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The Don

by Rajani Kanth

After he leaves office, if he ever leaves office, people will wonder.

What made him The Don?

The Answer seems to have escaped the comprehension of the highbrow culture-vultures who dominate the airwaves, and soundbites, prompted by either bigotry or total devotion.

And it’s an important answer: just as he himself is an important political phenomenon.

No, it’s not his wealth.

Mayor Bloomberg, was a billionaire, too.

No, it’s not his tv celeb status, as a keen showman, either: Steve Colbert couldn’t rake in 70+ million votes.

Nor is it his xenophobic stances.

Rush Limbaugh couldn’t swing it.

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So, what is it?

It’s a quality that rock stars used to possess in the Sixties, before rock, as a protest genre, was carefully subverted and routinised by the industry.

That they were truth-tellers.

It is this sense, that people had: that he told it like it is.

That he was speaking the unrehearsed Truth (to be sure, as he saw it), and that, too, stunningly, from Power.

It was a huge refresher: a change from the carefully scripted phony, hypocritical, mealy-mouthed politicos that have been the run of Washington Elites forever.

That was what mesmerized the jaded millions that voted for him.

Hitherto, they had turned a blind eye, and a deaf ear, to the gaggle of snake charmers who dominated political office.

Snake oil just didn’t cut it, with them.

But, here, clearly, was a breath of fresh air.

And it didn’t matter what he said, so gratifying was the assumption that what you saw was what you got.

Unlike the droves of career ‘politicians’ , a term of insult second , in power, only to ‘lawyers’ in the American lexicon.

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Was/is he a truth-teller?

The Washington Post has tracked thousands upon thousands of his alleged lies.

But what about the scams of the Post (and its sister Media) itself, that misled us into so many gratuitous wars : who ,there, to track those for us all?

At any rate, with the Don, you got a mixed bag, in this respect.

He told the truth about many issues, and also covered up just as many others.

Yet, the latter were all of a see-through nature, like a little boy telling tales , with his hands in the cookie jar.

So, his indulgent fans readily , perhaps too readily, forgave him those excesses: being just as culpable, they knew, as he.

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Is there a lesson, perhaps, in his example?

It’s an Empire of Lies we live in.

And people, despite the harsh existential threats they face today – unemployment, eviction, homelessness, poverty, insecurity, Covid, police violence – perk up to the one, who they believe, is not spinning yarns.

In a Post-Truth universe of Wholesale, Outright, Overweening, Corruption, they felt that he, au contraire, solo, was speaking the truth – to them.

Yes, I think there is a lesson.

In fact, a rather simple one.

But I doubt anyone in D.C. is keen on learning from it.

Spin, you see, is mother’s milk – in Uncle Scam country.

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What do I make of the Don, personally?

Well, I regret, I am quite biased: I distrust Anyone who would be King (or Queen).

[© R.Kanth 2020]   

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Professor Rajani Kanth, Author of Coda,, A Day in the Life, and Expiations, is Trustee of the World Peace Congress

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