The M.O. of the radical right is to appropriate the norms of civil society in order to dismantle it. Given that fascism requires a mass society in order to take root, perhaps it should not be surprising that the radical right should also appropriate the messaging style of the commercial mass media.
After years in office, US Presidents go gray. Whether the stress gets to them, or it’s their age, or they choose to stop dyeing their hair, or some combination of the above, it happens.
It happened with Presidents Clinton and Bush II. It even happened to Reagan, the former movie star with a suave demeanor and witty sense of humor.
Among other things, now that the 2020 campaigns are over, President Trump’s unique hairdo appears poised to grant him the curious distinction of being the first non-assassinated President since color photography to leave office without showing any gray hair.
At the time of this writing, the color of President Trump’s hair indeed appears to have changed somewhat during his presidency, although it is decidedly non-gray.
Thus, despite keeping his “natural” hair color throughout the final days of his presidency, Trump may turn out to be the only president to have gone gray twice in office.
Whether his brief tenure with gray hair was an advisor’s suggestion for projecting the image of a wise elder during the COVID pandemic, or whether it was something more like a focus group survey for his intended second term can’t be determined, but if the second possibility has any validity, we may still have an opportunity to find out.
The election results have been available for a week now, and Trump is refusing to concede the election. We don’t know what happens if two men show up to be sworn in as President on January 20, 2021.
Is Trump delusional, or is this reality television for his fans? Do his lawsuits and recounts and allegations of election fraud have any chance of changing the election result? Maybe, but not in the way one might expect at first glance.
If a Contingent Election in the House determines the next President, the votes will cast by States, not by individual Representatives. And although the Democrats backing Biden have more individual Representatives in the House, the House represents a greater number of Republican States. This is because Republicans control a greater number of less-populous States.
Another possible endgame we might be witnessing stems not from Trump’s grandiosity, but from his pettiness: if America can’t be his, then nobody gets it. Maybe he knows his days in office are numbered, and he’s just planning to burn everything to the ground on his way out and poison the water.