Why I Have Not Written About Donald Trump (2016)

I have this nice shiny website, with a special page already set up for Topical Rants. Obviously the loathsome figure of Donald Trump is hideously topical these days, and clearly rantworthy. But I have not been able to bring myself to write about him. Why not? Mainly I have not written about Trump because there is nothing new to say about him. Reading the press over the past year, I see all the points have already been made over and over. He is a greedy con man, a pathological liar, a textbook narcissist, a cruel and vicious bully, a proto-fascist, stupendously ignorant, shamelessly vile, a sinkhole of immorality, a racist, a sexist, an inciter of violence, a short-fingered vulgarian,1 a petty cheater, a criminal fraud with the ethics of a pickpocket. And I am just getting started. He would be a crackpot if he actually believed any of the noxious things he says, but more dangerous than a crackpot – with a crackpot you know where you are, but with Trump you could be anywhere, and somewhere else a minute later. It is so obvious that he is grossly unqualified to be a notary public, much less President of the United States, as not even to be worth saying one more time. Also, I have not written about Trump because I don’t want to think about him enough to write about him. He is like a puddle of vomit in the street, or a piece of maggoty roadkill – automatically I avert my eyes rather than study it to analyze the specific particles of filth it contains. Trump is ritually unclean, and even thinking about him is haram2 as a pollution of the mind. He thrives on the attention we give him – why give him even an electron more? A bar in New Zealand put his picture in their urinals – he might be worth thinking about just enough to perfect my aim. We are forced to Hillary: secretive, deceptive, greedy, unethical, unprincipled and opportunistic but so hapless as to be unable to exploit her opportunity, driven by ambition without a convincing rationale for it. Why should she be President? Only because she muscled her way to the nomination, and we need a Democrat rather than a Republican because the Republicans are snakes much worse even than the spineless venal Democrats, and because anyone, even a Republican, would be better than Donald Trump. Bad as she is, though, there is no equivalence – Hillary is merely empty, while Trump is filled with poison. I was going to be out of the country during the California primary, so I got an absentee ballot, and it sat on my desk all day before I could bring myself to vote for her. It was like a chemotherapy cocktail – I knew it would make me sick, but I had to drink it anyway. I did it for my country, because I believed then that she would be a stronger candidate against Trump than Bernie would. My young nephew warned me that I was wrong about this, and now I see he was right. Hillary’s inauthenticity and corruption may bring her down, and bring the United States down with her – how much better Bernie would have been against Trump! It is too late to worry about that now, though – now we just have to limp past Trump somehow. But does my writing this screed advance us an inch? Not quite hardly. There may be one single person on my mailing list who might vote for Trump – you know who you are – and nothing I say will make any difference there. Nothing I say will make any difference anywhere as Trump slimes his way forward. It has all been said already. So why am I even bothering to write this? But that was the very question I started off asking. And why should you bother to read it? I can’t think of a single reason. I’m sorry I even brought it up. Let’s think about something else instead. Say, how about those Mets?

September 2016

  1. This epithet was coined by Graydon Carter in Spy magazine in the 1980s.
  2. Forbidden by Islamic law