My friend Swamp Rabbit read the tweet aloud and said, “You see that? What I tell ya?”
We’d been arguing about whether Trump’s tweets will become more delusional as his impeachment becomes more likely. Some people think he’ll blame his loyalists for not saving him from House Democrats and abruptly resign. Others say this is only the beginning, the would-be dictator will do anything to hang on to power so long as he thinks his base and Senate Republicans are still with him.
Swamp Rabbit thinks the Unmatchable One sees himself not as a dictator but rather as an emperor, skimming money from a worldwide network of Trump-branded properties like Trump Towers Istanbul. Are Trump’s business ties to Turkey the main reason he gave his blessing to Turkish forces that have attacked areas run by Syrian Kurds, who did most of the fighting against ISIS and assumed Trump was their ally?
“That’s too deep in the woods for me,” Swamp Rabbit said. “All’s I know is a hog monster like Trump ain’t gonna stop feeding at the trough, not without a fight.”
I grudgingly admitted that Swamp Rabbit was at least half-right. The time is out of joint, as Hamlet said, and it’s not clear who will set it right. But I told him to keep the faith, this isn’t the first time the world’s leading power was ruled by a monster. Is it likely Trump is more unhinged than Caligula, the murderous Roman emperor who, if certain historians are to be believed, tried to appoint his horse to a consulship in order to humiliate Roman senators?
“Trump wouldn’t do that,” Swamp Rabbit said. “He don’t like horses. He don’t like any animals.”
Footnote: In the novel I, Claudius, Robert Graves depicts Caligula as a madman for the ages who imagines himself having a “metamorphosis” that lifts him above all laws. “Isn’t it obvious?” he asks Claudius, his uncle, in the TV adaptation. Claudius, afraid for his life, guesses the right response: “You’ve become a god!”