with the icy remains of American independence. All told, it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, and some people call that patriotism. But in truth, gun addiction is the real problem, and the zealots tell us we should all be so lucky to be drunk on the Wapatuli of self-protection.
Cause and effect
So how did we come this far toward insanity in such a short time? If Dr. Karl attempted some role-playing with Trump supporters, the one thing she’d be sure to find is a patent and ardent penchant for denial.
One of the principle focuses of that denial is aimed at the idea that President Barack Obama did anything to help the economy or the nation as a whole. That is the entire focus of the Trump administration, to erase the memory of Obama, who apparently zinged Trump one too many times with one-liners, and the Trumpster is seeking vengeance and payback.
But admitting that Obama did anything right is also anathema to any Trump supporter, because it requires acceptance that the straight-line growth in jobs and economic growth that began years ago has continued through the early stages of the Trump administration. That would entail actually believing in the realities of cause and effect.
And in a nation where 40% of Americans think evolution never occurred, that is asking far too much. The biblically literal prefer to think that creation all happened in a wave of God’s hand in just seven literal, 24-hour days. And that all of earth’s geology was formed by a massive flood in just 140 days. They also believe that blind cave salamanders from the bowels of Kentucky crawled across the North American continent, swam 3000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, slinked beyond deserts and mountains to the Middle East, and crawled onto an ark where they were fed whatever they eat by Noah and his crew, then turned around and reversed the process all over again.
So it’s not great leap of faith for evangelically oriented Trump supporters to believe that economic recovery all happened by magic the day that Trump took office. There is a word for that breed of belief, and it is called willing stupidity. It has tanked many a marriage over the years, with a forlorn and frustrated husband or wife standing in the doorway with a bag on their shoulder and a harsh, resigned confession: “I’m leaving you,” the words typically go. “I can’t take this idiocy any more.”
Dirty and clean dishes
In terms of honesty, that’s like a lazy husband denying the fact that a spouse took on a massive pile of dirty dishes, hand-scraped the dried detritus off each and every plate and glass, rinsed them off in the sink and then placed them in careful order within the dish washer before putting in the soap. That’s what Obama did from the year 2008 through 2012. He cleaned up all the crap the Bush administration left on his collective plates. It took a lot of work. And Trump supporters are entirely ungrateful for that effort, and deny that it ever took place.
Instead, there are miracles afoot. “Look!” a Trump supporter claims upon opening up the dishwasher to point at the shiny collection of dishes inside. “Trump made everything great again!”
That is some catastrophic shit right there. Living with that level of denial is not the sign of a healthy mind or anything like a healthy relationship. Because Trump not only claims he cleaned those dishes. He claims he made the dishes himself, took the the dishwasher apart and put it back together and even invented the soap that gets the dishes clean. Trump claims to be everyman for everything. And he is full of shit.
Yet Trump supporters, ever the self-gaslighters on the American scene, gobble Trump’s line of shit up like there’s no tomorrow. They also know that Trump requires a daily political Blowie to keep is narcissistic tendencies in line with his insecurities. His pride is his persona, and the other way around.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bankruptcy is gambling away the family paycheck on polices built on the “to come.” That’s how he’s built his entire enterprise, by failing to pay the very people upon whom his supposed empire is built. It’s a one-way relationship in which Trump does all the taking while claiming he “cares” about everyone he so ardently offends. It’s no wonder he’s been divorced so many times. It’s the one thing at which he truly excels.
Short term and selfish aims
A marriage counselor would have a tough time making any sort of progress with Trump when it comes to looking at the impact of his behaviors. Like the daftly selfish husband in the initial Bad Moms movies, he seems to see things only in terms of immediate rewards. Thus he emphatically denies the effects of global climate change, dismisses without remorse the environmental policies that have built a clean and healthy America over the last thirty years, barely regards the need (indeed, the right?) to affordable health care and seems to believe that financial profit is the lone measure of success, even if it means screwing over the vendors and even the lawyers who helped make success possible.
He is, in other words, a consummate consumer of trust. But the ROI on that trust is something Donald Trump does not care about at all. He cannot even seem to find it within himself to affirm longstanding relationships with allies. These two he must first isolate with insults and expressions of disdain before conducting any sort of business. Like an abusive husband, he must first belittle before showing any signs of conciliation. And those are still self-serving.
The immaturity of powerful men
Without irony, we can also say these attitudes have been the favored viewpoints of conservatives and their think tanks for many years. The rush to raid Iraq in the wake of 9/11 was only one evidence of the preconceived politics of an ideology that only sees the world through its own grasping desire to be accepted. And in Trump, this constitutes itself even in his personal behavior, where his “pussy-grabbing” lifestyle perfectly reflects the party line of the Fox News network where sexual harassment was the company policy until it became so egregiously evident that the President of that company, Roger Ailes, and its lead talk show host Bill O’Reilly both fell prey to their own immature appetites. In its seeming love affair with instant gratification and the temptations of short term success, conservatism belies it claim to love of tradition with its immature response to every social issue it confronts.
This is also true from the religious conservative community, where porn consumption in the Bible Belt exceeds that of so-called ‘liberal’ America, and men like Donald Trump are admired by evangelical supporters for the seeming charm of having abused women and gotten away with hit.
We can see what’s happening
So this is where we are at the present time. As human beings with two fucking eyes in our head, people who resist Trump know this marriage between the Orange One and America is going to end well at all. It hasn’t ended well for Roger Ailes or for Harvey Weinstein. And it eventually won’t end well for Donald Trump either.
Despite the rabid support of Trump fans, this split with reason and the rational truth of cause and effect eventually has a price. The divorce of Donald Trump and America is inevitable. He has broken all the vows of his office including emoluments and conflict of interest. It only remains to discover, thanks to Robert Mueller, how obstruction of justice took place, and why. Trump has secrets in his closet that are far too embarrassing and real to ever admit on his own. He has neither the courage or the appetite to come to grips with his true self. There is no true self. He is a manufactured product of his own insecurity, and the millions of Trump supporters out there know this, because they are one and the same in this codependent sham of a marriage constructed from a combination of faux religiosity and patriotism.
And that’s fucked up.
Because, as Dr. Karl warned in Bad Moms, the long term success of a marriage depends on having some sort of common goals. Reconciliation of the United States Constitution to this fascist, gaslighting bastard with fake hair, a spray tan and a daily penchant for lying and accusing the press of “fake news” is impossible. Donald Trump is the Bad Husband in Chief, and when it comes to the fulfillment of Make America Great Again, well, “It ain’t gonna happen for you guys.”
First he’ll tank the flyover states and all those farmers and lonely wives staring out into the crops dying on the vines without markets to serve them. Then he’ll gut the manufacturing sector and double down on the Janus decision so wages will fall off the shelf. Then he’ll proclaim that people should elect him President for life because he needs more time to make shit work. That’s how all bad husbands operate. They lie until they die.
America’s divorce with reason will someday come to an end. Catastrophic shit always catches up with those who live in denial of the truth. When it’s all said and done, Trump supporters will slink back to the NFL and the NRA, and