Sunday, January 7, 2018
I awoke early New Year’s Day to a “Twilight Zone” marathon on television. It set the tone for a weird first week of 2018. Cloudy days, freezing temps, political announcements and tweets from President Donald Trump only heightened the sense of surreal.
Jan Morgan said she will challenge Gov. Asa Hutchinson in the GOP primary in May. The gun range owner and Second Amendment advocate, made a formal announcement New Year’s Eve in Hot Springs.
“We must identify, expose, and replace politicians who ran as Republicans to get elected then once in office, began to legislate like democrats to please a progressive governor and his big corporate donors,” Morgan said in a news release. “The corporate tax rate is the second highest among Arkansas’s competitor states. That giant sucking sound you hear is Texas, Tennessee and Florida sucking our jobs, companies, college graduates, and affluent citizens out of our state. No wonder the governor has to go to China and offer millions of dollars, tax breaks, and job training money to get foreigners to open companies here. (Imagine what Arkansas business owners could do with that kind of government help).”
Morgan, who has declared her gun range a Muslim-free zone, is a frequent guest on national news programs. This governor’s race will be like no other. The spectacle of a conservative Republican governor being proclaimed too progressive by an opponent from his own party who has the oratory skills and stage presence to run with him — and far right of him — will generate a media frenzy. The giant sucking sound you will hear are votes going to the leather-clad, Harley-riding, Second Amendment sista.
Morgan will be appealing for the same reasons Trump is: outspoken, unhinged and prepared to fight.
Now to Washington. Trump boasted Tuesday night that he commands a “much bigger” and “more powerful” arsenal of devastating weapons than North Korea. “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times,’” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”
Political cartoons soon emerged with rockets replacing the male anatomy of Trump and Jong Un. And unfortunately, the “mine is bigger than yours” imagery is one Trump consistently projects. Remember the nationally-televised, hand-size discussion during the GOP presidential primary debate?
We elected an insecure, billionaire businessman who feels compelled to brag and boast in inappropriate ways about pretty much everything. And we can’t say we didn’t see it coming.
When Trump called in to Howard Stern’s shock radio show on Nov. 9, 1999, we were 19 years away from our current reality. The conversation turned to Melania (“a potential first lady,” Trump said at the time) and her looks. “Let me talk to that broad in your bed,” Stern demanded. So Trump summoned a near-naked Melania to be subjected to Stern’s line of sexually-charged questioning.
I won’t regurgitate the discussions between the Trumps and Stern. If you are familiar with Stern’s genre of entertainment, you know the discussion was in the gutter and a Google search for Trump’s Stern interviews will turn up recordings available on YouTube. Your president was a guest on more than one occasion and covered a range of tawdry topics.
Those tapes remain relevant because they provide insight into Trump’s mentality — a mentality embraced by people who say they want conservative leadership. The GOP is a party that decried the “crooked” and “immoral” actions of others, then delivered Trump, who consistently demonstrates he is no improvement.
How did we get here? Que the “Twilight Zone” theme song. We’re living in the Fifth Dimension.
Shea Wilson is the former managing editor of the El Dorado News-Times. E-mail her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @SheaWilson7.
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