With the weekend bringing a merciful break to the damning testimony in the impeachment hearing of President Trump, the besieged leader took an unannounced, unscheduled trip to the Walter Reed Medical Center. The White House declared Trump was there for routine tests, which, well, seems like it’s not really true. After all, how are we meant to believe that something unscheduled is actually routine? Although, in fairness to Trump and his people, isn’t this man’s whole presidency built on a routine of things unscheduled. The sporadic refraction of Trump’s weary mind dictates much of the news cycle for much of the world, and it was somewhat fitting that even as the focus on Trump has moved more directly into the halls of Congress for an impeachment proceeding, we were still treated to a classic Trump spin, leaving us again not just to figure out what actually happened (of course we won’t), but also to wonder why it happened at all.
Despite the fact that Trump has absolutely no credibility when it comes to telling the truth, it would not be particularly ridiculous to suggest that the man go get his vitals checked. After all, even a man as seemingly delusional as Trump surely knows enough to know to be plenty stressed these days. One–by–one, decorated American diplomats are testifying in public as to the disaster of Trump and his crony Rudy Giuliani’s ham–handed attempts to get Ukraine to investigate Vice President Joe Biden. One imagines Trump glued to his television, berating everyone and anyone, pausing only to intimidate witnesses in real–time through his deranged Twitter feed. I can’t imagine his blood pressure is reveling in all of this. It also wouldn’t be shocking to learn that the stress actually was wearing on the oldest president in American history. Despite being lauded as a superhuman by folks at Fox News, a simple look at and listen to Trump will tell you he’s not exactly thriving, health–wise. The walls may just be closing in, and frankly, something like a heart attack would make more sense than just about anything that has happened in Trump’s years in the Oval Office.
So what did he do? Well, he went full–bore because he knows no other way to go. This mysterious hospital visit was actually nothing of the sort. It was as routine as it comes, despite the fact that it followed precisely no routine. Here’s a tweet that Trump seems to believe puts the issue to bed: “Visited a great family of a young man under major surgery at the amazing Walter Reed Medical Center. Those are truly some of the best doctors anywhere in the world. Also began phase one of my yearly physical. Everything very good (great!). Will complete next year.” This really is a thing of beauty. This is a man who’s tweets make this broken world stumble round, and even for Trump, this is a banger. First, note that he drapes himself in the cover of visiting the family of a sick man. What a wonderful man! He was just swinging by Walter Reed and said, stop! I must visit the family (make sure they’re great) of a young man under major surgery. Let’s make it so! Then, some wonderful praise of the doctors at work — a man of the people! Oh, ya, just one more thing. I felt like it would be a great time to begin ‘phase one’ of the ol’ annual physical. Why not start it in advance? What do you mean we could have just done that at the White House? How would I have visited a great family of a young man stuck in the medical bay of the West Wing!
Sure, maybe something serious happened, and in a way, that would make the most sense. But, regardless of what actually took place, this is just another lesson in Donald Trump. See, this is precisely what power is for Trump. It’s not simply that he’s panicked, and just constantly lies to move beyond whatever lie he had told previous. That is part of it, but it’s not the whole ball game. This is how Trump maintains his own sense of control. Wading into the waters of dishonesty is done to establish a feeling of still being in charge, or directing his mouthpieces to defend things that are absurd on their face, to see as his minions in the press and supporters at his rallies fall once again into line. It may be that eventually this will all catch up to President Trump, but the man simply knows no other way. To draw new lines of what constitutes his reality, and thus ours, to contest reality no matter the size of the battle, his is what Donald Trump thinks power is. To have the last and loudest word, is paramount. Whether he’s selling you a condo, or a club membership, or that he’s of good health, it’s all of one piece. V