I was feeling down about something this afternoon so I thought I would cheer myself up by watching Trump’s daily press conference. A good laugh always makes me feel better.
Most days I can only manage about five minutes of the clown bloviating as he contorts the truth to pat himself on the back. But this afternoon I stuck with it for most an hour. What intrigued me was not the fact that Trump pours lies upon stupid lies in order to show that he is the greatest person that ever lived and has never made a misstep; we kind of expect that. He is after all, nothing but a professional huckster. No, it was the supporting cast that held my attention.
I’m not talking about Pence or Barr or Pompeo, who are as hum-drum as Trump is gaudy, yet equally evil; but rather the doctors and scientists.
I have no personal knowledge of Anthony Fauci or Robert Redfield, but their professional resumes suggest that they are men of science, well trained for the jobs they hold. But Trump makes them dance a jig in public to his off key tune. And for whatever reason, they are willing to do it. It is easy to see that they are struggling to choose their words carefully in their attempts to bridge the gap between the Scylla of Trump’s wrath and the Charybdis of professional suicide. But that sort of obvious self-censorship only makes them appear even more like trained lackeys unworthy of respect.
They are certainly sensible enough to know that Trump is only using them as props and will discard them whenever he feels they have served their purpose. So why do they degrade themselves so publicly? Is the lure of closeness to power really that strong?
To me, it is just sad.