What if it was all an experiment?
What if researchers wanted to find out if they could prop up a leader so odious, so crass and full of lies, so downright disgusting, that every time he opened his mouth, people were compelled to listen?
What if they only wanted to find out how easily people could become addicted to the entertainment of watching someone fall on his ass day after day, not because he tripped on something, but because he forgot he had feet?
What if people became so addicted to his outrages that their only pleasure was watching pundits eviscerate him? The more lampoons and clever reposts the better.
What happens when he leaves the scene? Do people then have to pillage somebody else because they’ve gotten so used to it? Will they be in withdrawal from a horribly addictive behavior they can’t stop doing? Will it be possible to remember how to treat each other with civility?
Or maybe we’ll keep trolling for his miserable outbursts even after he loses. Maybe he’ll never really leave the scene, but will continue to provide the scandals we’ve all become accustomed to, until he repeats himself too much and ceases to be entertaining.
Careful, people. Are we in danger of losing our humanity? Are we like survivors on a sinking iceberg who resort to cannibalism? Okay, that’s harsh. But seriously. We need to hold onto that central core of kindness and rational thinking and wisdom and equanimity – all those noble qualities that allow us to sleep through the night.
And until then, okay, let’s keep watching the show, but remember, we may be under a microscope.
I imagine the day the clown takes off his mask, and he looks around and says, “Was I good? Was I good?”
"Je Suis Perdu" - Artwork by Miles Ballew