When the Grand Wizard first announced his candidacy, I, like most people, thought it was a goof or perhaps an hilarious episode of “Impractical Jokers.” About a month later, though, I happened to catch him performing a minstrel show on “The 700 Club” and I was entranced. Could this be the vessel that delivered unto my income bracket sky-high tax cuts?
I began supporting the Grand Wizard in dozens of tweets, email forwards, and unprompted elevator conversations. As early as that first magical press conference, where he announced a plan to send all Muslims to the moon, I thought “This guy tells it like it is, and I like that.” Critics of my pro-Grand Wizard blog and the nonprofit journal I started, as well as my webseries, “The Wiz,” accused me of attempting to “look beneath the hood,” so to speak, “to understand the engine.” I hoped that was the case. I saw the decline in this country—how soft we’d become toward non-violent drug offenders, for instance—and I thought the Grand Wizard might bring about the real change neither establishment candidate could.
It is now clear that I maybe kinda whiffed it on this one.
I cannot stand by this disgraceful administration any longer, and I urge my fellow Americans to stop defending the Grand Wizard. Far from unifying us, he has actually turned out to be slightly more racist than the acceptable amount.
What, you may wonder, especially in the wake of all the racism, did I possibly see in the Grand Wizard? He was a change candidate with a tough, no-nonsense attitude toward open borders and prosperity for non-Whites. Although crude at times, and certainly unpolished, the Grand Wizard truly shined during the primaries. While all the other candidates could only talk about how insane it was to actually have to debate the imperial leader of the Ku Klux Klan, he never wavered in espousing a clear and distinct ideology and the promise of financial incentive for certain people. Some people considered it a dog whistle when he failed to denounce the enthusiastic support of Dylann Roof, but I was not among them.
From the very start of his run, one of the most serious charges against the Grand Wizard was that he panders to racists. Many of his supporters, myself included, managed to convince ourselves that his more outrageous comments—the “Martin Luther King was a terrorist” gaffe or his insistence on dipping army bullets in pig’s blood—were just classic “whoopsie-daisy” moments of “gotcha” journalism. I never thought the Grand Wizard hated Jews, rather I thought he’d help the Jews achieve their goals at a time when they could not, like a Shabbos Goy. Yes, some of the policy positions the Grand Wizard screamed at his rallies were poorly defined, but you always knew where you stood with him. You stood in the bleachers at Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, chanting “Build that wall!” until your lungs itched. But along the way, it’s become harder to convince myself of any of this, coincidentally around the same time it’s become less likely we will ever get those sweet-ass tax cuts.
In my role, as one of the few people in media who has been somewhat sympathetic to the Grand Wizard, I am often asked to comment on his surprise victory, or more recently on his controversial statements about segregation and The Great Purge. For months, despite increasing chaos, I have given the Grand Wizard the benefit of the doubt: “No, I don’t really think he is a racist,” I have told flabbergasted audiences. “Sure, he says some stupid things, but only to terrify vulnerable low-information voters into helping him enact his agenda.” Somehow, that message has been met with disgust and an occasional onslaught of rotten tomatoes like in Shakespeare times.
Some of my friends have called me a “hobgoblin” for supporting this president, and a “fecal-covered corn kernel.” Several folks have told me to drop dead. To my white friends who said I shouldn’t vote for him, I asked “Do you wear special gloves made out of money when you flush money down the toilet?” Alas, I did not listen to them. In fact, I actively not-listened by telling all those people to “get over it” and pleading with them to give the Grand Wizard a chance.
Well, we gave the Grand Wizard a chance. And then he surprised us all by shitting the bed on every single issue, every day, for seven consecutive months. Waiting for the Grand Wizard to pivot has truly proven to be but a folly.
It is now clear that we were deluding ourselves. Either he really does believe that civil rights are “civil wrongs,” as he constantly reminds us, or he’s just saying that as a means to nefarious ends. But either way, I’ve come to suspect that the Grand Wizard genuinely does not care for black people or Jews. Those of us who supported him were never so naïve as to expect he’d transform himself into a model of presidential decorum upon taking office. But our calculation was that a high percentage of the population feeling like their neighbors maybe hate them was an acceptable trade-off for a successful governing agenda. And also tax cuts. Delicious tax cuts. I want a boat so fucking bad, I bought a captain’s hat and everything.
Nothing disastrous has occurred on the foreign policy front—yet—just a precipitous decline in our global reputation, and a few close calls. The Grand Wizard faces extraordinary resistance from the media, the bureaucracy and he has inspired an intense level of private wincing within the Republican Party. But the administration has committed too many unforced errors to take its craven finger-pointing seriously. Frankly, it’s been a real clusterfuck—just as all his critics constantly begged me to consider, all the time, for the entire candidacy, its immediate aftermath, and every day since. By drowning them out with a rigid set of easily disprovable talking points, it appears I too may have committed a whoopsie-daisy. My bad, you guys.
I always hoped the racism we’ve been seeing lately would merely be baked into the Grand Wizard’s policies, not his unambiguous words and deeds. But most important of all, I never thought that racism would reflect poorly on me. I’m just grateful we live in a country of second chances where I can heroically distance myself from the Grand Wizard and be greeted with the media platform equivalent of a homecoming parade float. Furthermore, I’m excited to vote for whichever 2020 candidate is exactly the same but less embarrassing for me personally.
Image: frankieleon via Flickr