Election 2020: Showtime in Bedminster: The Art of the Deal or the Art of the Steal.

On Saturday we are greeted by Trump’s official whatever at his Bedminster, NJ country club at $350k per head. He’s creatively deceptive and cruel at the same time with the same soulless aplomb. This pull-off warrants an “A in truancy”: Trump is “present” but manages not to attend his own video-ops. His “head” which means the administration of our nation’s affairs is ‘somewhere else.’ Certainly not “minding the store.”

The attendees probably hand-picked were a sea of whiteness bedecked in Brooks Brothers and J Crew. No MAGA hats. Media social distancing. The proverbial nod to “fake news gatherers” — “now you get to see what I have to put up with.” Trump always the victim. And yet the entire show looked strangely

rehearsed. The promise of a ‘kinda, maybe’ executive order to save the economy — translation, ‘save my election’ — was mentioned to nodding supporters. An executive order reluctantly offered to repair deplorable Democrat obstruction of Republican agendas — not that ‘we really need it.’

What was new and newsworthy was the rehearsed air of the session. Cruelty peddling took center stage. Trump seemed detached, as if he were presiding over a studio run-through.

Little or no mention of COVID-19: “we’re really doing well.” Little or no mention of the economy. No mention of Afghanistan bounties. No mention of… fill in the blank.

Except the post office.

In a stunning non sequitor Trump launched the idea that China’s meddling in the 2020 election was far worse a threat than Russia’s. And that the US Post Office and mail-in ballots were a threat to the viability of a “free and open election.” Somehow China, more than Russia, knew this and were preparing to defraud the American voter — well, really Trump.

What Trump had rehearsed was sharing what a “good guy” he is to sign an executive order to extend student loan forgiveness until the first of the year. Extend this, extend that — you could feel his mind ticking off election debate talking points. ‘Look what I did for students trying to pay back their loans!’ ‘Look what I did for the unemployed!’ Et cetera.

What Trump had rehearsed was to force feed the American public on grade school level math.

Well, $400 a week is better than $0, right?

And middle school level motivation.

Well, you need to be incentivized to go back to work, right?

And here’s one takeaway to this drivel. As unemployment levels reach scores of millions nationwide and beyond 30% in urban neighborhoods which weren’t doing well BEFORE COVID-19, we are beginning to wake up to a “default middle class,” created as a marginal “middle,” not spanning but falling between a chasm of income inequality between 99% and 1%. This yawning group of unfortunates — written into Congressional legislation — is time sensitive and will disappear on January 1, enough time to convince us, that it ‘coulda’ been a lot worse.’

August 9, 2020

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Rodney Clough

Rodney Clough

Refuses to nap. Septuagenarian. Cliche’ raker. Writes weekly.