It’s inauguration day in America . . . and as one circus closes (Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey), another opens (the Trump administration).
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is folding its tent, closing up shop, beating a retreat, and gettin’ the hell out of town as fast as possible. The official line is that the Greatest Show on Earth is no longer economically viable because of declining ticket sales. The circus’s owners claim that the removal of elephants from the show, prompted by the unabated outcry from PETA, the Human Society, and many, many more (moi included), is what caused the traveling three-ring production to fail—and not lack of imagination or adapting to new business realities. I don’t hear Cirque du Soleil complaining about sluggish attendance at their non–four-footed-animal extravaganza affairs.
Poor Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. My heart goes out to you. Not because you’re giving up the ghost, but rather because you have been acting like that crusty crocodile that held Gajendra’s foot for a thousand years. Well, Gajendra was finally set free and Vishnu has caught up with you, and you’re through—decapitated, just like that crotchety old croc. When Krishna and Rama get hold of your ass, you’ll truly be in for it, because karma’s a bitch. Shame on you for all the torture you inflicted on animals over the years. May your head roll in shameful disgrace evermore!
A serendipitous aspect of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus fading into history is that they won’t be forced to compete with the new circus in town, which most certainly would have dethroned their moniker of the Greatest Show on Earth. That’s right, there’s a new circus in town, and they, too, parade elephants. I am of course referring to that Grand Old—Wacky—Party, the GOP, the Republicans, the Trumpeters, the White Right Christians, or, as I like to refer to them, the most horrendous parasitic life-forms on earth (I jest; I’m sure that they are all fine upstanding but misunderstood pillars of society).
The barker fulfilling the role of GOP ringmaster is none other than Kellyanne Conway. You were thinking Trump, right? Nope. He’s channeling P. T. Barnum, who said: “I never liked to work” and “There’s a sucker born every minute” and “You can fool all of the people some of the time; you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.” So Donald, just as I cautioned you about getting it on with Ivanka in my article “Winter in America,” be forewarned that there will come a day when your suckers will stop sucking up your Kool-Aid and stop being fooled by you. You, who are nothing more than a fraud! You, who are just like the hucksters fronting the medicine shows of yore. You’re selling snake oil while preying up on the fears of people. Shame on you! [and as Greta Thunberg would later reprimand the world-wide tribe from the United Nations stage: How Dare You!]
Soothsayer Kellyanne Conway is the correct choice for GOP ringmaster because besides directing attention to and from each ring of Trump’s three-ring circus, a ringmaster must also be cunning under pressure. Circus shows used to be performed only under canvas, in a tent. A very combustible environment, not unlike current American politics. When a tent caught fire it was the ringmaster’s sole duty to direct the crowd toward the exits while simultaneously overseeing the quenching of the fire. In the volatile, explosive, implosive show that Trump’s GOP Circus puts on, there is none more apt than Kellyanne Conway for directing and misdirecting political traffic. Plus, she’s an amazing liar to boot. I bet she’d make a marvelous magician because she’s been able to trick herself into believing Trump’s terse tantrums are part of the show and not a warning sign way more ominous than NORAD declaring DEFCON 1.
Yep, folks: Hurry! Hurry! Step right this way to see Roe v. Wade and the First and Fourth Amendments and health care and Social Security and Muslims and Mexicans and non-Christians and non–Anglo Saxons and non–Right White People and respectful discourse and dignity in the Oval Office and decorum and the Arts and compassion and so much more vanish right before your very eyes. Watch as we get walled in. You’ll wonder and marvel and wish you’d sided with the majority of voters, a 2.8 million margin, who voted against Trump before this circus pulls out of town with the government’s coffers in tow . . .
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! BOYS AND GIRLS! KIDS OF ALL AGES! WELCOME TO THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH! THE GOP CIRCUS HAS COMMENCED! DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO THE CENTER RING LOCATED AT THE WHITE HOUSE, WHERE THE TRUMPETS HAVE SOUNDED AND WHERE THE TRUMPETERS ARE SINGING, TRIGGERING IMAGES OF NERO FIDDLING HIS VIOLIN!
Post Scriptum: I pray—and when an atheist prays, you know goddamned good and well that the shit has hit the fan—that we don’t get caught inside the burning tent like the poor souls of the Hartford circus fire. Unlike that inferno, where there were survivors, there will be none left alive if the GOP’s Trump circus catches fire.
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