(c) 2017 by Paul DuginskiUsed only with express written permission
Doesn’t it feel as if we as a nation have been clouted on the head and are being dragged back into some dark, sooty prehistoric lair? Making America Great Again seems to involve hauling us against our will back to some ugly, ignorant, chest-thumping primitive time that we don’t readily recognize in our recent history.
Making America Great Again also involves a u-turn taking us back to an Orwellian “1984” dystopia where our leaders spout Newspeak. But our president is perhaps more like a peevish Lewis Carroll Humpty Trumpty who tells us when he says something, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
And then he reserves the right to change what he chooses it to mean in about five minutes.
Fortunately for us, there is satire. On Saturday Night Live, Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump and Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer have unleashed torrents of laughter, scorn which can be more devastating than facts to an authoritarian leader, especially one who disdains facts.
And Trump is a gift to cartoonists.
Maybe Making America Great Again means returning with The Donald to those wonderful days of yesteryear when corrupt leaders such as Boss Tweed roamed the landscape. Trump’s base is willfully ignorant; in those days the masses were illiterate. The Trump base may as well be illiterate.
Cartoons got under Boss Tweed’s skin, as I’m sure they do with The Donald’s thin hide. Boss Tweed famously said, "Stop them damned pictures. I don't care so much what the papers say about me. My constituents don't know how to read, but they can't help seeing them damned pictures!”
Trump’s obtuse base can ignore facts, duck the truth and refuse to read the mainstream press, but the sound of laughter echoing across the landscape will find them. It can’t be escaped.
Resist with laughter. Laughter is irresistible.