Monday, February 20, 2017

Sometimes, Life Does Imitate Art

In the 1991 movie Soapdish, Sally Field plays a neurotic soap opera actress obsessed with her popularity. Accompanied by the show's head writer, Whoopi Goldberg, she ventures out to shopping malls whenever her insecurities threaten to overwhelm her. There, Goldberg contrives situations where Field is accidentally recognized on-purpose by her fans.

Surrounded by the adoring throng, Field takes great comfort in posing for pictures and signing autographs. Relived that her shelf life as an actress hasn't expired yet, her anxiety dissipates as she realizes the addictive heat of the spotlight is still hers to enjoy.

In 2017, it's hard to watch our so-called president on his victory lap through the south and not recall this movie. In an arena full of the room-temperature IQs who elected him, Trump presides over reenactments of last summer's campaign stops, with the faithful dutifully chanting “Lock her up!” as if it were still relevant.

It has to be a godsend for the man heading an administration so wracked by controversy and conflict.

But if our so-called president is swigging from the nostalgia glass barely one month into his term, what does that say for the future? If The Donald is seeking the reassuring warmth of past triumphs just thirty days after his inauguration, does this mark him as a president unable to cope?

Men like Donald are used to giving orders. Wielding unfettered power. Checks and balances rarely exist in the corporate world. Especially in privately-held corporate monoliths like Donald Trump's.

Donald isn't used to democracy. Donald isn't used to being challenged. Donald isn't used to being overruled.

Donald is used to “Yes, Mr. Trump. Right away, Mr. Trump.”

As the oldest person ever to hold the office, his presidency becomes an exercise in seeing if old dogs can truly learn new tricks. Given his thin-skinned nature and stubborn, resistant and combative ADHD personality, I don't like the odds.

Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. As it is said, give a man enough rope and he'll hang himself.

We can only hope.

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