I now know how John King, the host of CNN’s Inside Politics, must feel. Yesterday, he opened his show by literally tearing up his preparation notes for the broadcast. The original topics of the day were the Senate health care charade and the pending disassembling of the First Amendment to the Constitution in the form of the limited Muslim travel ban. Enter Donald Trump and his misogynistic attack on Mika Brzezinski. Future news anchors, reporters and pundits are better served studying the art of improvisation than journalism as their livelihood now depends on their ability to ad lib the news rather than follow a script.
I started drafting this blog and chose the title several weeks ago following Trump’s June 9 joint press conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. At that time, the “reality-show-host-in-chief” again teased the press about the existence of recordings of his meeting with ex-FBI director James Comey stating, “I’ll tell you about it over a short period of time.” This was not the first time we have been told this.
- On numerous occasions, Trump told us he would soon release his tax returns. Did he? NEVER!
- At an August 9, 2016 rally in North Carolina, Trump promised his wife Melania would soon hold a press conference to clear up any issues about her immigration status when she first came to the United States. Did she? NEVER!
- During the campaign, Trump claimed to have a secret plan to defeat ISIS which he would share on his first day in office. Did he? NEVER!
I could go on and on, but you get the point. A blog post called “Never, Neverland” was supposed to focus on Trump’s modus operandi for responding to information or data requests to back up his many questionable claims. It must depend on the outbreak of an Alzheimer pandemic. Promise disclosure and hope the American people collectively forget they ever asked for the material.
But there are much more relevant aspects of J. M. Barre’s Neverland which better explain the behavior and mindset of the pretender-in-chief. Consider the following traits outlined in Wikipedia’s description of this fictional world.
- It is an imaginary, faraway place.
- It is a metaphor for eternal childishness and escapism.
- It exists in the minds of children and is not the same from one child to the next.
- It is inhabited by fairies, the most famous being Tinkerbell, whose name was meant to imply her main talent was “tinkering” or fixing things.
It is no stretch to see that Neverland is also a metaphor for the Trump White House. His denial of the most basic facts–crowd size, climate change or Russian interference in the 2016–suggests he too inhabits “an imaginary, faraway place.” And, as demonstrated again yesterday, he has not grown up. He is still the ten-year-old playground bully who enjoys demeaning others. And he has his own Tinkerbell in the form of Kellyanne Conway. She is the “fixer,” delegated with the unenviable task of rationalizing her boss’s indefensible words and actions.
And in many respects, Trump is Peter Pan. Again, according to Wikipedia:
Peter is an exaggerated stereotype of a boastful and careless boy. He claims greatness, even when such claims are questionable (such as congratulating himself when Wendy re-attaches his shadow). In the play and book, Peter symbolises the selfishness of childhood, and is portrayed as being forgetful and self-centred.
There is, however, one major difference. Peter eventually grows up emotionally if not physically. He befriends others. He supports their aspirations. In contrast, Trump remains the aloof, rich kid who brings the football to the neighborhood pick-up game. And, if not catered to, threatens to take his ball and go home.
Pay particular attention to the part of the Trump/Brzezinski story involving the National Enquirer, alluded to in this morning’s Washington Post op-ed piece co-authored by Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. Following previous negative comments by the Morning Joe duo, Brzezinski, her ex-husband and her two teenage daughters were confronted by Enquirer reporters. Scarborough then received calls from senior White House staff begging him to call Trump and apologize for the hosts’ negative remarks. Trump’s henchmen promised, if he did so, Trump would call the Enquirer and kill the story.
One can only hope this is not the Trump Doctrine on which American foreign policy is based. Except, in this case, the hammer is not a questionable story in a supermarket tabloid, it is the full force and strength of the United States armed services.
Who says Donald Trump has no major accomplishments during his first 150 days in office? Are they forgetting how effectively he has exposed the hypocrisy of white evangelicals who make up a large portion of his sagging support? According to the latest Pew Research poll, an overwhelming 80 percent of white evangelicals approve of Trump’s performance since taking office.
Remember, these are self-proclaimed righteous people whose first principle is to live their lives according to the Scripture which they believe to be the literal Word of God. One would assume that includes Matthew 53:9 in which, during the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus implores his followers to turn the other cheek.
Perhaps Trump was without his reading glasses and misread the Gospel. Maybe he thought it said, “To whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other TWEET.”
For what it’s worth.