Deceptive Donald and the Early Signs


On a personal level, I’m not quite sure, but think I feel a bit badly
for poor, Deceptive Donald. In some ways, he reminds me
of my mother—in her early stages of Alzheimer’s disease:
a droopy blank look popping up way too often in the eyes, an inability
to trust anyone more than close family. In these early stages
of dementia, many sufferers prize personal loyalty above all
other human traits, which is why I think Trump’s campaign promise
to choose the most talented in each nimble field has morphed into
a post-election choosing of the people best skilled at kissing his ass.
Or should I be more polite and say his supersized ego? Didn’t my mother’s
vocabulary also become simpler and narrower with each passing day?

How else to explain Trump offering the most stubbornly asserted
of contradictory answers to the same political question
one day to the next? With no apparent awareness that one’s previous
comments in the 21st century are widely documented on videotape?
What other explanation could there be for his preference
for midnight cell phone tweets and his fear of press conferences?
Why else no ability to control constant online temper tantrums
at the slightest perceived media slight? If he was in possession
of healthy mental faculties, would one of his children
or their spouses really need be present at every diplomatic meeting?
What other reason could explain his delusional belief
that he won the popular vote, despite having lost by over two million?

With my mom, early Alzheimer’s seemed to exaggerate
already existing tendencies. Is that what’s behind Trump’s
unprecedented level of post-election financial greed
and a total lack of global compassion? What else but early dementia
could shed light on his crazy far-right choices for Chief Propagandist,
Racist Supervisor of Attorneys, Public Schools Dismantling Secretary,
Czar of Illness and Inhumane Services, National Insecurity Advisor,
Economic Theft Directors, Union Buster-in-Chief, and Administrator
of the Department of Ecological Destruction? Of course, there are
some key differences between my late mom and Deceptive Don:
My mother was known in her community as a nice person and
as a fighter for at-risk apartment renters, not as a xenophobic narcissist
who claims that overseeing construction of high-profit city skyscrapers
is a searing personal sacrifice comparable to the death of a Gold Star
family’s son in an unwarranted Republican-initiated war. When my mom
opposed a war, she said it publicly and not solely in a Get Smart Cone
of Silence phone call with Fox’s neatly haired nightly actor, Sean Hannity.

My mother was a Hungarian Holocaust survivor whose parents
were murdered in Auschwitz, while Donald had the support of
American neo-Nazis and white supremacists and is a real estate
mogul son of a notorious landlord, Fred Trump–pilloried in song lyrics
by the great troubadour, Woody Guthrie, and reportedly arrested
fully hooded in 1927 KKK rally gear. From his father, Donald seems
to have learned racial discrimination in housing. From his own
solipsistic TV-reality mind, he seems to have learned how
to get away with admitting serial sexual assault. As early memory loss
set in, my mother found it within herself to give up her car keys
to avoid risk of hurting others. I wonder if I would feel even sorrier
for Deceptive Donald if he had given up his car keys instead
of using bullying lies and deceitful promises to grab keys
to the nation’s capital and nuclear codes?

Although I’m not a practicing Buddhist, what Buddhism I know
whispers into my ear to maintain at least some low level of sympathy
for our poor billionaire president–even without the confirmation
of unreleased tax returns–for the sad knowledge that all human flesh
and skulls, even those adorned with puffed up orange hair, eventually
suffer painful impermanence. Perhaps my desire to retain some empathy
for the personal Donald is bolstered by knowing the probability exists
of some genetic component to Alzheimer’s disease, which affected
his father’s later years as it affected my mom’s? If I live long enough
for dementia to begin to find me, I wonder if I will remember the need
to avoid placing myself in any position with potential to cause
widespread harm? And yet, as much as I can maintain a sympathetic
corner of mind for Don’s self-centered, ill individual soul, separate
from his political machine-gun policy plans, I find it impossible
not to feel far greater sympathy for those future generations who are
about to be crushed by Trump and his newly hired gang of right-wing
thug-nuts. At times like this, how I envy the dinosaurs and the likelihood
they bore no responsibility for their own extinction.

Eliot Katz
November 2016