BY MAX BURBANK | On Thursday, May 23, President Donald Trump made an unannounced trip to Arlington National Cemetery, where he and first lady Melania Trump planted flags almost certainly made in China at the graves of U.S. service members.
Observant calendar enthusiasts will note, Thursday, May 23 is not Memorial Day, which took place on Monday, May 27. Trump spent that day in Japan, where he wished Japanese sailors a happy Memorial Day, an American holiday they do not generally celebrate as, the Japanese are not Americans. They are, in fact, Japanese.
This was just one of several important and pressing matters of state requiring immediate attention, sadly necessitating the president be overseas on Memorial Day. Other pressing duties included meeting the new Emperor, playing a round of golf with Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, feasting on American-style “hamberders” at state dinner in his honor, attending the annual sumo wrestling championship, and presenting a gigantic, cup-shaped award Trump made up so he could award it, watching the Indianapolis 500 on TV, tweeting about the Indianapolis 500 and publicly stating, while on foreign soil, that he agrees with brutal dictator Kim Jong-un that “sleepy” Joe Biden has a low IQ. Amusing and horrific as all of that may be, it’s not what has captured, and perhaps fixated, my attention. I’m speaking of the president’s trousers.
Photographic evidence reveals that on the day our Commander-in-Chief was getting the whole honoring-those-who-made-the-ultimate-sacrifice thing out of the way, he wore trousers with legs at least a foot longer than the allegedly human legs within them. The material draped over his shoes, completely obscuring them to the point there is no way of knowing if he was even wearing shoes. For all we know, he might have been strolling through Arlington National Cemetery barefoot, or wearing sandals with socks! In addition, the legs were so wide he could have separated immigrant toddlers from their parents and strapped one to each calf without fear of chafing!
Okay. I know. I know! It’s absolutely wrong in every way to focus on trivial, inconsequential things like the president’s malformed slacks. We stand at a pivotal moment in our nation’s history. Representative democracy, the soul of the American Experiment, hangs by a thread! Last week the president stormed out of a bipartisan meeting on infrastructure to hold an “impromptu” briefing in the Rose Garden, complete with graphics regarding the Mueller investigation hung from the podium. There, he declared he would not work on infrastructure (or pretty much anything else) until all investigation into him ended!
This is the new Trump Doctrine—governance by hostage negotiation. The official position of the administration is that any and all congressional subpoenas are to be ignored, making the rule of law optional! The Attorney General is publicly accusing the FBI of having spied on Trump! Hello, when you have a warrant, it’s not spying, it is BY DEFINITION a criminal investigation. Republican-dominated state legislatures are counting on a packed Supreme Court to overturn Roe V. Wade, John Bolton’s mustache is quivering in anticipation of invading Iran, and Lindsey “Reek” Graham thinks we should invade Venezuela! The president’s circus tent-style pants simply DO NOT MATTER!
And yet… though I know better… I simply cannot stop thinking about them. Their absurd length. Their inexplicable width. Their profound mystery. I feel certain, instinctually, that these implausible trousers are the stage curtains obscuring dark, nearly unknowable secrets. Metaphorically. Because I’m not talking about what’s actually… you know… in there. If that’s the kind of column you were expecting, you’re on the wrong website.
How did the president of the United States end up in Arlington National Cemetery, one of our nation’s most sacred sites, wearing what was essentially a bespoke clown suit? What can we learn from this act of absurdity? The possibilities are tellingly limited.
Trump doesn’t know: His mental faculties have deteriorated to the point where the entire concept of clothes “fitting” has become inoperable. In his current state, sometimes clothes are painfully tight, sometimes billowy loose. Pants are like weather, so far outside one’s ability to control, the very idea that you might make choices about what to put on or how it “fits” are rendered absurd.
Trump doesn’t care: He holds both his constituency and the office he holds in such utter contempt, it doesn’t matter. The public doesn’t deserve the time it would take to consider what to wear. Grab the nearest garment off the pile, slap it on, and off we go. That would certainly explain his alarmingly translucent, nauseatingly clingy golf ensembles. We should count ourselves lucky he doesn’t swan about in the altogether, which undoubtedly, one day soon, he will.
Trump is doing it on purpose: His clothes are his art. Like a petulant teen giving the world the finger or an uncontrollable infant smearing the wall with excrement, it’s a choice. Inescapable conclusions must also be drawn regarding the president’s inner circle. Apparently no one, not even Ivanka, has the courage to tell Trump he cannot go out in public looking like an unruly tot playing dress-up in his father’s clothes. Or worse yet, suppose they do tell him, which would indicate a fourth, perhaps most likely explanation for his behavior:
He believes his decisions cannot be questioned: He knows more about fashion than the fashionistas, more about appearance than the… appear… in… ators? Whatever. In Trump’s mind, nothing can prevent him from looking magnificent. He could wear hip waders and a stocking cap to a senator’s funeral, assuming he was invited. He could wear nothing but vinyl spanks and sequin pasties to deliver the State of the Union. He could paint his naked bottom like Pennywise the Clown and stand on his hands, facing away from the audience, to take the oath of office at his next inauguration!
It’s simple, really, once you boil it down. The single most powerful man on the planet can’t, or won’t, dress himself. His staff can’t, or won’t, do it for him. You might not let a man fitting that description watch your pet hamster for a weekend. You sure as hell wouldn’t let him drive a school bus. Because it wouldn’t be safe.
We’re letting him run the country.
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