That Fucked-Up Trump Speech Was As Fucked-Up As You Think It Was

Start with the flag hug. When Trump walked out at the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, he walked over to the large American flag on stage right. It was on a post on the stage, so it was dangling down, as it should. Trump put his arms out so everyone in the crowd would know what he was about to do, for he had done it before. And then he put his arms around the flag and embraced it. But that is never enough of a gesture for Trump. Then, as he has before, he pressed the side of his face against it, with a wide, flat, satisfied grin on his bulbous, orange face, the look of a man who never hugged his father. He gave more affection to that flag than we have ever seen him give his youngest child or his grandchildren. The crowd cheered in appreciation of Trump's hug; the message was clear: this is how a real American treats the flag.

It was weird. No, that's not strong enough. It was fucking weird. Disturbing even that such an overtly simple-minded move could garner such a strong reaction, that while the left passes around photos of it to mock, the right send it around with pride. Hell, the White House tweeted the picture with the single word, "America!" Which is just even weirder.

I wasn't triggered or anything. I just thought, "How fucking pathetic. Of him. Of everyone there." And how, for lack of another phrase, fucking weird. But, of course, that was just the start.

Trump gave a speech that was the equivalent of watching a corpulent, masturbating, nude man get to the roof of a skyscraper and run giggling right over the edge, howling with laughter while he jizzes as he plunges down as people on the ground cheer him on and a few of us on the roof wonder, "What the hell just happened?" It was a nervous breakdown before an audience that wanted him to go madder and madder for their pleasure.

It was fucked up, and it was even more fucked up if you watched large chunks of it. Trump leaped between subjects like a coked-up chimp doing parkour. He jumped from another of his ludicrous retellings of his election, each time his win is more improbable, more impossible, more superheroic, to how the world loves the United States with him in charge to, no shit, the Great Tariff Debate of 1888. And that was the first ten minutes or so.

Essentially, for him, the history of this country can be divided into a pre-Trump era and a Trump era. The pre-Trump era was a wasteland of failure and despair. And that shit was in his prepared remarks: "We are reversing decades of blunders and betrayals. These are serious, serious betrayals to our nation and to everything we stand for. It’s been done by the failed ruling class that enriched foreign countries at our expense. It wasn’t 'America first.' In many cases, it was 'America last.' Those days are over." Off-the-cuff, he was clear he was shitting on Republicans, too. Leaders of other countries tell him how much better things are now, he says: "They know that what’s taken place over many years — not just the Obama administration; long before that — they can’t believe, themselves, that they got away with it."

Going through the whole speech would be a descent into the void at the center of Trump's being. Trying to enumerate all the lies would be a Sisyphean task because as soon you think you've found them all, you know there are so many more there. And to highlight the many times Trump referenced crowd sizes or his 2016 election would be soul-suckingly miserable (but, seriously, he went on about crowd size for a long damn time). Instead, here are a couple of moments that are profoundly dangerous.

On multiple occasions, Trump attacked the various investigations into his administration and his finances. His ire was especially focused on Robert Mueller's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Trump said, "Robert Mueller put 13 of the angriest Democrats in the history of our country on the commission. Now, how do you do that? These are angry, angry people. You take a look at them. One of them was involved with the Hillary Clinton Foundation, running it. [Note: Jeannie Rhee was an outside counsel on a case for the Clinton Foundation. (Note: It's not called "the Hillary Clinton Foundation.")] Another one has perhaps the worst reputation of any human being I’ve ever seen." On that last one, it's hyperbole to the point of absurdity. Trump has a fucking relationship with Kim Jong-un, inarguably one of the worst human beings on the planet, and he has worked with various mobsters his entire career. If the Mueller investigation leads to indictments for Trump and his family, he has put a target on the backs of those lawyers (who are Mueller's team, not a "commission").

Talking about abortion, Trump once again brought up Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's widely misunderstood statement about post-birth palliative care for dying newborns.  "The governor - a Democrat - stated that he would allow babies to be born, to be born outside. He would wrap them. He would take care of them. And then he’ll talk to the mother and the father as to what to be done. And if they didn’t want the child, who is now outside of the womb - long outside of the womb - they will execute the baby after birth. They will execute the baby after birth. And that’s one many people have never even heard of or thought about," he explained. And that would be horrible if it were remotely true, except it's not.

There is continuous violence against abortion clinics, like the man in Missouri who was just charged with trying to burn down a Planned Parenthood, and there will be more threats, more violence, more killings because a lot of people believe this shit. There are too many Americans who really believe that Hillary Clinton runs a pedophilia ring. They've got fake-ass videos with this fake-ass baby murder. This shit isn't abstract. The crazy is here, and the president of the goddamn United States is helping the crazy thrive.

Speaking of putting targets on people's backs, Trump said, "We have people in Congress — right now, we have people in Congress that hate our country. And you know that. And we can name every one of them if they want. They hate our country. It’s sad. It’s very sad." It's so obvious that Trump hates this country. It's obvious ever time he talks about his disdain for states that didn't vote for him in 2016. It's obvious when he sprays his verbal vomit all over California, all over any attempt to slow climate change, all over anything that contains a scintilla of science or common sense. He hates any aspect of America that isn't kissing his pampered, voluminous ass.

Too many of us accept this all as normal now, especially in the news media, where the panelists are angry one moment and then laughing at how silly it all is the next. Imagine the outrage if a New York Democrat had mocked a southern accent (as Trump did imitating Jeff Sessions), or if any Democratic president had called a Republican senator "crazed" (as Trump did with Hawaii's Mazie Hirono). Instead, most Americans just roll over and take it because the weight of everything, of all the things that are legitimate scandals that we already know about, from his campaign finance law violations to the inauguration graft scam to the emoluments engorgement to his obstruction of justice, is so heavy. Now, when he talks crazy, sweaty, chaotic, and tyrannical, it's like, "Yeah, that's nuts. But, hey, that's Trump. Hopefully, the Democrats will impeach him but who knows? Fingers crossed on Russia."

This is all taking a toll on the country. It's not just the pain of liberal snowflakes getting owned or the whiny-ass conservatives who can't handle any criticism. It's the failure of any perspective on Trump from the Republican side (other than the occasional Never Trumper who, yeah, fuck them, they got us here), the utter willful blindness, that is sapping our national soul. I keep coming back to the Michael Cohen hearing, where not a single Republican thought it was important to ask the president's former lawyer about the president's possible crimes. Just normal curiosity might lead you to ask.

But while it's so exhausting to get your rage on every time Trump opens his garbage pail mouth, it's important to constantly say, as Elijah Cummings did at the end of the Cohen hearing, "We have got to get back to normal."

If we even remember what that is anymore.