When Your Head Explodes

In December of 2020, when Trump’s Big Lie was in full throttle and he was openly making the attempts to overturn the election that have landed him in multiple courts, the New Yorker’s Barry Blitt published one of his most incisive cartoons: Donald Trump is on a therapist’s couch. In the chair next to him sits a psychologist holding his pen to a notepad. But when you scan up, you realize that the shrink’s head has exploded. Back then, a lot of us felt the same way the therapist did. These days, as we watch indictments, trial dates, and mugshots fail to dampen the enthusiasm of Trump’s base of devotees or the steady, callous enabling of GOP party leaders, even more of us have that head-exploding feeling. Why don’t the lies and crimes hurt Trump? How can current polling be accurate? In short: what the hell? I simultaneously covered 2020 in NextDraft and wrote a book about 2020. I effectively lived through the craziest American year twice. So pieces of my exploded head were scattered from coast to coast a long time ago. Some days, all that’s left when I think about this stuff is a torso, a laptop, and a shrug emoji. So today, I’ll leave it to others to provide explanations of Trump, trials, and the election that could determine the future of American democracy. First, a must-read from Will Bunch in The Philadelphia Inquirer: Journalism fails miserably at explaining what is really happening to America. “These are the stakes: dueling visions for America — not Democratic or Republican, with parades and red, white, and blue balloons, but brutal fascism or flawed democracy. The news media needs to stop with the horse-race coverage of this modern-day March on Rome, stop digging incessantly for proof that both sides are guilty of the same sins, and stop thinking that a war for the imperiled survival of the American Experiment is some kind of inexplicable ‘tribalism.'”

+ Michael Tomasky in TNR: Trump’s Trials Don’t Interrupt His Campaign—They Are His Campaign. “This makes no sense in normal Earth logic. But under the logic of fascism, normal Earth logic is reversed. This is what people—and far, far too much of the mainstream media—don’t understand.”

+ None of this is to suggest that Trump isn’t facing deep, deep legal trouble. Trump trial set for March 4, 2024, in federal case charging him with plotting to overturn election. (Given the above stories, it’s worth noting this is the day before Super Tuesday.)

+ Trump used to flood the zone with so much information people wouldn’t know what to believe. Now he floods the zone with court dates. When Will Trump Be in Court? These Are the Dates to Watch.

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