Kabuki Theater or The Twilight Zone?
Kabuki Theater or the Twilight Zone?
Various media sources have attempted to parse the meaning, of former President Trump’s -Kabuki performances in rallies and on television. The former Presidents claims of election fraud, during the 2,022 election, and his insistence that the Jan. sixth 2021 insurrection, at the U.S. Capitol, is only a form of legitimate political expression, have strained even his dubious credulity.
One theory offered is that, rather than the confusing inanity that it appears to be, his verbal ballet is a Machiavellian orchestration, juxtaposing one reality with another, until the credibility of the entire scenario becomes both confusing and difficult to analyze. Most artful magicians do this, with a deft sleight of hand, accompanied by a mesmerizing verbal patter. This theory is one that most logical, rational people would subscribe to when watching a verbal “Keystone Cops” performance, like Trump’s, put on by people who are adjudged to be high level professionals in their field. After all, one would ask, “No one could be that stupid, could they?” The answer is more complicated.
As a veteran toiler, in the vineyards of the vote, I would suggest that most aggregations of Politicians do in fact plot out rational, linear and multi-step strategies to either advocate a position or cover their butt in a sticky situation. However, I have also come across other strategies, to explain performances like Trumps, that left me looking somewhat askance in disbelief. These situations occurred when dealing with what we politely titled “congenital prevaricators.” That slippery species has discovered that whenever you are caught in an alternate reality statement, you simply make up another one and continue to do so, until the interviewer gives up and goes away. The phrase. “ When you misstep, while doing the Tango, you Tango on,” from the wonderful movie “Scent of a Woman,” comes to mind.
This explanation might seem hard to believe, but I have indeed experienced the phenomena myself. The unscrupulous, truth-stretcher continually wafts in and out of the accepted norms of reality, on a daily basis, so that stretching the boundaries of truth, in a given situation, isn’t such a big deal to them. It is merely a reconfiguring of the existing facts until the revised assemblage offers a newer version of a narrative, that is more favorable to both their own image of themselves and that of other’s perception of them. Does that not sound like daily Washington fare? We used to call it the “Buffalo Shuffle, in A weasel Minor.”
Most rational people don’t subscribe to this explanation. It is too fantastic to think of someone simply verbally Tangoing their way out of a sticky situation. We have only to harken back to the mentality of a small child, caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Most rascals, when caught in the act, would own up to the deed and suffer what consequences followed from their actions. That is the way most of our parents trained us.
But, then there is always the fabled “bad seed.” That child will simply concoct fable upon fable, explaining away their actions, until you get tired and go away. And as that child grows into adult hood, the strategy refines itself into a pattern of behavior that becomes his/her accepted norm. If the verbal shuffle worked once, it will work again is the thought pattern. This mentality is hard for rational people to understand and accept. However, I assure you I have seen it in action. It is similar in theory to that of the thought process of the supposed “brilliant “criminal mind,” that we often see portrayed on television dramas. Most of us will never understand that kind of thinking. And that, strangely enough, is the secret of its short-term success.
Is it a brilliant orchestration of stylized confusion we are watching nightly, via Trump’s rally and television perorations, or simply someone altering the facts to fit their version of reality? Choose for yourself. It might help you to again watch some old reruns of Rod Serling’s “Twilight Zone.”
Joseph Xavier Martin