Remember when Donald Trump stated that the United States was “the laughingstock of the world” under President Barrack Obama? Now do not presume me a partisan, because I frankly found Obama’s administration underwhelming. He ran a flat, middle-of-the-road government that suffered much unearned goodwill on the superficial reality of his groundbreaking election. As a president, despite numerous good intentions, his time was wracked by similar ineptitude and small-scale corruption like every other administration that preceded him.
And yet the hysterical shrieks on the right (and let us admit that at least some of it is exclusively race-based prejudice. The so called “birther” conspiracy is outright racist, declaring the man an outsider based upon his historical differences from what was once upon a time considered the norm) are anything but funny. This is nothing to laugh at, such a seething pit of dire warnings and increasingly angry attacks. It is frankly amusing today (at least to a cruel observer like me) that the current attacks from the right, mostly reductive defenses of Trump, are desperately attempting to turn around the suspicions and allegations against the current president, and blame them on his predecessor, now, as a perverted act of revenge. It is far too easy to paint your political rivals as criminals. Unquestionably they are all to varying degrees guilty of plenty. But the pettiness, the small-mindedness–this is what creates a laughingstock.
Barrack Obama was taken seriously–most certainly by his enemies. Every rival sought to exaggerate some claim, and you never hear laughter bubbling out of paranoid rage. The difference with Trump is that he is not taken seriously, not really. Not even by his supporters. The only thing you really hear are smug, cynical reactions to perceived desolation on the left (which is much less common than apparently the right wishes it to be, those pathetic pictures of weeping liberals on the election of Trump
really just shameful images of people without anything to live for, both before and after the election.) No, the supporters of Trump are far more interested in enjoying the disappointment of their rivals than they are with anything of any true value to the United States of America. They invent nonsense to prop Trump up and force themselves to believe that a scoundrel rather openly in it for the money (as opposed to the previous public servants who merely took advantage of their situations) is somehow a patriot looking out for their interests. It is baffling, but I suppose every partisan, both left and right, defines some form of messianic hero-worship for the person the hope will keep their enemies in their place.
But I was talking about being a laughingstock to the rest of the world. Obama, Hillary Clinton, say what you like about corruption, criminality and ineptitude, the rest of the world took them very seriously. In Russia they loathed them, Israel despised them, and much of the rest of the world either feared or loved them. And while they might have endured protests on international tours, nothing resembles the joyful, mean-spirited negativity the rest of the world seems to feel for Trump.
Every last one of these protests is full of laughter, of the sort of smug rejoinder that Donald Trump himself seems adept at slinging. And yet the anti-Obama protests have a much different, far grimmer light
These protests were all over the world too, but there is a far more threatening manner to them. And the right can make the claim (often quite true) that liberals are a bunch of pussies, too busy complaining to take any action, and yet, simultaneously, they also wish to paint liberals as terrorists. I’m confused by this. Can you really have things both ways? They even call Radical Islamic Terrorists liberal when, in fact, they are far more to the right than most Americans will ever be (“Sharia law” is profoundly conservative.)
Look, people laugh at Donald Trump, not because he’s funny, but because he’s not a serious person. He is a child. He’s a clown. He openly contradicts his proclamations–sometimes in the same speech. He publicly denies he said things that the whole world heard him say on film. He declares that his enemies edit his tapes and recordings all the while doing the same exact thing to his rivals. He believes in nothing, absolutely nothing, other than his own selfish whims.
No one takes the man seriously.
in the world.
He humiliates his allies by being the laughingstock he claimed he was going to restore America from being.
The defensive reactions to this are the same as they always are when someone laughs at you, does not take you seriously. It is attack attack attack–“who cares what they think?” and “We’re number one! We’re number one!” Foolishness, making us even more ripe for parody.
Donald Trump’s sense of humor seems to exclusively revolve around mean-spirited insults–childish name-calling, cheap puns, awkward rhymes and outright cruelty:
“Washed up psycho @BetteMidler,” “Low-IQ Maxine Waters,” “Alfred E. Neuman cannot become president of the United States,”
And, of course, “I never “mocked” a disabled reporter (would never do that)”
I wonder who the people are who laugh at these comments and statements with genuine hilarity, and not simply with the embarrassed head-shaking that John Kelly expressed when the body of the United Nations laughed at President Trump. Who thinks what he says is truly funny? What does that say about you, about your sense of humor, if the height of comedy, for you, is someone mocking people for things they either have no control over or that are not actually true, these pre-emptive, defensive attacks. Instead of the “counter-puncher” the president claims to be, he is in fact always on the offensive, trying to diminish someone before they can diminish him first. And the really tragic thing is, for a wannabe insult comic, is that he really isn’t very good at it, unimaginative and repetitious. And yet the howling jackals in his camp keep screaming “good job” as they applaud and laugh like nervous parents trying as hard as they can to encourage their talentless child.
None of you actually support Donald Trump. You defend him and, like everyone else in every election perhaps since JFK, you side with whoever you believe the “lesser of two evils” (which is nearly exclusively how most of the people who voted for Hillary Clinton felt). And for all the lame comments defenders of the cynical bitch make, those “well I don’t approve of what he says, but . . .” think about and tear open a comment like this. You don’t approve of what he says and yet you support him anyway? No one has ever said that about a leader before, ever, in the history of the world. How can you justify this, before you merely rephrase things into something like, “sometimes he goes a little too far, but . . .” or “He’s only fighting back, so . . .” or any of those other comments that even you, deep down, know are untrue? How are we not now a bigger laughingstock throughout the world than we ever have been before? We should be ashamed of ourselves, of our nation with as much power and influence as we have the potential to have, turning inward on ourselves, burning ourselves out with the toxic cynicism that has overwhelmed all of us in one way or another. It is sad, it is a terrible shame. It is no laughing matter.
And yet, now, the whole world is laughing at us.