American Nero

Former President Donald Trump fiddled with his remote while the Capitol burned. The January 6 congressional hearings revealed that despite urgings from his inner-circle to intervene into the melee, the American Nero, whose only aesthetic is to hear the repeated droll of his name like a one-note song, did nothing but tune in to the TV. At least Nero had could play the fiddle.

While Trump captains his ship of fools driven by an ill wind, several of his mates have already begun jumping ship realizing the next port of call could be jail. They have testified that the president, rebuffed any call to take action against the insurrection, and only later that afternoon, made a TV appearance for the rioters to go home. In the meantime, he watched the events on TV with all the excitement of a pyromaniac watching the flames of his arson.

Whether or not the Congressional hearings lead to the Justice Department bringing any charges against Trump remains to be seen. Still, despite the gravity of the congressional investigation and its profound implications on American democracy, there remains the chance that the drama will play out like reality TV, in that what is at stake will have no greater impact than the outcome of Survivor or The Apprentice: we prefer to believe that it is all make-believe and there are no real consequences, at least in the fantasy world of Donald Trump.

Trump has been a great high for many Americans seeking empowerment, and has distorted the political landscape like no other poltiician. But I only hope what Dean Martin said to Frank Sinatra, when the latter chided him for not being more giddy about their success in Las Vegas, holds true.

“Today, the whole world is drunk, and we are the drink of the day. But tomorrow, they will all be sober.”


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