Yes, I know: it was very likely the worst Inaugural Speech in American history. Sure, having a bunch of warplanes fly over was doubtless a case of Putin envy. And I agree: failing to acknowledge Clinton, or the fact she got nearly three million more votes than he did was an act of arrogance that angered the heavens so much they decided to rain on his militaristic parade.
It was a speech that repeated the same childish pap that convinced enough “forgotten Americans” in the key swing states to vote for him. A speech to unify our people it was not; a speech that reaffirmed the basic shallowness and thoughtlessness and jingoistic nationalism of Trump and his minions it was. A harbinger of hateful, arrogant, divisive, dumb things to come.
Those who yammer on and on about the need for Trump to stop being Trump and unite the country are missing the two most fundamental truths of all: Trump doesn’t care what anyone outside his Brain Mistrust thinks, and Trump is not trying to unify the country.
His closest advisers are shrewd manipulators, people who understand the voting blocs and numbers. Kellyanne Con, Steve Bannon, and Jared Kushner understand Trump’s shaky position. They can see that the more people know about Trump, the more most of those people will dislike him.
During the election, Trump could afford alienating people, because Clinton alienated them more. She’s no longer available as a convenient punching dummy, so his Brain Mistrust knows he needs to change his messaging to reassure his core supporters and keep them in the fold. His falling favorability numbers show that he’s dangerously close to the dreaded 30% favorability level, where sixty to seventy percent of the people dislike him and his Tweets, his lies, and his stunning ignorance of the world. At that historically low level, many Republicans in the House and Senate will balk at simply being voting bots for Ryan and McConnell.
So, you would think, with his “popularity”, such as it was, sinking fast, his three principal “strategic advisers” would be telling him to get serious about bringing the country together. Let’s give them the credit for being smart: for all we know they may well be trying to persuade Agent Orange to give the people something to be proud of now, not just wispy promises of a “great” future, so they will stop looking backward to a real President.
Personally, I’m betting the three Trump whisperers are doing their best to get His Hairship under control. And I’m betting he’s stamping his foot and hissing that all he needs to give them is a steady diet of more circuses, assurances that the promised cheap bread is on its way, and lots of progressive programs to crucify.
He is right, you know. Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin, Franco, and the Jacobins all reached their goal of national dictatorship with well under 20% support of their people.
Am I saying Trump wants to be Dictator? No one knows, since he is as much a genius at saying nothing as doing nothing. But it doesn’t matter, since “Commander-in-Chief” is an even more intimidating title than “Dictator”. To go with the title and his megalomania, he has the Army, The Justice Department, and lots of toady Republican governors to call out their National Guard as the anti-Trump protests spread. Soon, he’ll have a right-wing Supreme Court to make his planned assault on free speech and the Constitution “legal”.
The important point is that Trump has learned enough political history from his strongman heroes to understand that “divide and conquer” really works. And he has the survival instincts of a paranoid bully and opportunist. He’s not interested in uniting all the diverse elements of the country because he knows that, if he did, they’d be united against him.