Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

The lonely bull(sh*tter)

If you haven’t run across this piece by the excellent essayist, Rebecca Solnit, you’ll want to set aside a few minutes to read it. She tears Donald Trump a new one, but in a way that is so intellectually apt that it feels more like analysis than ire.

In a phrase, she has him pegged as a rich boy who has surrounded himself with people who can’t say no to him. This is devastating for our country.

It’s an especially good time to get focused on who this man really is, after his disingenuous and foolhardy rejection of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change last week. There’s nothing pithy or remotely lighthearted to be said about it. We’re on the precipice of a not-so-metaphorical abyss, with consequences that will affect all future generations of humanity. In his statement withdrawing the U.S. from the accord, Trump badly misrepresented the nature of our obligations. It’s clear he was speaking exclusively to his base, who will be wondering in the next few years why they can’t get flood insurance or how come a three hundred year drought comes every two years now. They won’t blame Trump for the absence of new jobs in the coal business, though. Reckon they’ll blame the liberals somehow.

Solnit’s tone is just right:

Some use their power to …  live in the void of their own increasingly deteriorating, off-course sense of self and meaning. It’s like going mad on a desert island, only with sycophants and room service. It’s like having a compliant compass that agrees north is whatever you want it to be.

The problem we all have with this president is that, in the ant farm of his mind, he is always right and doesn’t need to consider any evidence that contradicts him. It’s wrong. It’s fake news. But in following that different drummer he’s marching to he’s going to take us all over the cliff with him. Climate change is real. All the scientists say so (the real ones, anyway), and the tipping point we’ve been approaching will come and go. Down down down, and I don’t mean the temperatures.

I fear that even worse things are on the horizon, and all because even a hard-ass patriot like H. R. McMaster can’t say no to this guy. I won’t even give name to the things I’m afraid of so I don’t sound like the Little Red Hen. It’s bad. It’s catastrophic for humanity. But because Trump is surrounded by yes men it’s all highly possible even if improbable.

God effing help us. The best we can hope for is Solnit’s last line:

One way or another, he knows he has stepped off a cliff, pronounced himself king of the air, and is in freefall. Another dungheap awaits his landing; the dung is all his; when he plunges into it he will be, at last, a self-made man.

8 comments on “The lonely bull(sh*tter)

  1. Charles Yallowitz
    June 5, 2017

    After having debates with the climate change deniers that I know, the reasoning has a rather odd range. Oddest ones I’ve heard:

    -God will save us.
    -Only people too stupid to move will be affected.
    -It will reverse itself soon.
    -The government already has a quick fix that they’ll use when it’s clear they can’t make any more money off this scam.
    -Snow and high temps existing prove nothing is wrong. (I love this one because it sounds like they feel climate change can only be real if climate/weather/seasons disappear entirely.)

    • Kevin Brennan
      June 5, 2017

      A lot of cognitive dissonance going on out there …

      I like the God one too. They forget that God must be the one who started global warming in the first place!

      • Charles Yallowitz
        June 5, 2017

        (Dang. Guess I replied when my Internet was partially down.)

        At this point, cognitive dissonance is the American pastime. It’s enjoyed and relished a lot more than any sport.

        Wonder what would happen if you point out that God might be inspiring nations to join the Paris Agreement. Isn’t there that whole ‘he helps those who helps themselves’ thing?

      • Charles Yallowitz
        June 5, 2017

        It’s the new American pastime. Along with screaming at strangers on the internet.

        Also, who’s to say God isn’t inspiring nations to join the Paris Agreement? ‘I sent you scientists, warnings, and a sense of impending doom! What else do you barely evolved simians want from me?’

      • Kevin Brennan
        June 5, 2017


  2. 1WriteWay
    June 8, 2017

    Jennifer Rubin also had a good one in the Washington Post a few days ago, basically saying we need to stop giving #45 a pass by suggesting he is mentally ill and just see him for the mean, vicious bully he is and always has been. It’s like the curtain has been or is being drawn back and even some of his supporters are cringing in horror at the sight. The Republican leadership could do a lot more to rein him in but they (particularly Ryan and McConnell) are just as selfish, greedy and mean as #45.

    • Kevin Brennan
      June 8, 2017

      Yep. Did you see that tweet earlier today? It said, “Democrats: He’s guilty; Comey: He’s guilty; Trump: I’m guilty; Republicans: We may never get to the bottom of this!” 😉

      • 1WriteWay
        June 8, 2017

        Oh, that’s a good one!

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This entry was posted on June 5, 2017 by in Et alia and tagged .
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