Sunday, May 22, 2016

Behind the Curtain

This piece meanders through a universe of characters who seemingly have one mission only:  please the boss. It is not a political headquarters but a running episode of "The Apprentice."

The obsequious, the untrained, the unprepared. Like the master scribbling notes just before a speech, the acolytes serving as his alter ego to the public make stuff up on the fly. No direction, or more precisely only one, pay homage to Mr. Trump.

See him rail against Paul Manafort for attempting to reign him in. No one challenges the great Wizard of Oz. 

What do we learn from this peek behind the curtain? Not much except what we have long suspected: there is an underlying fear of failure even in the face of victory. As the demise of Mr. Cruz beckoned, Donald Trump worries of forces allied against him, seeing danger as much as basking in the glory of this improbable moment.

It is a picture of a king, awarding loyalty over competence, fealty over, well, anything else. We are witness to a wild ride at 30,000 feet, from high above an earth whose realities Mr. Trump cannot possibly understand from this distance. 

For him, and for us, tomorrow will likely look remarkably like today, organized only in the sense that everything emanates from and revolves around the center of this universe. Those in his inner circle buckle up for better and often the worst, as this wild ride continues towards its ultimate intended destination in Washington. Hold on.

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