02 May The G____est of All Time
For Democrats, former President Trump is the “goat,” meaning the person to be blamed for everything wrong in America. He is the ultimate scapegoat.
But for Trumplicans, their Donald is the G.O.A.T. in the modern, primarily sports sense: The Greatest of All Time. In the same way Chicagoans consider Michael Jordan the G.O.A.T. in the National Basketball Association, New Englanders still consider Tom Brady the quarterback G.O.A.T., and Iowans believe Caitlin Clark is G.O.A.T. in women’s basketball, Trump loyalists see their hero as the Best. President. Ever.
Whereas even seven-time Super Bowl champion Brady has his sceptics, and Jordan faces challenges from LeBron James supporters, very few of the world’s 7.9 billion people doubt that Mr. Trump is the G.O.A.T.
The only question is what the initial G represents.
G is for What?
The reason Trump is the undisputed G.O.A.T.—of one sort or another—is that he brings out such strong feelings in people. From fervent Trumpists to Never-Trumpers to those suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome or Post-Trump Stress Disorder (the political variant of PTSD), absolutely nobody lacks an absolute opinion about our former president. Where Trump is believed to be great, he is the greatest; if he is considered grimy, he is the grimiest; perceived as a glutton for fame or food, Trump is the most gluttonous.
To adherents, he is the most glamorous, the most genuine, and the most God-like politician to walk the face of the planet. Through rose-colored eyes, the G stands for greatest, grittiest, and gutsiest. And Making America Great (as well as gritty and gutsy) Again is what the Trumpites want so badly.
The majority of Americans, however, see Mr. Trump very differently. To those who are, shall we say, Trump-opposed, the former president is the most grating, grievance-focused, graceless, graft-riddled, gutter-mouthed, and just plain grotesque individual imaginable.
For the non-Trumplicans, the capital G in G.O.A.T. corresponds to the adjectives in the preceding paragraph or at least one of the following:
- Greasiest—his dishonesty and overall immorality are unmatched in presidential annuls
- Guiltiest—legal requirements and societal rules are broken with impunity by Mr. Trump
- Greediest—attention, money, and power are more desired by Donald Trump than by most*
*Undoubtedly, some readers regard it a shame that narcissist does not start with a silent G, as in gnat, gnocchi, or gnu.
Please let us know in the comments section which G-word you think fits best Donald Trump from the various lists above or any term we have omitted.
Goat in the Blame-magnet Sense
Mr. Trump indeed is a rare breed of G.O.A.T. But, is it not also true that he has been turned into a one-of-a-kind, all-time, lower-case goat, as well? Trump is milked as the handiest of scapegoats.
In the view of his opponents, the embarrassing withdrawal from Afghanistan is Trump’s fault. The burgeoning national debt, gun violence, political extremism, and the coarsening of American society—all should be blamed on Trump, they claim. Similarly, the weakening of democracy and vital institutions, the rise of inflation, international conflicts, and the pace of climate change are counted against Donald Trump’s record, along with racial strife, nuclear proliferation, and all governmental dysfunction.
There comes a point at which Trump blamers, along with his enablers, should move on from him, and we have reached that point.
For Democrats’ own electoral good, they should look ahead, not backward at the Trump era, as Principle Based Politics explained in It’s Time to Move Forward, Democrats (Nov. 12, 2021). They should focus on fixing America’s problems, rather than on blaming President Trump and his allies for those difficulties. They should take responsibility.
Another notorious Republican once said to reporters, “you won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore.” President Biden and his party should start practicing now for the day when the same is equally applicable to Mr. Trump as it was then to Richard Nixon.
Written by Quentin R. Wittrock, founder of Principle Based Politics.
Look for his posts each week, as this blog will explore and promote the idea of principle in politics, both as to individual elected leaders and our federal government as an institution.