The Critical Mass

Fire and Fury and karma

The early bird gets the worm, they claim. And not getting to the bookstore quick enough meant I didn’t get a copy of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

Yes, I’m, disappointed. Because it looks like author Michael Wolff got the snake.

I’ve got the book on order, and while my friends tell me I can get it on Kindle or one of the other electronic services right now, I’m not in that much of a hurry. I just started reading Richard Doerr’s All of the Light We Cannot See, a breathtakingly poetic novel stuffed with science and history and the pursuit of knowledge in a world that seems dead-set against enlightenment. So I’m not about to put that aside in favor of some unbelievable story about an insane man, in the belief that running for president of the United States will make him the most-famous person in the world and help him launch a television network, accidentally wins the election.

And… what’s that? Fire and Fury isn’t fiction?

Oh, if only Peter Sellers would be alive today. He’d be 92 years old. But the Sellers we remember would be perfect to play the bumbling, uninformed, TV-addicted, narcissistic jerk who threatens the entire planet.

Late in 2016 I interviewed Noam Chomsky, one of the world’s most-honored intellectuals. The White House was within the grasp of Donald Trump, although not a lot of people closely following the presidential race thought he actually had a chance to win. According to Wolff, Trump was among those who figured he would lose.

See what happens when you play with a loaded gun?

Anyway, among Chomsky’s many intriguing comments was his claim that the Republican Party is the most-dangerous political party in the history of the world. An interesting position for someone who was raised Jewish and is familiar with Nazi Germany. But Chomsky was taking into account climate-change denial, the exploding economic gap between the rich and poor, the devaluation of science and truth in favor of dogma used to manipulate public opinion, and the wars of choice in the Gulf and Afghanistan that have killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people and inflamed anti-American sentiment throughout the world. And Donald Trump is the robot they have turned loose to take that political platform to the next level.

The Nazis killed millions of people. But they also didn’t have a nuclear arsenal.

No detail in the stories I’ve read about Fire and Fury is something that, in one respect or another, I haven’t heard before. Even before Trump won the presidency, I knew the guy was a racist, a bigot, a liar, a business cheat and man who abused and disrespected women. You did too, if you were paying attention. Are you surprised to hear that Trump uses foul language to describe even the women who work for him? Then you missed the infamous Hollywood Access tape. Are you surprised to learn that Trump is intellectually ill-prepared to make decisions on the issues he must address as president? Then you didn’t watch the debates, in which he came off as uninterested in facts.

I wonder if Alec Baldwin will stop portraying Trump on Saturday Night Live when he realizes he’s mocking a mentally disabled man?

Trump’s defenders are attacking Wolff’s credibility. And we don’t know the origin of some of the tales Wolff tells. Even reporters, biographers and people who have gotten close to Trump have admitted that yes, they don’t know for a fact that Trump likes to go to bed at 6:30 p.m. with a cheeseburger meal. But all of this stuff sure sounds like him, they admit.

Gossip. Innuendo. Outright fabrications, even, fed to Wolff by Trump haters. Fire and Fury might have some of that in its pages. But can you think of anyone on the planet more deserving to have his own behavior thrown back in his face? It’s called Karma.

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