Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Sorcerer’s Apprentice: The Mickey Mouse Magic of Donald Trump


(By D-Jay)

With Halloween almost upon us in this, the scariest election year in modern memory, it seems like a good time to talk about magic.

Black magic.

The magic employed by Donald Trump and his demonic supporters.

First, though, how about a little thought exercise suitable for the season.  Let’s ask ourselves a basic question – Is magic real? 

Sitting here on our 21st Century perch, it’s easy enough to respond with a simple “No!” 

But not so fast. 

I remember seeing an interview with atheist guru Richard Dawkins a few years back.  To make a point, he started by saying something to the effect of, “We can say with absolute certainty that there are no such things as fairies.”  I found myself asking the TV, however, “Hold on a minute, mate…can we really say that?  Is that something we really know?”

One of the mainstream views of modern astrophysics is that fully 95% of the universe is made up of dark energy and dark matter, about which we know pretty much nothing.  So sure, we can be pretty certain that cute little winged pixies aren’t flitting around the flowers in this 5% of reality which we can see, touch, measure and analyze, but do we have any idea at all what goes on in “dark” 95 percent? 

Is it some sort of empty, unconscious nothingness?

Or (this being Halloween, after all), should we ask ourselves if it could be the Astral realm where shamans are said to surf, or the after-death Bardo plane described in detail by Tibetan Buddhist monks who spent their lives meditating on such things?

Who knows?  The answer to that is well above my pay grade, as is the one to the question of whether, in the end, magic is real or not. 

Perhaps we can say, however, that it depends largely on how we define “magic” and if we are talking about something limited to the small fraction of the universe in which we humans live our lives.

But I digress.  Let’s get back to one Donald J. Trump.

And his minions.

Nowadays, many of us would say that his screaming fans are victims of an expansive brainwashing operation facilitated by Fox News, right-wing pseudo-Christian televangelists, talk radio, Q-Anon and the like, or perhaps that they have been mesmerized by Mr. Trump’s consummate skills as a huckster and con man.

In days gone by, however, many people would instead have said that the Trumpites had been bewitched, ensorcelled or possessed.  Definitely under the sway of an evil witch or wizard…if not Old Nick himself or one of his demonic emissaries from the fiery pits of hell.

Whichever way we look at it, however, what could be more evil than the deliberate capturing of the consciousness and free will of other souls and getting them to blindly follow your every whim, no matter how much chaos, conflict, pain and suffering might result.

If that isn’t black magic, what is?

Of course, this can’t be all one-sided, however.  At some point, the one bewitched has to willingly let in the evil.  You need to take a bite of the enchanted apple. Invite the vampire into your home. Sign the pack with the Devil.

Put on the MAGA hat.

Speaking of the Devil, if Donald Trump doesn’t look like someone who has signed a pact in blood, who does?  Look at the eyes empty of everything but anger. The complete lack of empathy or compassion. The greed. The narcissism. Heck, his ghoulish son-in-law even has 666 – the number of the Antichrist – prominently displayed on his flagship property in New York. 

How else can we explain Trump’s extraordinary ability to get away with all his sins?  How is it that he has never been held to account for all the cheating, lying and swindling that has characterized his business and political careers?  How can he, of all people, have recovered from a serious case of Covid-19 so quickly that he is now able to galivant around the country attending his super-spreader rallies with no apparent signs of fatigue?

This being the Halloween season, I can only think that some sort of evil wizardry must be involved.

The question that needs to be asked, though, is whether Donald is a potent Sauron or Svengali…or a totally out-of-his-depth fraud more closely resembling Mickey Mouse in the "Sorcerer’s Apprentice" segment of the 1940 Disney classic, Fantasia.

Fans of the genre may remember that in the piece, Mickey is the lazy and not-nearly-as-smart-as-he-thinks-he-is apprentice of a powerful wizard.  Tasked with cleaning the sorcerer’s workshop while his master was away, Mickey instead decides to make use of the wizard’s magic hat and bring his broom to life to do the job while he settles in for a nice nap.  Upon awakening, Mickey finds the floor awash in water, but soon realizes that he lacks the magic skill to make the broom stop.  In true Trumpian fashion, he tries to break apart the broom, but each piece forms itself into a new broom, and buckets upon buckets of water soon have the whole place flooded. 

With the aide of a decades-long, mind-destroying, alternate reality campaign waged on the American people by agents of the right, Trump might have been able to put thirty or forty percent of the American electorate under his black magic spell, but so far his magical powers haven’t worked at all on the coronavirus, let alone the immense forces of global warming.

He gathers all the power of positive thinking he can muster and endlessly chants that we have “rounded the turn” and “like magic, the virus will disappear.”

But we haven’t, and it won’t.

Without even wiggling his nose like Samantha in Bewitched, he tries to use his magical thinking to exile climate change from our reality.

But he can’t.

Mickey Mouse magic it is.

Where are Gandalf and Harry Potter when we need them?


gadfly said...

As has been the case with effectiveness of "Big L" libertarian manning of the NeverTrump Lincoln Project, the often-hated Kevin D. Williamson gets Donald Trump exactly right:

This also brings me to a lie that needs to be addressed — and it is not a misunderstanding but a lie, circulated with malice aforethought: that the conservative objection to Trump is only a matter of style, his boorishness bumptiousness and boobishness on Twitter, his gooftastical manner of speaking, his preening, his vanity, his habitual and often dishonest boasting in matters both small and great, etc. These things matter, of course, because manners and morals matter, and they matter more in a free society than they do in an unfree one, because free men govern themselves.

Trump’s low character is not only an abstract ethical concern but a public menace that has introduced elements of chaos and unpredictability in U.S. government activity ranging from national defense to managing the coronavirus epidemic. Trump’s character problems are practical concerns, not metaphysical ones. Trump is frequently wrong on important policy questions (including trade, foreign policy, entitlements, health care, and many others) and frequently incompetent even when trying to advance a good policy. His vanity and paranoia have made it very difficult for him to keep good people in top positions, and this imposes real costs both politically and as a matter of practical governance. Trump’s problem is not etiquette: It is dishonesty, stupidity, and incompetence, magnified by the self-dealing and cowardice of the cabal of enablers and sycophants who have a stake in pretending that this unsalted shit sandwich is filet mignon.

Anonymous said...

"How can he, of all people, have recovered from a serious case of Covid-19 so quickly that he is now able to gallivant around the country attending his super-spreader rallies with no apparent signs of fatigue?"

ANSWER: The Devil takes care of his own.

I suspect President Trump is an anti-Christ. Not a literal one, but Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me." With respect to undocumented children, President Trump effectively said, "The little children should suffer -- separate them from their parents, no age limit." That's as anti-Christ as you can get.