The man we love to hate

The much touted reappearance of Donald J. Trump as a golden idol and centre stage performance at this year’s CPAC Dog and Pony Show is notable for its predominantly laughable agenda. By the time the disgraced Trump gets through the looming civil litigation,  criminal charges, income tax reassessment, declining $2B asset evaluations, maturing $1B debt, diminishing “base” supporters and revitalization of the GOP with its erstwhile genuine conservatism, Americans as a whole will long ago have lost interest in Trump’s venal mendacity and the demeaning behaviour of his pyramid-based family and heirs. The attendance of the Proud Boys and QAnon at this year’s love fest is not at all helpful to any realistic recovery of the GOP.

Neither do people like Josh Hawley who persists to camouflage the perpetrators of the Capitol insurrection as Antifaschismus do nothing to elevate the GOP from its repugnant decline. If Trump’s select base of conspiracy theorists, gun advocates and racists were hoping Trump would announce the creation of a new political party they are much mistaken and disappointed. For all Trump’s senseless bravado he was obviously persuaded that if he has any hope of maintaining the public domaine of the erstwhile Rush Limbaugh he had better step in line with the GOP machine.

Limbaugh hosted a national television show from 1992 to 1996. He was among the most highly compensated figures in American radio. In 2018, Forbes listed his earnings at $84.5 million. In December 2019, Talkers Magazine estimated that Limbaugh’s show attracted a cumulative weekly audience of 15.5 million listeners to become the most-listened-to radio show in the United States. Limbaugh also wrote seven books; his first two, The Way Things Ought to Be (1992) and See, I Told You So (1993), made The New York Times Best Seller list.

Limbaugh became one of the premier voices of the conservative movement in the United States in the 1990s, aided by the repeal of the FCC fairness doctrine. He became known for his bombastic, derisive tone and reliance on grievance politics. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. During the 2020 State of the Union Address, President Donald Trump awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In a nation where there are basically only two political choices, the divergence from reality and evolving demographics is a dangerous decision. It is a reminder that Americans have by their own consent invited the polarized division of the entire nation.  It is a disparity characterised by black vs white, rich vs poor, educated vs uneducated, socialist vs capitalist, regulatory vs free market, gated vs slum and even a revival of the historic division between north and south.

When once one has succeeded to remove oneself from the inconvenience of accommodation and opted instead for singular personal advantage, the boundaries are insurmountable.  Trump is one of those weak-minded individuals who can only make themselves taller by standing on others. The politics of resentment, sometimes called grievance politics, is a form of politics which is based on resentment of some other group of people. His formula is nothing but the reptilian belief in immortality. But the desert heat is becoming unbearable. Shallow devotion to isolation and differences is a draining swamp.