There's an old saying: "Be grateful you're only miserable, because some people are horrible." Watching the daily disaster known as Donald Trump is like that proverbial pileup on the interstate from which you can't turn away. The Trump campaign has turned into a moshpit of tweet tantrums and discredited surrogates screaming repugnant falsehoods. It's all become, frankly, horrible.
I did not savor the thought of writing about politics again when there are so many other important things to discuss, like Kim Kardashian being robbed of $10 million worth of jewelry at gunpoint in a Paris hotel. Of all people, she should have known not to stay at the Paris Hilton. Or, Lindsay Lohan losing a fingertip in a Turkish boating accident. Fortunately, the piece was found and surgically re-attached, adding to Lohan's cosmetic procedures.
Anything would have been more pleasant than delving into the bilge known as Trumpworld. But this carnival continues to grow more bizarre by the day. Despite the best efforts of his handlers to contain him, Trump's post-debate trashing of a former Miss Universe continued for a week. All Hillary Clinton had to do was mention the name Alicia Machado to send Trump into a stammering frenzy. All he had to do was shut up, and no one would have thought twice about it, but he couldn't help himself. Trump's taking to Fox News to say Machado was a "disgusting" person who "gained massive amounts of weight" struck at the heart of every woman who has ever struggled with a diet. And in so doing, Trump proved himself to be something other than a con artist; he's a mark as well. Hillary hooked him and reeled him in.
I don't understand how any woman could vote for him, but Trump is correct in saying there's nothing he could do to shake his supporters. This puts him in league with former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards, who said, "The only way I can lose is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy." Trump's misogyny is fairly easy to trace, since he has so diligently documented it through the years. The victims of his ugly attacks include Rosie O'Donnell, Hillary Clinton (who "doesn't have the look to be president"), Carly Fiorina, Megyn Kelly, Huma Abedin, Heidi Cruz, reporter Katy Tur, columnist Gail Collins (who has "the face of a dog"), Arianna Huffington (of whom he tweeted, "I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man"), and "goofy" Elizabeth Warren, whom he calls "Pocahontas," not even cognizant of his racist remarks.
Trump has promised to attack former President Bill Clinton's sexual transgressions and relitigate the whole Monica Lewinsky affair. Hasn't this poor woman suffered enough? It's hard enough to be known as the world's most famous fellator without having to relive it 20 years later. We know all about Bill Clinton's infidelities from the voluminous Starr Report of 1998, which described in detail everything from intimate sexual acts to the shape of the former president's penis. The author, Kenneth Starr, has recently been ousted as president of Baylor University over a sex scandal involving the football team. Karma's funny that way.
The New York Times' explosive exposé of Trump's partial tax records from 1995, in which he declared a personal loss of nearly a billion dollars (which would theoretically allow him to avoid paying federal income taxes for 18 years), was verified by his personal accountant. Fox News immediately declared that the Times was "trying to take Trump down" and castigated all those liberal newspapers that endorsed Hillary, like The Dallas Morning News, the Arizona Daily Star, and USA Today.
The Trump campaign countered by saying newspaper endorsements are meaningless because no one reads them anymore, and they're probably right. Logic and reason don't dissuade the Trump army. They're locked in, even though the online fact-checker Snopes.com declared that in the previous debate, Trump's lies were "unprecedented." Some undecided voters, however, might have been among the millions who watched the season premiere of Saturday Night Live. Remember when Al Gore's staff had to force him to sit down and watch Darrell Hammond's brilliant parody of his sighing, pompous debate performance against Dubya in 2000? If Trump's team forced him to watch SNL, he'd probably spend the next week invoking Alec Baldwin's sexual history.
The tax charade is rapidly falling apart. Trump's claim that it's "smart" not to pay taxes just makes him a burden on the rest of us. The only comparable tax cheat that comes to mind is Leona Helmsley, who once famously said, "Only the little people pay taxes." It doesn't matter to Trump supporters. They don't care. Trump recently tweeted, "Remember, don't believe 'sources said' by the VERY dishonest media. If they don't name the sources, the sources don't exist."
Such stunning hypocrisy from someone who prefaces every other sentence with, "Many people say," or "I don't know if it's true, but a lot people are saying it." This is the laziest rhetorical trick in the book. You can say whatever the hell you want if your sources are anonymous, like the time Trump tweeted that "an extremely credible source" told him that Barack Obama's birth certificate was a fraud.
I don't care how much you hate Hillary Clinton or how much you think she's a liar, at least she is in control of her mental faculties. Trump doesn't seem to be in control of much of anything.
Randy Haspel writes the "Recycled Hippies" blog.