Friday, August 12, 2016

Like Daedalus was to Icarus...So is the GOP to Donald Trump

A depiction of Daedalus and his son Icarus as Icarus plunges to his death

Daedalus was to Icarus what the Republican Party is to Donald Trump... his daddy.

All considered, Donald Trump's ascendance to the leadership of the Republican Party is in essence the ultimate expression of a politically incestuous relationship. Some have deemed the ongoing drama of his dismantling of Republican ideals as poetic justice. Trump is the chicken that the GOP hatched after seven years of roosting with their backward, obstructionist, Tea Party cousins. 

The leaders of the Republican Party, such as they are, now find themselves in the awkward position of desperately wanting to defeather their own hatchling. They are powerless in this regard, since to do so would create the kind of intra-party schism that could very well result in the end the Party as we know it. I am led here to take liberties with a line from a hymn by the English poet and hymnodist William Cowper, a line inspired by the Old Testament prophet Isaiah's profound querry: "Can a mother's tender care cease toward the child she bear?"... I ask:

Can the Grand Ole Party's tender care cease toward this bombastic candidate they have hatched?

This is without doubt a painful existential moment for the Grand Ole Party. When they look at Trump's face, and listen to the scurrilous bleatings of this bombastic offspring of their own reactionary overindulgence, they see themselves... And it is not a pretty sight. They would love to snuff out his political breath... Or put a cork in his outrageous mouth. But it is too late. Short of breaking his proverbial wings with the blunt force of some kind of obstructive maneuver, they are helpless. They are at the mercy of his ignorance. They are left to cringe in embarrassment at his bombast. And so they continue to twist themselves into rhetorical pretzels in their attempts to account for his vain bluster. 

The GOP is now left to tend to its own self-inflicted wounds. One look at Reince Priebus' face reveals the extent of their pain.

For Donald Trump's part, the true nature and potential of his ascendance is about to be revealed. The prospect of having his wings clipped by the Grand Ole Party that now regards him with unbridled disgust is one thing. Finding out that his rise has largely been a function of the superficial nature of our political and media culture will be quite another. He seems genuinely incredulous that he rose to the top of what was quite a heap. His perceived closeness to the luster of the nation's highest office is apparently quite thrilling to him. Like the son of Daedalus, he is all fired up about his ability to rise to unexpected heights... After all, he has "never done this before".  Hell... he had no problem negotiating his way through the GOP's grossly ill-conceived political labyrinth.

But, like Icarus, the GOP nominee is discovering that flying too close to the sun with wings unsuitably engineered, has certain inherent risks. He employed a by any means necessary approach to rising above his fellow inmates in the institutional circumstance he confined himself to. But now The Donald is discovering that the feathers enabling his political flight are fixed by wax... the wax of his Party's hypocrisy...the wax of a sensationalist media culture...the wax of his own gross unpreparedness...the wax of ignorance, hatred, and bigotry, that he so willingly exploits. 

His is quite a dilemma. The fate of Icarus awaits Trump. The Primaries are over. The country has endured his unconventional Convention, and the incoherent doting of his selected enablers. We expected more, but in characteristically Trumpian manner, we were treated to... and unsettled by less. The little we got that was uplifting, we discovered was covertly borrowed. He must now continuously face the unrelenting glare of public and media scrutiny; and it is now obvious that he is woefully unprepared for the bright lights of a meaningful election campaign. 

Recent statements of his suggest that Mr Trump may be preparing himself for what will be a rather precipitous fall from political prominence. 

If Mr Bombastic is lucky he may land in another one of those TV reality dramas... much diminished of course, but with the ability to rehabilitate his unwieldy ego much like the banks have repeatedly rehabilitated his financial life. Icarus was not so lucky... he fell into the sea and drowned, leaving his father to bitterly lament his own craft... Much like the GOP will lament the reality of their own inevitable demise. 

Well... lets wait to see what jewels of wisdom their next autopsy uncovers... Again.

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