‘Transition To Greatness?’ This Is A New One Folks, a Presidential Campaign As Underdog

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@topWave_ / Twitter burning MAGA hat...
@topWave_ / Twitter

Adolph Hitler came up with a catchy little slogan back in the day, “Make Germany Great Again.” At the time, Germany was dragging it’s ass sorrowfully after WWI wishing it could go back to happier times. It would have gladly settled for a return of agrarian abundance and a simple pastoral life. Alas, that paradigm had been shattered when the infamous “shot heard round the world” was fired and what was once a group of Balkanized states began slowly inching it’s way towards the global village that we know of today. But Hitler didn’t say that, because in all fairness he didn’t know it. No, instead, Hitler not only said he would take Germany back to a less stressful point in history, he promised he would go back even further to the Baroque era, to the days of the reknowned composers, Bach, Beethoven, the lot of them. He was going to Make Germany Great Again.

Now the obvious absurdity of this didn’t occur to a lot of people right off. What was Hitler going to do, create a race of geniuses from Germany’s past, somehow? No, that was never stated and that was not the point. The point was magical thinking. Focus on an era of history that seems like a better time. Feel the romance. Indulge in the fantasy. That’s what Hitler set people up for, as he declaimed in the beer halls where he made his start about what a raw deal Germany had gotten and how he — and he alone — could make it ll better.

Donald Trump, one of the premiere reality TV actors of our age, picked up on Hitler’s slogan and ran with it. If the world were to be suddenly buried in ash from a cataclysm, say a passing comet of immense dimension, which would appear from a black hole in space and suddenly overwhelm the planet, even as everything was consumed by fire a few MAGA hats would remain. Make America Great Again is not a bad slogan, although the “again” has been challenged. When was America not great? Other than during the years that Donald Trump has been in office?

MAGA was to be succeeded by Keep America Great, KAG, or Trumpism, the Next Generation. That was the plan. Then a pesky little problem called COVID-19 appeared, and like our hypothetical comet, roaring out of the black hole in space, it inexorably and permanently changed the dynamic of the 2020 election. And so Keep America Great is somewhat of a ludicrous slogan at this point, because to keep America in it’s current state of being would mean 1. To acknowledge that a botched response to a global pandemic is great — and Trump has tried to sell this angle, make no mistake. He’s said that the 100,000 deaths are a “badge of honor,” and 2. that an unemployment rate not seen since the Great Depression is also a sign of greatness. Trump hasn’t found a way to spin that one yet, give him time.

But now the campaign slogan has changed from “Keep America Great” to “Transition to Greatness.” Whot.The.Phuque.Is.That?? The Atlantic calls it “A Confession of Failure.” Here’s what John McCain’s former campaign manager, Steve Schmidt, has to say.

Transition To Greatness. TTG. Tough Times Going. Trying To Guide. Trump Totally Gone. Yeah, I like the sound of the last one. Who wants to design the hat?

But where oh where in the history of this country, in the history of the world, in the history of speculative fiction about other worlds, has any phuquing body come up with a presidential campaign as the underdog? “Transition to Greatness?” Oh yeah, give us a moment, we’re getting there, we’re making the transition right now, just hang on, we’ll be right with you. My God. This is a presidential platform? There have been more substantial platforms in beach communities after Cat 5 hurricanes. This is going to be something.

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Norm Reyome
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Norm Reyome

Dump the Plump Chump