The 1970 classic comedy-drama movie “Little Big Man” is a curious portrayal of life and tragedy surrounding the nation’s treatment of native Americans in the 19th century. I often find myself lost in the surreal absurdity of life and referencing moments from the film and today I found myself bemused by a scene in which General Custer rationalizes a decision to take his troops into Little Big Horn that seems most appropriate to the way I envision Donald Trump making decisions.
In the scene Custer is confronted by a career Major who implores him not to go into a valley from which there is no escape if it is a trap. Custer uses a scout he has dubbed “mule skinner” as a reverse barometer and seeks his dubious counsel.
You go down there if you got the nerve.
Still trying to outsmart me, aren't you, mule skinner. You want me to think that you don't want me to go down there,... ...but the subtle truth is you really don't want me to go down there.
Well, are you reassured now, Major?
Men of the Seventh! The hour of victory is at hand! Onward to Little Bighorn and glory!
And the rest is history. In a very real way I can envision when the phone rings at 3 a.m. and a decision of significant importance requires clear thinking and a firm grasp of the potential consequences incumbent upon a course of action the same mental processes that produce early morning twitter tantrums that are patently ridiculous most likely will render a similar reaction.
I have, over the past 18 months, predicted Trump’s imminent demise on numerous occasions only to be confounded by an astounding counterintuitive resilience. Hence it is with some degree of trepidation that I once again foresee him marching into a canyon from which there is no escape.
I am a patriotic American and feel it is in the best interests of the country to offer some sage political wisdom to the President. So in the role of the “mule skinner” here goes: Don’t listen to the pundits. Stand strong! Don’t give in! You should leave the dance with the one you brung and in your case that is a resounding belief in the notion that everyone else is wrong and you have all the answers.
You are a man of the people and they are clinging to your every word. They believe in you and you must continue to do everything you can to disrupt the natural order, the status quo, you are the one who will drain the swamp. Where everyone sees right, you see wrong. You are right and they are wrong. Where people see rationality you see conformity, both are wrong so you must chart out your own course.
Do not listen to anyone. You know more than they do. You know more than the generals, the scientists, the so-called experts, so follow your own senses. After all, they brought you this far and the sky is the limit. Avoid diplomacy and sophistication, they will always get you less than brute force.
You and you alone are capable of fixing any problem. You and you alone are capable of making a deal where others see a dead end. You and you alone deserve a place upon the throne, that is the way it has always worked out and there is no reason to think that this will not work out that way again.
So never, never doubt your instincts, always rely on your ample gut, seek refuge in Mar-a-Lago and contemplate on the links. It’s a beautiful life. You were destined for greatness. To do any less would mean you are a failure. Let the chips fall where they may because they always end up in your pocket. Keep up the good work and never, never apologize or look back or reflect too long, they are all signs of weakness. Always strike back with relentless fervor. Twitter is your universe and you have unchallenged authority within that domain. Double down, triple down, but never contemplate retreat.
Onward to Little Bighorn and glory!