The late great composer, singer, musician, author, and soul and jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron had something to say about a second term for a certain conniving, lying charlatan, who was unqualified for a first term as president of the United States of America (let alone a rerun of his first go-around trickle-down money grab for the top 10 percent).
The president in Gil’s lyrical prose—a man who stood idly by during his first term in the initial days and ongoing weeks, months, and years when HIV/AIDS devastated America (and the world at large), a man who clung to his phony morality clause of sexual abstinence by uttering, “After all, when it comes to preventing AIDS, don’t medicine and morality teach the same lessons?”—would in fact be granted a second term by the eighties’ Moral Majority and fully fledged—or Right leaning—Right people.
Before I expose Gil’s subject for his 1981 and ’84 political songs, I’ll provide more historical context about the core of the man who—long before Trump dumped his psychotic sewage (a.k.a. ramblings of a manic fool) into America’s polluted political swamp—was once revered as the GOP’s torchbearer and the Right people’s darling. And who, according to the faithful, had been divinely sent forth and therefore could do no wrong.
As the governor of the state of California, the future two-term president said the following words: “If it takes a bloodbath, let’s get it over with.” He was fondly reminiscing about the then-recent use of deadly force, spurred on by the Gipper himself, at UC Berkeley, in the vicinity of the People’s Park. Ronald Reagan must have been pissin’ his pants with delight less than a month later, on May 4, 1970, when his call for bloodbaths on college campuses was fully realized at Ohio’s Kent State University when four unarmed kids were shot dead by the government (in the form of the Ohio National Guard).
Gil wrote two tunes (dirges, really) featuring the famous inept actor and script-reading infamous politician named Ronald “Ronnie” Reagan: 1981’s “B-Movie” and 1984’s “Re-Ron.” In “B-Movie,” Gil wondered how someone who had called for a bloodbath on our college campuses could come to be viewed as “Dudley ‘Goddammed’ Do-Right.”
In “Re-Ron,” Gil unequivocally states, in response to Reagan’s second crusade for the presidency, again funded by the wealthy with continued support by a very large contingent of the bloodstained Cloth, greedy business leaders, and phony patriotic citizens (all Trumpinites’ predecessors), that a Re-Ron president would not be in the best interest of America or her citizens.
As I contemplated writing another curio to add to my bric-a-brac about Donald J. Trump, I remembered a line from Gil’s “B-Movie” wherein he stated that he remembered exactly what he had said about Ronald Reagan and that he “meant it.”
Like Gil, I, too, remember everything I have said or wrote or postulated or prophesied concerning Donald J. Trump, and I’d happily stand in front of a firing squad to prove that I not only meant it but still steadfastly mean it!
Donald J. Trump is the greatest threat to democracy the world has ever encountered.
I wanted to write “has ever faced.” But I cannot write that because like every other issue confronting the world—which is not directly related to the fairy tale of eternal economic growth—the powers that be continue to refuse to address “the Donald problem” head-on.
It is inconceivable to me how Trump is again able to position himself—and may soon be poised—to reoccupy the White House. If that comes to pass, it will usher in the dawning of the age of tyranny in America.
Keep the following in mind as we move toward two more dates with destiny, two more days of reckoning (the 2022 midterm elections and the 2024 presidential election): “The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices—to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill—and suspicion can destroy—and a thoughtless frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own—for the children—and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone.”
Rod Serling remains correct: prejudice kills; suspicion destroys; scapegoating is the oldest and most detestable trick in the book. Combined and deployed by Machiavellian minds, that terrible trifecta, more times than not, delivers its barkers—a.k.a. master manipulators—to powerful positions in every society’s hierarchy: in family structures, in business classes, in the political arena, ad infinitum.
When Trump lost the 2016 election, a false sense of security permeated the Left and the Middle and prevailed in all rational thinking people. That fallacy—that America had dodged a bullet when Trump lost his bid for a second term—was shattered by his insurrectionists on January 6, 2021, when America’s Capitol Building was violently attacked in a nearly successful attempt to subvert the will of the people. I am sure that the Donald was pissin’ in his pants with delight as he watched the day’s events unfold while gleefully listening to the chant: “Hang Mike Pence!”
History is only tricky because of the innate refusal to take it at face value. That is why, in a 1948 speech before the House of Commons, when Winston Churchill paraphrased George Santayana by saying, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” his words were indeed very ominous. Considering that the wounds of World War II were painfully fresh in everyone’s mind, Churchill invoking Santayana’s famous quote remains the most apropos usage.
On November 8 and 9 in 1923, a little and inconsequential man with his small hate-filled band of followers attempted a coup d’état of the elected German government. The Munich Beer Hall Putsch was led by Adolf Hitler and executed by the then relatively small Nazi Party. That uprising was quelled, the Nazis were suppressed, and Hitler and others were tried and convicted of treason and banished to prison. Most Germans let out a justified sigh of relief. That false sense of security was soon replaced with horror as Hitler’s Germany destroyed Europe and nearly engulfed the world.
So here we are, in a parallel Hell. The world watched as Americans witnessed an attempted violent coup d’état of their government. Reminiscent of Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch, it, too, was quashed and its leader—Trump—was banished to Mar-a-Lago (a.k.a. Mar-a-Looney-Bin Numero Uno), and the rank-and-file perpetrators (a.k.a. traitors) are being convicted and sent to jail.
Ticktock goes America’s—and by extension, the world’s—doomsday clock:
Will Trump’s second “Triumph of the Will” succeed?
Will Trump extract his revenge against all who opposed and oppose him?
Will the Donald play his Nero-esque violin as America burns to the ground?
Will the Donald’s regurgitated forthcoming words—make America great again—be democracy’s epitaph?
Will history repeat itself?
If history is any indication, then absolutely, just as Nazism rebounded after its failed Beer Hall Putsch, Trumpism will reign supreme—because, it seems, that the only thing Homo sapiens learn from history is that they do not learn a goddam thing from history!