Trump likes it that this bomb stuff is happening. He’s like a teenage arsonist sitting in a grove of trees watching the neighbor’s barn burn down. He’s not sorry, not for a single second, he wants to see it burn. That’s why he went there with gasoline and matches.
The barn burning makes him feel happy and powerful. After all, other people don’t have the nerve to douse a hay-filled barn with gasoline and strike a dozen matches. They’d chicken out, just talk about it, brag in advance and threaten but never actually set something like that in motion. A real fire? Real destruction? No, that’s too much.
For them, maybe, but not for the teenage arsonist.
So Trump comes to Wisconsin tonight, starts his speech reading something John Kelly wrote for him about how his job as President is to keep the country safe and how the federal government will find the culprits, “hopefully soon,” and bring them to justice. And then he launches into his gasoline and matches speech that elicits great guffaws and applause when he mocks people trying to contain or moderate his speech. Oh, what were they thinking?
Inspired, I guess, by Trump’s bravado, the Republican candidate for the United States Senate herself gets the crowd going with the ever-popular “Lock her up” chant so familiar to those of us dumb enough to tune in. Yes, Leah Vukmir, Wisconsin’s own, a nurse and former state legislator, leads the cheer, her ardor for the guy with the gasoline and matches completely snatching her brains from under her mop of carefully coiffed brown hair.
It’s grotesque. You know why? Because the teenage arsonist doesn’t want to just burn the barn down; he wants more damage than that. He wants people and creatures to get hurt. That’s how he’ll know he’s truly powerful.
Our mistake is thinking that Trump is reckless. We keep thinking he’s unusually given to hyperbole, that he’s an amateur who doesn’t understand the gravitas required of a President. We look to his staff to rein him in and show him the ropes and we wait for him to comprehend the censure heaped on him by countless respected figures here and around the world.
We’re idiots for thinking this. It’s like thinking the teenage arsonist is just fascinated by the flames’ pretty colors instead of understanding that this wicked kid could get us all killed and be smiling while he lights the matches. Oh, Trump wasn’t bummed out tonight; nothing about a bunch of seriously important people getting packages with bombs in them bothered him in the least. It was fun. He was smiling. Pretty flames.