I try my darndest to not get specifically too political on this blog, aside from expressing the occasional broad thought about some news of great national or international import. But there’s something gnawing in my mind the past several weeks… er, actually the past year and a half or so that I so desperately need to express at this point in time, out of fear that it’ll be too late if I don’t. I must preface this by saying I’m not the brightest and most adept of political commentators; if you want analysis that’s more direct and a little more well thought out, go read Politico or Huffington Post. I must also note that I will try to synthesize these thoughts in a grounded though somewhat whimsical way; it’s all I can do to approach such serious matters.
As you are fully aware by now, here in the United States of America, a change in the presidency will take place this coming Friday (January 20). We’ll be moving from a leader who, no matter how you felt about him, delivered positive change and inspired hope in a cool, calm, and classy manner… to a man who I feel acts truly reprehensible in his viewpoints, demeanor, and attitudes towards those who are not like him (i.e. American born, cis male, straight, white, rich, conservative, obnoxious). Needless to say, the thought of what darkness awaits us over the next four years — not only due to this new leader’s actions specifically, but of those in not only his government but in those who feel empowered, legally or otherwise by his government — has put a lot of fear in a lot of people, not only here in the U.S. but around the world. You can count me among those who worry about our collective futures.
If you regularly read this blog, you may have noticed that when it was necessary to do so on this blog, I’ve only referred to him as something like He Who Must Not Be Named Because He Has His Name On Seemingly Everything He Owns. In this post, though, for the sake of brevity and quicker reference, I’ll refer to him by nothing more than his actual initials, DJT, and only when I absolutely need to. Why use only his initials here? Well, he still seemingly has his name on everything he owns (and apparently will still own even after he ascends to the presidency *ugh*), and I don’t want to give him any more publicity than he doesn’t have already [insert eye roll here].
Anyway, to get to what’s been on my mind about a DJT presidency over the past year and a half (and fair warning, for I will be doing this in a rather roundabout way)… Show of hands if you’re old enough to remember the TV series Knight Rider. Ah, I see quite a few of you do remember that show, and without having to click on that link. For those of you who don’t remember, Knight Rider was a series from the 1980s that featured David Hasselhoff as a handsome (i.e. lots of sex appeal) do-gooder who drove an extremely souped-up, computerized, talking, black-as-night Pontiac Firebird Trans Am while aiding the helpless and defeating the lawless in the service of a very benevolent corporation.
Knight Rider, as my fellow kids of the ’80s will recall, aired on NBC. The head of NBC’s entertainment division during that time was a gentleman by the name of Brandon Tartikoff. Tartikoff was well regarded during his life as leading NBC out of extremely serious doldrums during the ’80s with a string of very appealing programming. Tartikoff and his staff sometimes brainstormed ideas for shows based on only a few words. For example, one memo from Tartikoff had just two words: MTV cops. From those two words came one of the true landmarks of television, pop culture, and dare I say it, men’s fashion — Miami Vice.
I recall reading how Brandon Tartikoff and his NBC staff brainstormed what would become Knight Rider by being inspired by general problem of casting leading men in TV and film. The long-held industry perception was that many leading men were handsome and just oozed sex appeal from the screen (i.e. lots of sex appeal), but yet they weren’t very skilled actors (well, not everyone is a Laurence Olivier). Tartikoff and a staffer, perhaps in jest, thought it would be smart to get around that problem with a show called “The Man of Six Words.” And, no, those six words were not “David Hasselhoff and his Trans Am.” Rather, it would be an adventure (perhaps a western?) that had the handsome leading man say no more than six words for an entire episode: He would say “thank you” as he was getting out of some woman’s bed; he would yell something like “Freeze, punk!” as he tracked down some dastardly villain; and he would say “you’re welcome” to the grateful near-victims he rescued. And in between all that, his car (perhaps his horse?) would do the talking, if only to help alleviate the leading man’s acting skills.
At this point, you’re wondering how Knight Rider connects to the upcoming DJT presidency. Well, it’s not about “David Hasselhoff and his Trans Am.” Rather, it’s Brandon Tartikoff’s “Man of Six Words” idea that conceived that show that surfaced in my mind when DJT’s candidacy was in its infancy. If he were to actually capture the presidency — a thought that, sadly, will come to fruition this Friday — I imagined that his would be “The Presidency of Six Words.” And while DJT has in reality a slightly more expansive vocabulary (though I wish he’d use more of it than just tweeting “Sad!”), his leadership of the U.S. would… er, will boil down to only six words.
Going in order here, the first two words are abrupt and succinct: “I quit.” No, those won’t be the first two words out of his mouth immediately after he takes the oath of office, and no one should be naive enough to actually think he would abruptly ditch the most important political office on the planet (his ego would prevent him from doing so). But to me, “I quit” sums up the fact that DJT, first and foremost, ran for the presidency solely for the sake of doing so, the latest mountain he and his ego wanted to conquer. His words and actions over his life clearly prove that his desire for fame and power — and the attention that comes out of all that fame and power — outweighs his actual desire to lead the greatest country on Earth.
The next two words from DJT after he “quits” would be directed to those in his political party, and they are… “You’re welcome.” These people clearly gained their own power by hanging on to his coattails; as well, he’s also assured his government will be filled with nothing more than sycophants who have given nothing but praise towards him. Together, they are about to do whatever damage they feel like to this country, from denying basic health coverage to denying rights to minority groups, LGBT and otherwise. Likewise, those who supported them and voted them into office — you know, the ones with racism and bigotry on their minds and true hatred in their hearts — now feel empowered to administer their own scary and dangerous form of damage to these same minority groups. (It’s for this that I’m really, really scared about our next four years.) Being the vain, ungrateful dolt that he is, DJT won’t care what they will collectively do as long as (A) they pay him eternal gratitude — hence a vocal emphasis on the “welcome” in “you’re welcome” (as if he’s impatiently expecting the gratitude) — and (B) he still comes out smelling like a rose in the end. For sure, DJT craves the gratitude in addition to the fame and power.
The last two words from DJT would be directed at the American people in general, especially those who voiced just enough support (though they’re still in the minority) to put him into the presidency: “Seeya, suckers.” DJT is first and foremost a businessman, striking deals here, there, and everywhere that benefit only himself. He seems as if he’s one to not deal with fools lightly, but he doesn’t mind when others turn out to be fools while he gets the much bigger end of the deal. And after people hear the “I quit” and then the “you’re welcome” from DJT, they’ll realize with “seeya, suckers” that they’ve been had while DJT is riding off to one of his numerous high castles — you know, the ones with his name attached. They’ll realize (some of them finally doing so) that perhaps outside of his immediate family (and the jury’s still out on even that), the only thing DJT cares about in this whole wide world is… well, DJT. And they’ll feel truly mad, truly afraid, and even truly damaged in health and well being (perhaps irreparably), all because of a certain egotistical someone who still longs for that sense of self-worth and self-entitlement along with that fame, power, and gratitude.
And there you have it: “The Presidency of Six Words.”
All of which sum up a man who will ascend to the presidency in 5 days yet who appears to have ignored the words of Peter Parker’s uncle: With great power comes great responsibility. If he’s as truly smart as his ego thinks he is, DJT should still heed those words. So should others in power. These next four years (perhaps less?) are looking to become the sum of all the fears we’ve harbored these past 18 months. It’s possible it could actually be worse than we feared. Hopefully, better angels will prevail instead. If they don’t, well, at least the new leader will leave us with nothing more than six simple, truly pathetic words… when we will need more than words to get out of the hole he will likely dig us into.