Donald Trump is the “Ignorant Antagonist” Mark Twain Warned Us About

Trump Oliver 2016 Election

This is too important. It’s bad for women, it’s bad for families, it’s bad for all carbon-based life forms that aren’t the cockroaches that will rise to power in the post-apocalyptic hellscape that would surely follow a (I shudder to even type this) Trump presidency.

…there are some things that can beat smartness and foresight. Awkwardness and stupidity can. The best swordsman in the world doesn’t need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no, the person for him to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn’t do the thing he ought to do, and so the expert isn’t prepared for him.

– Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

I’ve been having trouble articulating to myself why Trump’s idiotic candidacy has been lurching down the path of inevitability for so long. It’s because he’s doing everything wrong. The usual commentators don’t even know how to categorize this, much less engage with it. They can’t fight him on politics because he’s not doing politics – he’s doing audacious, bombastic reality television on the political stage. It’s like watching a slow motion train wreck wrapped in an earthquake and topped with a meteor that is actually on fire. We can’t look away, and if it goes to plan, it will be the end of us.

Cockroach OverlordsI usually don’t write about politics because I’m a coward. I don’t feel like I understand the issues well enough to speak intelligently about them or to articulately defend my position if someone wanted to pick a fight – and people do love to pick fights. But this is too important. It’s bad for women, it’s bad for families, it’s bad for all carbon-based life forms that aren’t the cockroaches that will rise to power in the post-apocalyptic hellscape that would surely follow a (I shudder to even type this) Trump presidency.

It seems that the headlines are finally starting to catch up to this serious situation:

Inside the Republican Party’s Desperate Mission to Stop Donald TrumpThe New Yorker

GOP leaders, you must do everything in your power to stop Trump  – The Washington Post

Trump: Judge’s Ethnicity Matters in Trump University SuitBloomberg

Donald Trump and Chris Christie Start a Bully Bromance The New York Times

And if you haven’t seen John Oliver’s glorious take, you should really treat yourself and do so now:


Most sources agree now that Trump will win the nomination, though I’m looking forward to learning more about this “contested convention” that seems simultaneously dramatic and unlikely.

But even if Trump implodes tomorrow in a puff of the noxious, bigoted, sexist gas he spews, it’s frankly nauseating that this sideshow got off the ground in the first place. The fact that this got serious speaks to the total dysfunction and gormlessness of the current Republican party leadership (Mitch McConnell, I’m looking in your direction). They’ve made it abundantly clear that the best interest of their constituents and of our country is the least of their concerns. And those chickens are coming home to roost.

In closing, let me just say that I for one will start writing checks to the candidates I favor, and suggest that we all start thinking now about how to be more useful than tasty to our cockroach overlords. Just in case.

Image via flickr.com

Thea Joselow is a digital media writer, editor and social media director based in Bethesda, Maryland. She has worked for such illustrious institutions as National Public Radio, Smithsonian Magazine, and at a strategic communications firm in Washington, D.C., but please don’t hold that against them. Thea likes to think she has a good sense of humor. All opinions, omissions and offenses are entirely her own. She can be found on Twitter at @tjoselow.

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