Back when circuses were a popular form of entertainment, there was a plan for when things went wrong. If a trapeze artist fell or a lion tamer ended up on the business end of a four-claw slap in the chest, the circus management would send in the clowns. The lights would dim on the ring where the injured performer was being tended to and any bloodstains were cleaned up. The clowns had routines ready for these occasions. After all, we wouldn’t want to alarm the children by showing a broken, limp, and bloody body being carted off. The show must go on.
So it is with American politics. The show that began 2 years ago when Donald Trump announced his candidacy continues on. Except this time, the circus decided to make this particular clown the ringmaster and turn the lights out on all the rings. There’s just ome white-hot spotlight, and it’s shining down on our new president. Behind him, shrouded in semi-darkness, are the people who are going to be running the show while Trump keeps pushing our buttons and drawing our fire and attention.
It’s how magicians are able to ply their sleight of hand. Classic misdirection. I’m not so sure Donald Trump is in on it, either. He’s a person who genuinely craves the spotlight in a pathological manner. He is only concerned with what affects him, and he has a natural ability to take any scene, any scenario, and make it about him. Given Republican control of Congress, they can pretty much write their own ticket. Trump will stamp his signature on whatever they send him so long as he gets something out of it.
Now more than ever it’s important to not fall for the misdirection technique. Don’t get sucked into the Trump vortex. While we do have to listen to what he says and pay attention to what he does, we also have to be aware that while he is pointing in one direction, Congress is walking in another, and the people behind Trump are going to be getting away with a lot of bullshit if we’re not careful and focused. We have a little less than two years. We can start to reverse this. It’s not too late.