By Brian J. Karem
In the spirit of the season President Donald Trump invited a small group of reporters and photographers into the White House on Christmas Day to tell us there was no collusion with Russia.
Okay, he said the Democrats colluded with Russia - apparently to get him elected.
So, it’s another Merry Day on Christmas with television's least-favorite but highest rated reality show star, Donald J. Trump.
He is the man a lot of people love to hate.
The truth is Trump has spent the last few days feeling his Christmas spirit ebbing and flowing like the Grinch on an Adderall rush. He has spent that time poking and prodding his favorite pin cushions, including the media, former employees and current foes. He spent Christmas Eve in solitary confinement waiting for Jacob Marley and working out his twitter fingers claiming: “I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal,” on his cherished Christmas Wall.
He also spent his Christmas day ranting against James Comey and said, “It’s a disgrace what’s happening in our country. But other than that, I wish everybody a very Merry Christmas.”
I’m still waiting for the call to arms against St. Nick.
Santa Claus, apparently being an illegal alien (I haven’t seen his papers have you?) will be shot down on sight while the 14,000 migrant children held by our governments will be scurrying about in cages and pens in their best Dickensian mode begging for “More please,” as Trump’s border elves dish out the scraps and deal with the latest death in their custody - an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy.
Trump also took the traditional “Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Man” time of the year to lash out at the acting attorney general, placate his overlords in Saudi Arabia and scream about the Fed and interest rates.
He had Steve Mnuchin make questionable telephone calls to the country’s economic movers and shakers which only helped the volatile markets collapse and the DOW to fall another 600 or more points - a record for Christmas Eve trading. So, while countries across the world laugh at Trump and his ineptitude Trump sought to cheer up his faceless base by tweeting out “AMERICA IS RESPECTED AGAIN.”
In the finest tradition of the season Trump also tipped off a seven-year-old on a telephone call about the metaphysical nature of Santa Claus (The belief of a seven-year-old in Santa being “marginal,” Trump said-thus expressing without knowing it his existential angst about his own existence) and muddied the waters further by insulting Congress, our allies and snuggling up with North Korea, Turkey, Iran and Russia.
He also told us the best way to spread cheer and to stop drugs wasn’t to address the demand for drugs (especially hallucinogens whose demand apparently has increased a thousand fold since his inauguration) but was to limit their illegal importation along the Southern border with a fence/wall/ heads on pikes display to discourage such endeavors.
Never mind this has no basis in reality. The best he could do is raise the price of those drugs - in effect another tariff on goods - if a wall were able to somehow stymie the influx of drugs. Drug tunnels, airplanes, boats and homegrown drugs aside, Trump’s scare tactics would have little success other than that.
A Christmas wall won’t stop gang violence either since most gang violence exists with people already in the United States. It doesn’t address the real problem of gun control and homegrown terrorists like Timothy McVeigh and others. The idea that human trafficking will be stopped by a wall is laughable and “Massive Crime” along the Southern Border is as much as an exaggeration as Trump's claims he has liberated cities from MS-13.
The Truth is that Trump’s Christmas claims are as fictional if not more so than Santa Claus and are certainly more detrimental to our sanity and safety.
It’s one thing to believe that a fat guy (I still prefer to think of him as Kurt Russell - a more fit and trim Santa) dressed in a red suit travels around the world with a sled and a bunch of reindeer (one with a red nose from too much drinking) in one night distributing toys to good little girls and boys, and quite another to listen to the President of the United States rant and peddle fear mongering fiction to the masses that only seeks to divide and frighten us.
The Christmas Wall fight which precipitated Trump’s Government Shutdown Smackdown, is an exercise in fiction that seems straight out of the mind of Tim Burton without his heart. “Now there may be the case of an Olympic champion who can get over the wall but for the most part you are not able to do it. Very high. It’s gonna be 30 feet. Much of it is 30 feet high. Some if it’s low. But in some areas we have it as high as 30 feet. That’s like a three-story building.” The president said in the Oval Office on Christmas Day.
He also said that he’d spoken with many federal workers who didn’t mind going without work or pay because they supported his Christmas Wall. Those federal employees, according to the president “said to me and communicated, ‘Stay out until you get the funding for the wall.’ These federal workers want the wall. The only one that doesn’t want the wall are the Democrats, because they don’t mind open borders.”
The government will be closed for business, Trump declared until he gets his wall - once again proving that the man who delights himself on the “Art of the Deal” can’t really make one.
His 30-foot high wall plans don’t take into account that planes can fly over it, boats can go around it, or the large 1500 mile gaps in this fictional wall could be breached. There are already many examples in existence of tunnels as wide as a lane of traffic that are used as human and drug smuggling pipelines.
The only people listening to Trump’s Christmas message of hopelessness, anger and despair are those who cling to the belief that if Jesus came back today he’d arm himself with a pump shotgun, a bandolier filled with grenades and an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle with a bump stock.
But Trump’s Christmas tirades weren’t limited to the beauty of his fictional wall, they also include fictional funding. “I am in the Oval Office & just gave out a 115 mile long contract for another large section of the Wall in Texas. We are already building and renovating many miles of Wall, some complete. Democrats must end Shutdown and finish funding. Billions of Dollars, & lives, will be saved!”
Either the president was admitting to a crime, or lied because that’s not the way government contracts work.
But, who cares? It’s the Christmas season and Trump wants to spread his vision and version of Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all who believe as he does.
The rest of us who celebrate Festivus will look beyond Trump’s racism, his ineptitude rivaling that of a Herbert Hoover or Calvin Coolidge not to mention his Richard Nixon-like cancerous criminality to try and find something worth salvaging from these last two years.
I’ll be happy if we can salvage some civility, a sense of national purpose and identity.
I’ll settle for Trump’s twitter account going silent.
I don’t expect any of these things to actually occur, but I still have hope.
That’s one thing even Trump cannot destroy - Hope.