What would we ever do for kicks without President Donald Trump pressing our buttons?
Without Trump’s pathetic, childish, provoking trash talk tweets?
Or the President’s blatant, treasonous disparagement of our democracy just a forced wink and a phony smile away from Russia’s creepy, ruthless dictator?
It’s been three hellish, Twilight Zone-on-an-endless-loop years of this two-bit snakeoil salesman peddling his poison to disgruntled, disenfranchised Americans.
And still, the desperately gullible and politically opportunistic line up, demanding more.
We ain’t what we’ve cracked ourselves up to be for so bloody long. We’re so far from the United States of America.
But hell, step right up. Show of a lifetime, folks.
Never mind the featured sideshow freak has escaped the red-and-yellow circus tent, hi-jacked the crude, wooden barker’s box and is selling discount tickets for a peek an empty tent.
Really, is it any surprise?
How could we survive without getting up our ire at Trump monopolizing the nightly news in his twisted, Orwellian, Big Brotherish way?
Amidst his distracting, divisive chaotic swirl of constant lies, rescinding and reassertion of absurdities, Donald Trump, against all odds, is getting his way.
Gradually, as citizen outrage rises and quells only to spasmodically rise again, “we the people” are queerly, subtlety or not, being played, conditioned.
The truth gets muddled. The lines of division in our country get hardened. And the insidious behavior of presidential imposter Donald J. Trump, gets normalized.
They way any compulsive habit can lead to addiction — and then destruction, there’s a very real danger of hell bent, anti-Trump Americans getting hooked on Trump’s insanity.
Such are the inherent complex high-stakes risks of allowing an unstable person, demonstrably bereft of morals and utterly lacking in political diplomacy to be the United States’ commander-in-chief.
So, what do we do now?
We should know Trump feeds on the notion that any publicity is good publicity.
We must remember that ugly and murderous tyrants like Adolph Hitler shared those same sympathies.
And we must know that as long as Trump orchestrates his contorted, angry dance of incites between his loyalists and his loyal opponents, appealing to our basest emotions, he can control.
No, there are no simple answers here – not as the President would have us believe.
Of course, this was why it was so critically important the con man was never given the keys to the Oval Office in the first place.
Give him a chance, his believers said. Don’t worry. Hey, he’s a successful billionaire businessman. And there will be folks around to keep him in line.
George Orwell once wrote: “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims… but accomplices.”
But accusing or attacking the other side too vehemently, does us little good beyond simply inflamming verbal warfare.
Meanwhile, an enemy of the state has hi-jacked the highest office in our land and plots our possible destruction.
The question still begs: What do we do now?
We can’t simply tune out. That’s also what the reckless former Atlantic City casino proprietor, wheeler and dealer of human lives, would love.
No. Burying our heads in the proverbial sand would be so much worse. But we can choose when to tune in — and for how long.
If CNN had it’s way, Americans would be plastered to their TV’s 24/7 digesting a steady stream of “Breaking News” that regurgitates the same old, recycled downer Trump garabage.
And forget Fox News.
Rupert Murdoch’s alleged “fair and balanced” cable news station is Trump’s apologetic mouthpiece in the same way the early 20th Century, brainwashing Communist Party rag, Pravda, was for Soviet tyrant Joseph Stalin, who would be responsible for the deaths of some 20 million Soviet citizens.
Certainly, we should be incredulous at Trump’s treasonous fawning over thuggish Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in Helsinki a week ago.
And we need to let our voices of dissent be heard loud and clear — loud enough and clear enough so that Trump’s conspiring Congessional Republicans put their pathetic partisan allegiences aside and defend our country.
But we need to keep our wits. Now, more than ever, we need to stay cool and focused.
Whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook or at the corner drug store, we can’t respond to Trump or his sychophants with the same hatred and vitriol that our President espouses.
Then he wins. We lose.
And the divisiveness encouraged and perpetuated by this President since his fear-mongering bid for the White House three years ago, threatens our downfall by splitting us into hardened, tribal factions.
While the citizenry is polarized, at eachother’s throats, fueled by the President’s constant bombardment of inciting tweets, Trump’s myriad schemes get obfuscated.
Alert, surgical and insightful reasoning by the citizenry is called for.
Plainly, our best hope is the successful completion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference for Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
Yes, the mid-term elections are key. But even the integrity of our elections remains in question — seriously threatened by widespread Conservative-backed voter disenfranchisement and Russia’s persistant emboldened cyberware attacks on our Democracy.
At this point, if we are to trust anyone it should be Mueller — a Vietnam War hero Marine, former FBI Director, and Republican who served in both Democratic and Republican presidential administrations.
And it’s up to “we the people” to ensure that Trump’s congressional enablers, our purported representatives, stop wavering in Mueller’s defense and start acting like Americans.
Kevin McKinney is a freelance writer and former daily newspaper journalist living at the Jersey Shore. His opinions have appeared in The Hill, Sacramento Bee, Knoxville News Sentinel and various McClatchy newspapers.