Trump Isn’t the American Reality

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Lately — since, oh, sometime in early November 2016 — I’ve been reading history, especially US history and especially centered on national history and presidents. Why? Because Donald Trump is not the American reality. Other things are the American Reality. They are not all good things, some are bad, but many are good. And with Trump, it is all bad, very very bad. Reading about Lincoln, Grant, JFK, Roosevelt, Johnson, and all those other famous white guys at this moment in time is one of several ways of coping with the hopefully temporary end of American civilization. This is only one thing I’m doing to cope, but it is one of the things.

Meanwhile, Chris Matthews has been doing something similar but different. Instead of reading about famous executive-level Americans who were good, he wrote a book about one. Last night, on the Rachel Maddow show, Matthews literally said that he wrote this book because “Trump isn’t the American reality.”

And so we have, coming out just now, “Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit” by Chris Matthews.

I vaguely remember the assassination of JFK. And I remember the assassination of MLK. But Bobby was my Senator, and he was part of the political community in which I grew up. When he was killed, my father, who had been watching the TF, following the primaries, came and dragged me out of bed so I could watch that part of history. It was an event that helped determine who I am today. It was an event that helped me to become of the the millions of Americans who ultimately will not put up with Donald Trump, and who will spend the rest of our days fighting Republicans because of what they have done to this country.

I have not read the book, but I’m going to. Here is the blurb:

A revealing new portrait of Robert F. Kennedy that gets closer to the man than any book before, by bestselling author Chris Matthews, an esteemed Kennedy expert and anchor of MSNBC’s Hardball.

With his bestselling biography Jack Kennedy, Chris Matthews shared a new look of one of America’s most beloved Presidents and the patriotic spirit that defined him. Now, with Bobby Kennedy, Matthews returns with a gripping, in-depth, behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the great figures of the American twentieth century.

Overlooked by his father, and overshadowed by his war-hero brother, Bobby Kennedy was the perpetual underdog. When he had the chance to become a naval officer like Jack, Bobby turned it down, choosing instead to join the Navy as a common sailor. It was a life changing experience that led him to connect with voters from all walks of life: young or old, black or white, rich or poor. They were the people who turned out for him in his 1968 campaign. RFK would prove himself to be the rarest of politicians—both a pragmatist who knew how to get the job done and an unwavering idealist who could inspire millions.

Drawing on extensive research and interviews, Matthews pulls back the curtain on the public and private worlds of Robert Francis Kennedy. He shines a light on all the important moments of his life, from his early years and his start in politics to his crucial role as attorney general in his brother’s administration and his tragic run for president. This definitive book brings Bobby Kennedy to life like never before and is destined to become a political classic.


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7 thoughts on “Trump Isn’t the American Reality

  1. I’d like to read this, too, because i recall the news about this shooting. I also recall that there v was a great deal of loss of hope among liberals wondering what to do without the Kennedys. And Teddy was still pretty young st the time. What I am curious about is whether this will be a full history, including the relationship the Jack and Bobby had with MLK. It was not an easy one. And Bobby, as Atty Genl had signed off on the FBI wiretapgs of MLK.

  2. Why? Because Donald Trump is not the American reality. Other things are the American Reality. They are not all good things, some are bad, but many are good. And with Trump, it is all bad, very very bad

    True. Nobody expects (should expect) anyone, elected official or not, to be free of warts. LBJ was a grade-A world class prick, to put it mildly, but he did deliver some good stuff. (Not enough to offset all the Vietnam crap.)

    After him I thought the most dishonest, unqualified, person to serve as president in my adult life would be Reagan, a complete and utter failure morally and intellectually. With the man currently in office I am proven wrong.

  3. I am old enough that I can barely remember Eisenhower, so I don’t count him when I rank the presidents during my lifetime. I think JFK is the best president but he was so limited in time in office that it is hard to rank him at all. I think Clinton (if not considering JFK) is number 1, with Nixon and Johnson in 2 and 3 (not sure which is which) because of what they accomplished in office, # 4 would be Carter. Until Trump came along I had George the 2nd battling with Ronnie (at sleep at the switch, it wasn’t important enough to wake him when the Navy splashed two Libyan fighters) Reagan for last place. Now that Trump has become president, G2 and Ronnie seem like paragons of virtue. I never thought there would be a day that I wished G2 was still in office.

  4. “Trump isn’t the American reality.”

    You mean like we’re in some sort of simulacrum like the matrix?

    Or like if wasps have layed their eggs in your paralyzed body, when do realize they’ve hatched and that you are being hollowed out by hungry larvae?

    Whatever it is, I suspect that it will take a long time to clean up this mess and that the repercussions will reverberate for generations.

    Happy Halloween!

  5. Since it is Halloween: I suspect if Trump would take off his mask we’d find Putin. Or did I see that on mission impossible?

  6. Jeez, this man of the people narrative about some power hungry rich cockhead who obviously condones WMDs.
    Or did he say ” No, im not going to be public servant in a government that has WMDs “?
    Or did he say ” I dont want power, i never want to be in a position of authority. A humble simple life for me “?

    Must be some good people ya can talk about Greg..
    Just choose a random on the street. Oddss are they aint gunna be a power hungry lawyer type.

  7. I was 8 years old. I fell asleep in front of the TV set waiting on the California primary results. I woke with the sun coming up and the TV news reporting that RFK had been assassinated. I went outside into the quiet streets and rode by bike around the neighborhood crying my eyes out.

    I was born poor, Irish, and Catholic. I remembered JFK’s funeral, but I knew nothing about JFK. Bobby, though, was the closest thing to a hero I had. Fifty years later he’s probably the closest I ever came to having a hero. I wish that I could have lived in a world where he won the presidency in 1968.

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