Henry Rollins: American Politics Is Getting the Honey Boo Boo Treatment

Henry Rollins: American Politics Is Getting the Honey Boo Boo Treatment
Photo by Heidi May

It is 2206 hrs. on the last day of February. Super Tuesday starts in a few hours. Projected stats have Donald Trump handily advancing past his rivals in several states except for Texas, which at this moment has Ted Cruz out front.

Thinking of Mr. Trump, I am taken back to the days of my youth, when Richard Nixon was president. Republicans had some very intelligent people in their party back then. I try to imagine how Trump would have been able to hang with a guy like Henry Kissinger. I think Trump would have been laughed out of the room as a lightweight pretender. Even in the days of Reagan, Trump would be little more than a colorful donor, who got to spend a night in the Lincoln bedroom.

In 2016, he very well could be the Republican nominee.

Not all Republicans are happy with this proposition. If Mr. Trump is their guy, Fox News and all the other pundits will have to get in line and stand by their man.

If the Democratic front-runner is Hillary Clinton, there will be no small amount of discontent on either side. Her terrifying, fixed-eye smile often looks more like a preset than an emotional display. When she speaks, her digital delivery makes me think of a solid state stereo amp.

Senator Sanders on the other hand, is all tube analog. When I listened to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews conversationally grapple with the Vermont senator a few days ago, it occurred to me that Mr. Sanders could not be the choice of an overwhelming majority of Democratic voters. His platform is the start-all-over-again, rain-on-the-corporate-parade equivalent of a cold-water flat, up five flights of stairs, with a bowl of rice and 100 pushups for breakfast at 0430 hrs. It would put you in good shape, but you would have to be young to do it and after a few months, you would want to bail.

I don’t think over 50 percent of voters are interested in the vigor required to meet the demands of Sanders’ vision. I wonder if even his strongest supporters could really hack what he wants to unpack.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but it very well could be a Trump v. Clinton election that stretches America on the rack until early November. There are some who claim to find all this a great source of comedy, and will consume the campaigns like someone binge watching a bad reality show. For myself, I take no joy in reading postings underneath articles where people tell each other to fuck themselves.

I am not naïve enough to think that there will ever be one of those “come together” moments in America. American citizens nor Homo sapiens are wired that way. In November, someone’s going to win this thing and no matter what, the United States will be an even angrier and more divided place than it is now.

Can’t we all just get along? From at least 1861 to now, the answer has been no.

It is now the first day of March, 2213 hrs. Super Tuesday is winding down. No real surprises, but a brief moment of levity as Lindsey Graham, the senator from South Carolina, expressed his displeasure at how Donald Trump kicked ass. In an interview, Charlie Rose asked Graham if he thought Secretary Clinton would be able to beat Trump, to which Graham answered, “Like a drum.”

This must be an extremely hard pill for Republicans like Graham and Orrin Hatch to swallow. Not only do they have a strong dislike for Trump, they must be absolutely fuming that he’s gotten as far as he has when both of them ran for the presidency and failed hard and fast.

Republicans who hate the idea of Donald Trump being “their” candidate will have to distinguish themselves somehow, won’t they? Will the term “Trump Republican” be used by party members to explain what they’re not? Who are these people going to vote for?

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With one hand, they will pinch their nostrils shut and with the other, drop their ballot in the box. This might be the most nose-holdin’ election in American history!

The American electorate, with help from almost every possible media outlet, has created a perfect-storm election cycle. If it comes down to Trump v. Clinton, it will be a multi-month brawl in the Octagon.

At this point, America will turn almost anything into a reality show. Now it’s the future of the United States that will be given the Honey Boo Boo/Duck Dynasty treatment. This one will be right up there with the O.J. Simpson trial.

Donald Trump truly is the Teflon Don. He brushed off his David Duke fuck-up with the distracted flick of someone picking a stray hair from their jacket sleeve.

Trump is “there.” He is in that place where those who dig his action will not be swayed by any unflattering fact that might come up during the election cycle. He will be able to say and do whatever he wants, and his numbers will probably go up and up.

As it is with any election, it’s not about the candidates, it’s about the voters. For the most part, Trump and Clinton are blameless for the fact that as of this moment, they are the front-runners. They did not put themselves there. As always, this is on us.

Every country that’s ever been plagued by a Joseph Stalin or blessed with an Abraham Lincoln got the government it settled for. I think America is exhausted from nearly eight years of loving or hating President Obama. Americans are sick and tired of the bullshit they accuse the “other side” of being full of.

So now, we can look forward to a NASCAR/WWE election. Stay beautiful.

Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the playlist for his Sunday KCRW broadcast.


More from the mind of Henry Rollins:
Let's Invade Canada

Bend Over, America — Here Comes President Trump
I Am Basically a Vinyl Cat Lady


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