Both Barack Obama and Donald Trump announced assassinations.
Jimmy Kimmel played it for laughs.
Take one minute and 24 seconds.
The difference between them is dramatic. I was reminded of Obama's grace and seriousness. I was reminded of Trump's narcissism and lack of class.
And yet about half of our fellow Americans choose Trump, and a great many of them refuse to believe anyone so wonderful could possibly have lost an election.
Try watching the video a second time, this time ignoring the Kimmel audience laughter. Look at Trump.
Watch his gestures and demeanor, and compare it to Obama's. Trump is animated. His gestures are big and loud. Face, hands, and arms are all part of the big show. His words are the language of tabloid newspapers and casual speech. In one sense, it is utterly inappropriate for the circumstance. As his former Chief of Staff, Attorney General, and other top Cabinet officers have said, Trump is "unfit" for the presidency. But he is relatable as a peer to the demographic that has become the centerpiece of the GOP base.
"Easy Sunday" is intended to be a lighthearted post, but take a moment to remember the culmination event in the oldest story in Western Civilization, The Iliad. Achilles, after defeating Hector in battle, celebrated by dragging his body behind his chariot. The gods were offended, disgusted. It was unseemly. Yet what Achilles did was all-too-human, the victor spiking the football. It was the behavior of the self-centered, prima-donna hero. A star.
Trump told us about stars. When you are a star you can do what you want. Women let you fondle them. Men let you shoot someone on Fifth Avenue. Circumstances reveal Trump is largely correct, alas. White women voted for Trump, even after the Access Hollywood revelation. His supporters laughed along with him when he called E. Jean Carroll a whack job. The many legal cases against him appear to be increasing his support.
Trump is a star. He is heroic, not in the Bible sense of good, evil, and obedience to God, but in the Iliad sense of warrior culture, glory, and willfulness.
He is not elected by the Greek Gods, nor by modern arbiters of decorum. Trump condemns those do-gooder arbiters as elitists, fake, the swamp, and woke. Trump is elected by people who considered Obama an imposter who rose above his true station in life. A great many Americans see Trump for exactly who he is, and prefer him. They resent the fact that people laugh at Trump for being plain spoken. It means the audience is laughing at them, too.
[Note: to subscribe to the blog and get it delivered by email every day go to: https://petersage.substack.com Subscribe. The blog is free and always will be.]