Why I skipped Trump's SOTU and watched a tractor pull in Wheatland, Missouri

His family is facing indictment, his cabinet's a joke & policies are shambolic so his pronouncements are worthless

By Lucian K. Truscott IV


Published February 6, 2019 7:00PM (EST)

Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol Building on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Getty/Doug Mills)
Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol Building on February 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Getty/Doug Mills)

The wall-to-wall coverage on cable channels preceding Trump’s “State of the Union” last night was enough to make me puke.

Screaming chyrons, a countdown clock ticking off the seconds, panels of babbling pundits bleeding from the ears they were so eager to “analyze” his drivel, replays of the 2018 SOTU, endless clips of Trump ranting incoherently and waving his arms at rallies, interviews with congresspersons all buffed and poofed-up and ready to either applaud or sit there stone-faced . . . the hosts and their guests were taking it so seriously, it amounted to enabling him.

Trump is surrounded by aides who leak about everything from his fits of screaming to how often he takes a leak. He spends two thirds of every day in his jammies chugging Diet Cokes, chomping Big Macs, thumb-twerking on his unsecure phone and watching mannequins strike poses on Fox. He can’t count to ten without using his fingers. He asks his national security adviser about the quality of the beaches at our top-secret spy base on Diego Garcia and then cancels his intelligence briefings. His government is staffed by deputy assistant ex-baristas and lobbyists taking leave from representing fascist dictators and pharmaceutical companies facing indictment. His cabinet secretaries are either fired, disgraced, or driven from office in confusion and frustration. His presidential campaign, transition, inaugural committee, real estate company, foundation, most of his family and Trump himself are under investigation by multiple prosecutors and law enforcement agencies in several jurisdictions.

By any measure, he is a wounded man, cornered in the White House, hobbled by a miasma of rage, paranoia, and fear. His dream of shutting down the government to force the Democrats to give him the funding for his wall was an utter disaster ending in capitulation. The specter of Nancy Pelosi hovers over him like an ex-wife waving a bulletproof prenup. He is so frightened of her, he can’t gin up enough courage to tag her with a nickname. His tweeting has gone from aggressive to aggrieved, from confounding to cowardly, from mere incoherence to madness. He can’t even attract the likes of Up With People to perform at the White House, so he just sits there every evening alone, bereft of celebrities, uncelebrated by everyone but Steve King and David Duke, reduced to begging the “failing” New York Times to come into the Oval Office to interview him.

Why would any cable TV host or self-respecting pundit pay his alleged “State of the Union” any more attention than they would the incoherent ravings of an end-times preacher prophesying the coming of the Rapture? Everyone knows what’s next. Prosecutors in New York just subpoenaed all the records from his inauguration committee and asked to question the people who raised $107 million about what they spent it on. The House Intelligence Committee will vote this week to release to the Special Counsel all the testimony given behind closed doors by Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and other Trump intimates. Democrats on the committee have already said they dissembled and lied. Indictments are sure to follow. The White House recently hired 17 new lawyers, which I’m sure makes Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University Law School happy, having provided at least some of its graduates the work they had been seeking since graduation.

There was absolutely no reason to tune into Trump’s appearance on Capitol Hill last night. It was a fake speech by a fake man about fake issues.

I gave it the attention it deserved and changed the channel to MAVTV. They were showing a tractor pull from Wheatland, Missouri. The guy who won the unlimited fuel class drove a massive machine powered by four blown hemi V-8’s making in excess of 3,000 horsepower. He stomped on the gas, the nose came up, flames spewed from his headers, dirt flew, and he came to a stop 322.71feet down the track.

It was Trump-less. It was perfect.

By Lucian K. Truscott IV

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist and screenwriter. He has covered stories such as Watergate, the Stonewall riots and wars in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels and several unsuccessful motion pictures. He has three children, lives in rural Pennsylvania and spends his time Worrying About the State of Our Nation and madly scribbling in a so-far fruitless attempt to Make Things Better. You can read his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

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