““I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.““ (Lee)
I've said a lot of mean, degrading, and angry things about the current President of the United States, Donald Trump, since he was elected by a slim margin in 2016. I was so exasperated and driven to anxiety by his victory over Hilary Clinton that I suffered a serious anxiety and asthmatic attack that had me on the brink of breathless until ambulances arrived to save me.
I'd never suffered an attack like that before in my life. Though prone to bronchial illness, I'd never been one to suffer from asthma. I was a soccer player and relatively active, hitting the gym or path with regularity.
I've never been in an actual fight, and, apart from raging in mosh pits, have never been in a physical altercation of any kind. I suppose I was a bit of a bully to my brothers at times while we were growing up, but that didn't last for long once I entered my teens. Bruce Lee is an idol and philosophical mentor of mine because Jeet Kune Do is more like shadowboxing than kickboxing. If you must fight, you battle with precision, purpose, and clarity.
But the election to leadership of a man I've hated since I was in my teens -- when it wasn't just fashion for rock stars to hate the rich and fight against their power, it was our duty -- felt like a Dhalsim punch to the chest.
I'm still breathless, confused, and angry to this day. The reality of King Dictator has dismantled me over the last few years - turned me from a patient warrior for harmony and truth, to an activist bent on calling out the countless mistruths, contradictions, and evil actions undertaken by Trump over the course of his life.
Understand, I wasn't a Clinton fan, just like I'm not a full Biden fan now. Obama was my favorite President, and still is one of my favorite humans. He did stand for hope, and an aspirational identity as a diverse, evolved, and harmonized people.
Some who read the previous statement about Obama will be exiting this exoteric conversation now, and probably never return. This message isn't for everyone, and everyone won't agree on my position. There's a strong dichotomy of direction in politics in America, forcing all of us to take sides.
In this case, the division is warranted.
King Donald the Dictator has operated like my antithesis since I was old enough to know who he was. When I was in high school, one of my favorite bands had the following quote in their song "The Wasteland":
"Pay your money to the landlord
Donald Trump is just a money whore
Under my bed there's a baseball bat
Goddamn taxes gonna break my back"
That was 1991. The band is Warrior Soul, a music act that was raging against the machine (and their own record label) in ways that made Motley Crue look like pacifists. They were one of the first mainstream rock bands in the modern era that could be explicit and dangerous and be true to their message. Case in point: they committed career suicide with their fourth album, which they tanked on purpose to get out of their contract with Geffen records.
Their message of revolution didn't resonate with big business and corporate interests, and Donald Trump represented everything they hated.
But this rant isn't about a rock band whose concept was eventually embraced by another band aptly named Rage Against the Machine. It's about how Trump really hasn't changed over the course of over seven decades, and how Americans have been bullied into submission by his greedy, selfish, and irresponsible actions, with very little rage left to counter.
When decorated veteran John McCain died in 2018 and US government flags were flying half-staff to observe his passing, Trump said "What the fuck are we doing that for? Guy was a fucking loser." When he faced him on the campaign trail, Trump said about McCain "He’s not a war hero. I like people who weren’t captured."
Well, I prefer leaders that can take public health and security seriously - not obese blowhards that think getting captured by a virus is somehow more prideworthy than a war hero who fought selflessly for a country and cause.
Trump dodged military service, was handed his riches, and has crashed companies like they were disposable. He regularly disparages his opponents or those voices that disagree with him. He cannot be debated, he cannot be questioned, he cannot follow structures or rules, and he cannot play nice. He has no integrity, respect, or patience.
His words are fists, and with them, he pounds anyone before him into acquiescence. Whether tweeting, on a Debate stage, in an interview, or at a rally, his force will not be denied. He hammers with hotheaded fury until he has razed every good and right thing around him.
He is razing the country, our Democracy, the Constitution, our freedoms and rights, and our global standing. He acts like he's the Dictator from North Korea, and sounds like he's the supreme leader of Russia. He envies both of their positions of ultimate power. He is squeezing the life out of our liberty, his chokehold asphyxiating the breath out of our once great society and identity.
Ultimately, he wouldn't be such big of a problem if he didn't have an audience that cheers on his bullying. His vile humanity is reinforced by a universe of selfish and self-serving parrots cloaked as Patriots. They cheer his violent and divisive message, and they "stand by", waiting for their sign to jump into the fray. This isn't your 60s or 70s peaceful protests; there is true unruliness and hate behind the lines of each side these days.
And now, in what may be the strongest example of bullying in American history, the President completely controlled the messaging and experience of his severe covid illness (never giving the full picture of his illness and limiting the truth of his Doctors). He left Walter Reed hospital before he was fully healed; returned to the White House to participate in a surreal propaganda event intended to project both political strength and superhuman ability to overcome his health challenges; and, did all of that while spurning long-standing medical advice from the CDC and Global Public Health experts around mask use, and spewing his viral clouds throughout the tax-payer funded mansion provided to him, coincidentally at the same time that the CDC updated its covid transmission guidelines to confirm that the novel virus can be transmitted through air, and can linger on surfaces and in water droplets in air… for hours.
Donald Trump is no longer using just his words to bruise and endanger those around him; the bully is using his obsession with power to damage the fabric of equilibrium and society.
The sad truth is that there are many in this nation that applaud his deplorable actions and despicable words. There are neighbors and friends that support his irresponsibility, arrogance, and lies.
As I delivered pizza for Dominos and rideshire for Uber, I have met these people across the landscape of this broken wasteland. I hear their side of the story, but can't relate; the people that understand and enable the bully are complicit in his abuse. They've been dizzied by his misdirection, misguided by his partisan imbalancing. Most are weary from four years of conflict between parties and people.
Yet, the punishment continues.
Down deep, a bully mostly wants attention, and gets it through violence. The bully plays to his/her crowd, pounding fists and pushing victims down in order to stand taller. The bully is energized by the applause of the audience, emboldened by every successful punch he/she lands. No social media campaign, no hashtag, no volunteer cause can stop a bully who is protected by arm-locked enablers.
Donald Trump is a demagogue and a bully who uses his power, affluence, and status to paint himself as a martyr to the suffering castes and classes. He doesn't represent anyone but himself and those familiy members that carry the Trump name with loyalty to him. I don't have enough time in my days to detail all of his instances of bullying across his history - recent or otherwise. He is a violent manipulator and power-thirsty dictator. He has already said that he will challenge the results of our coming election, and not step down as president if he loses (completely disregarding the fact that the Electoral College elects a president, not the popular vote, no matter how stark the difference between the two voting results). He is no president. He is no classy, honorable, or sane leader.
America is on the precipice of unravelling. Donald Trump does not have the best interest of the American citizenry on his mind, and is not to be trusted.
Welcome to the wasteland, where madness reigns supreme.