It’s astounding. Time is fleeting. Madness takes its toll… —Riff Raff, The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.—Claudius, Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1
You can see it. The jowly, bloated face. The reedy whine of his voice. Madness has indeed taken its toll on Donald Trump. His juvenile ranting continues unchecked, while his audience continues shrinking. Yet he is unaware of his decline. Most of his devotees seem not to notice that his rhetoric recycles the same tired themes—stolen election, Hillary Clinton, election fraud, Joe Biden, January 6th was a love fest—it’s a long and complicated list. Thanks to the new Bob Woodward and Robert Costa book titled Peril, we’re finding out that many of his close advisers noticed his mental deterioration early on. Some were opportunistic and ignored it, some were cowardly and quietly resigned, and some belatedly mustered a little courage and fought it. Donald Trump’s descent into madness was visible in public, to be sure, but behind the scenes, his obsessive behavior, tantrums, and declining grip on reality were terrifying to many of his staff and advisors. Folks knew he becoming more unstable. The insurrection on January 6th was his vain attempt at a political Walpurgisnacht that would shut down the government, delegitimize Joe Biden’s election, and somehow return Trump to power. The failure of that coup d’etat undermined and worsened his mental state.
Quite a few countries have suffered through the reigns of looney heads of state. There was Caligula in Rome, Ivan the Terrible in Russia, George the VI in England, Hitler, Pol Pot, and Gaddafi—a cast of characters that only an uneducated half wit like Trump would aspire to. This rogues gallery has many things in common, but two of their most dangerous traits are capriciousness and cruelty. You can read up on the details of their often forgotten depravity and malice, but Trump’s ruthless persecution of anyone he considers beneath him—women, people of color, all citizens of what he called “shithole” countries, muslims, and the poor—is well documented. The wealthy and powerful he clutches to his breast, even while they laugh behind their hands at his crude and bourgeois posturing as a multi-billionaire.
Mainstream media continues to focus on the minority of unglued wackos who believe every idiotic thing Trump says. It makes for good tv and sells lots of soap powder and pills. We need to focus on the reality of having a deranged would-be despot on the loose in our country. Hopefully, our Jan 6 investigative committee will finally uncover enough incriminating dirt to put him and his cadre of crooks behind bars. Keep that hope alive. Stay tuned.