In the ongoing bullshit-apocalypse that is modern American politics, it is de rigeur to point to any of our new president’s many faults for purposes of fear mongering or mockery: “He’s provoking China to start a nuclear war!”; “‘Great’ is his enormously favorite word!”; etc…
However, between social media and a number of news outlets (most recently this article on mic.com) we have in the last couple of weeks been inundated with weird stories about how the president uses scotch tape to secure the tails of his ties. They aren’t just stories, though, there is ample video and photographic evidence to prove it’s actually happening.
Predictably, virtually every response swings either to fear-mongering (“A Howard Hughes style nut has his finger on the nuke button!”) or mockery (“He doesn’t know how to shop!”; “He’s so cheap he won’t buy a proper tie!”; “He’s obsessed with his appearance!”), and both, of course, entirely miss the point. The most practical of the responses simply note that it “isn’t very presidential”, but this misses the point too.
The tie-tape is a silly thing, but it speaks volumes about the thought processes of the man supposedly leading the free world. Forget being “not presidential”, this is “not anyone-who’s-older-than-twelve-ish”. Think about it. Is this the act of a wealthy, successful businessman, or of a not-so-wealthy-as-he’d-like-us-to-believe but nonetheless successful con-man (the two apparent extremes of current political thought on the man), or is this the act of that kid who totally forgot it was class picture day and faked it at the last second with whatever he could borrow or scrounge from the bottom of his locker? Think about it. This is the kid who always astonished everybody by not studying for tests, but then wheedling a better grade out of the teacher after the fact. Every. Damn. Time.
This is the act of a man who just doesn’t care about anything of substance. A man who lives his real life like it was a ‘reality’ TV show, where nothing matters as long as you can get one camera angle that looks good enough to sell the scene.
My concern here is that all the superlatives and overwrought hand-wringing the media direct at Trump distracts from this essential fact, that the man is just useless. His sole motivation in public view is to find some angle to present that looks OK so he can go back to screwing around and pretending he knows what he is doing. If Donald really does start World War III, it seems far more likely that he will do so through inattention than malice! Where Bush was accused of being a “useful idiot”, the Donald is a “useless slacker”.
What can evil men do in such a vacuum of concern?