Donald Trump's racket these days is outrage.
He keeps saying outrageous things. He keeps doing outrageous things. He keeps proposing outrageous things.
Downright un-American things. Downright inhuman things. And it's working for him -- big time.
Some say the Republican presidential candidate, reality-show host, Chapter 11 specialist and all-around boor is an American fascist. Others say he's merely George Wallace with a bad comb-over.
Many agree Donald Trump is a problem.
I disagree. Donald Trump is a rich blowhard with more money than scruples . . . and seriously bad hair. The problem is us.
We're the ones cheering his Mexicans-as-rapists-and-drug-lords meme.
We're the ones treating his "I'll build a 2,000-mile wall" twaddle as an actual policy proposal on illegal immigration.
We're the ones roughing up a campaign-rally protester when The Donald orders the mob -- er, crowd -- to “Get him the hell out of here, will you please?”
We're the ones who believe Trump's regular exaggerations, swear to the veracity of his outright lies and laugh and nod when he disparages the appearance of a woman candidate and makes fun of the physical disability of a newspaper reporter.
WE'RE THE ones who cheer when he proposes a religious test for entry into the United States, advocating banning Muslims from entering this country "until we figure out what the hell is going on." Well, I have some thoughts on that.
Donald Trump has no army or paramilitary force at his disposal -- yet. He's not putting a gun to anyone's head to force their complicity in his David Duke act. That, we're doing of our own free will -- because we are the problem.
We are the one feeding the monster with our fear, our hatreds, our paranoia and our sheer stupidity.
We are the ones giving the devil his due, and a lot more. Indeed, we're the ones doing the devil's bidding and calling it the Lord's work. We bury hope and replace it with fear. We banish love from our hearts and replace it with hatred. We can find no room for empathy with our fellow man, but we have plenty of heart-and-mind space for petty resentments, rampant stereotyping and rank selfishness.
The all-American clusterf*** that is Trump 2016 is powered solely by the devil sitting on our shoulder. It is an all-out war on the better angels of our nature. Donald Trump's bad behavior is feeding off our own, not the other way around.
TODAY, for Catholics, is the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It's the national feast day of the United States of America. The first reading my wife and I heard this afternoon at Mass was from Genesis 3:9-15, 20:
After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree,THE BLAME GAME has been with us from the beginning. Eve knew better than to eat the forbidden fruit, but the serpent gave her an excuse. So she did.
the LORD God called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden;
but I was afraid, because I was naked,
so I hid myself.”
Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked?
You have eaten, then,
from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!”
The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with me,
she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it.”
The LORD God then asked the woman,
“Why did you do such a thing?”
The woman answered, “The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.”
Then the LORD God said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this, you shall be banned
from all the animals
and from all the wild creatures;
on your belly shall you crawl,
and dirt shall you eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike at your head,
while you strike at his heel.”
The man called his wife Eve,
because she became the mother of all the living.
Adam knew better, too, but Eve gave him an excuse.
Eve blamed the serpent, Adam blamed Eve, Trump blames the Other, and pundits blame Trump. We, meantime, pretend to be blameless.
So, go ahead. Vote for the fascist . . . or the demagogue . . . or the fascist demagogue . . . whatever the hell Donald J. Trump is, that monster of our own making in this land of malcontent. Vote for him. On your belly shall you crawl to the polls.
And dirt shall we all eat all the days of what life is left for what used to be a great nation. May God have mercy on us, for history will have none.