By Andrew Malekoff
At their annual three-day gathering in Orlando, Florida this past February, the Conservative Political Action Conference rolled out a six-foot gold statue of Donald Trump, a Golden Blowhard wearing stars-and-stripes board shorts and flip flops. Although the statue was assembled in Mexico, it was made in China.
My first association to the Golden Blowhard was the false idol created by the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt. When Moses left for Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments he was gone for so long – 40 days and 40 nights, that the Israelites feared he would not return.
Consequently, they turned over their gold jewelry and ornaments and commissioned the creation of a molten calf. In an act of revolt, they then declared of the Golden Calf, “This is thy god, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”
Although I am secular in my faith, I did have a bar mitzvah and read from the Torah. My bar mitzvah was held just six months after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on Nov. 22, 1963. I always remember the two events together because of their temporal proximity and the fact that together they marked convergent rites of passage for me, signifying a coming of age and a loss of innocence.
Although I don’t recall a great deal from my readings in the Hebrew scriptures, Psalm 115:8 in the Old Testament reads that those who make false idols end up like them and so does everyone who trusts in them.
Although his partisans paraded in front of the Trump statue at CPAC and used it as a prop for selfies and such, let us be clear that the Golden Blowhard is by no means a genuine American leader or the alpha male he pretends to be. He is a poser.
As Pulitzer-Prize winning author Isabel Wilkerson explains in her new book “Caste,” “true alphas command authority through their calm oversight of those who depend upon them.” She adds that you know that you are not seeing a true alpha if he must bully or attack those beneath him into submission, imperiling the entire group through his insecurities and lack of courage.
At CPAC, Trump doubled down on the big lie that he won the election and called out his enemies by name – the few Republican Congress members who discredited his lies and held him responsible for inciting the terrorist insurrection on the Capitol.
He put a target on them for speaking truth to power and interfering with his radical white supremacist agenda.
At 13-years-old I never imagined that the assassination of JFK would lead to decades of conspiracy theories rooted in widespread uncertainty about who really killed him and who was behind it.
Yet, some seven decades later, not only are those questions still alive, but many millions of American adults have bought into a new set of conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election.
They are fueled by an emperor with no clothes who incited mob violence and assassination threats against members of Congress and his own vice-president, all in order to fulfill his fantasy of leading a mass uprising that would result in his return to the throne, despite his decisive loss.
The Golden Blowhard, America’s modern-day Wizard of Oz, struck the mother lode at CPAC in Orlando when he came to see that the dream of MAGA – the continued promise of fully restoring and securing white supremacy to its traditional pecking order by disenfranchising all others, was still a viable grift.