Trumpus Agonistes

There is, not a pseudo-religious devotion from evangelical clergy and their followers, but it seems genuinely religious. It is indeed as though Trump is seen as a heaven-sent savior for a nation that is actually, cruising along fairly well.

Trumpus Agonistes
Come unto me all ye who travail and are heavy laden...and give me money.

I ran across this on Facebook last night. It was posted by a guy I knew back when I was running news in Wyoming. I knew he was very conservative, which is absolutely fine with me, but this one took me a bit aback.

May be an image of text that says 'Jesus was convicted in a sham trial...and and crucified.Istill I still crucified follow him.'

I have mostly learned to avoid silly Facebook arguments but this one I couldn't resist. The following exchange ensued.

Roger Gray

Just, wow. Among other disturbing things about this post, let's start with incredibly sacrilegious.


I do follow Jesus. Call it whatever you want.

Roger Gray

I just did.


That’s wonderful! Have a blessed day

Then another guy jumped in...

(Other Guy) wow, another political science major, left wing “news” man speak his WOKE verbiage—- imagine that!

Roger Gray

Not sure what "woke" has to do with comparing a politician with the Messiah, but there you go.

And, for the record, you forgot the "s" on speak and I was a Political Science minor, so take that, eh? I have discussed ad nauseum how singularly unqualified Donald Trump is for any political office, indeed, any role involving brains and integrity. But, I will also say that among the charges he is facing after the 2020 election, the "Hush Money" case was the lamest.

Yes, I admit to feeling a lot of schadenfreude at the verdict, but it was always a bit of a wobbly, Jenga stack of a case as Alvin Bragg glued together enough charges to wind up with 34 felonies. Add to that, when issued a gag order, Trump, in the words of comedian Ron White, "Had the right to remain silent, but no longer had the ability."

But the pleasure of seeing a porn star, under oath, to his face, call Don bad in bed was pretty much worth the price of admission.

Yard Games Giant Tumbling Timbers
Stormy is the third block from the top.

All that aside, he clearly was guilty of this malfeasance, including the sad interlude with Stormy, but I can say with complete confidence he won't be doing jail time. If for no other reason than they don't allow hair products or spray tan in the big house.

File:Trump’s arrest (9).jpg

So folks can ditch that particular fantasy. It will be probation, a fine or some such. But the other cases are far more serious and ironically, have a far smaller chance of ever reaching trial. That is if the Supreme Court and Federal Judge Aileen Cannon have anything to say about it. The idea that the highest court in the land actually decided to seriously consider his farcical claim of absolute, lifetime immunity from any criminal charge tells you the power of a Presidential appointment. And Judge Cannon has slowed the wheels of justice down to such an extent, she is practically putting them in reverse.

But it's the reaction, like the one I began with, that no matter how long I've been reporting about this guy still has the power to astonish. Take this flag seen outside the courthouse in New York.

Trump Or Death 1776 - 2024 3x5 Flag Take America Back Flag Trump For President - Picture 1 of 3

Really? I mean, really? Now, even allowing for some theatrical overstatement from the booboisie, this slavish devotion is entering another dimension, one not dreamed of by Rod Serling. I know, a lot of folks have called it a cult, but what does one call it when memes like the one at the top are shared, comparing a man who hasn't darkened the doors of a church since childhood to Jesus. Here is another from the Conservative Women of America...

May be an image of 4 people and text that says 'GOD PLEASE BLESS THIS MAN'

AI is pretty remarkable, eh? And all this fealty for a man who used a church and a Bible as props for a photo op. And I know, I know. Lying, cheating on wives, paying off mistresses, partying with Jeffrey Epstein, cheating investors, stealing from a charity, on and on. And still there is, not a pseudo-religious devotion from evangelical clergy and their followers, but it seems genuinely religious. It is indeed as though Trump is seen as a heaven-sent savior for a nation that is actually, cruising along fairly well.

Blatant lies about the economy, the military, and corruption in general are taken at face value by his acolytes. As I mentioned last week, there is no corrective as the gullibility runs deep and cannot be reversed. Every utterance, no matter how goofy or mangled in syntax, is taken as figurative and literal gospel. No doubts will be tolerated, up is down, black is white, we are corrupt and Putin is honest. Zelenskyy is a tyrant and Orban is a democratic leader. Latin America is opening up its insane asylums to send them here. Be careful, that guy building your new house may be a mad slasher.

For Trump, every day is the first day of Festivus. Everything is the worst ever, the most corrupt in the history of this country, the most something or other in the annals of mankind. This chronic exaggeration would be actually humorous to watch if it weren't for the fact that so many buy it hook, line, and sinker. The highest quality sinker ever made, by the way.

Trump and Frank Costanza
"I got a lot of problems with you people!"

I recall and believe me, I searched for it to no avail, a comedy bit produced in the UK in 2019, where the actor thanked America for electing Donald Trump. Because even though they had just elected Boris Johnson, they still wouldn't be counted as the dumbest voters on the planet.

And of course, the Trump serfs in Congress have spoken up and many are promising to slow down the wheels of government in reaction to the verdict. A verdict that, as mentioned, will not result in prison time but a figurative slap on the wrist. They will stop legislation, hold up nominations, and generally gum up the works right up until the next budget authority fight, where they no doubt will finally succeed in lowering the US credit rating on behalf of their unnaturally brown redeemer.

One of them is Senator Marco Rubio (R-Disneyworld). Rubio began his political career as a promising young conservative who seemed destined for much bigger things. Now, he's just another disciple shoveling coal on the Trump train. Frankly, I don't think he buys any of it, so when he makes all these MAGA pronouncements, I don't trust him as far as I can throw a Buick. But he knows where the base is, and will throw caution and integrity to the wind and say whatever it takes to be reelected.

So, how the hell did Trump gain the devotion and religious fervor that causes even ostensibly reasonable politicians to bend the knee for their political lives? He is, to be fair, a great if tediously monotonous salesman. And what he is selling to the voters is the America they once knew, with all its faults. This is the country that ended slavery and defeated fascism. So why are racism and fascism suddenly in vogue? Yeah, kids are protesting about Gaza and making a mess on campuses everywhere, but come on folks, Boston Tea Party anyone?

I'm recalling a moment reported by those in earshot, during the Trump inaugural in 2017. As Trump talked about "American Carnage" under President Obama, who had the courage, unlike Trump in 2021, to attend and listen to that rot, former President Bush was sitting next to First Lady Michelle Obama. It was absolute claptrap as the economy was humming along nicely. But as Trump continued his description of some kind of post-apocalyptic hellscape, W leaned over to Michelle and whispered, "Well that was some weird shit."

Michelle Obama defends friendship with George W. Bush

Say what you will, George was sometimes absolutely right.

Roger Gray has toiled at the journalism trade since 1970 and his first radio news job at KTRH in Houston. Over those woefully misspent years, he has worked in radio, TV and written for magazines. He was twice elected President of the Texas Automobile Writers Association and was elected to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. He covered the first Persian Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the reunification of Germany, Oslo Accords in Israel and peace talks in Ireland. He interviewed writers, actors, politicians and every President from Ford to George W, and none of them remember him.Now, he is part of the Texas Outlaw Writers, and if this doesn't pan out, the outlaw part will still work as he will indeed resort to robbing banks.