Air guitar is fun and entertaining. The air guitarist bangs his head, makes intense faces, and wails away on his make-believe guitar. The whole point is to give the crowd a thrilling performance, and the crowd eats it up.
The air guitarist, of course, has no idea how to actually play a real guitar, or how to actually make real music. He is just playacting. Pretending. The performance is entirely superficial with no underlying substance.
This is exactly like Donald Trump’s understanding of being president of the United States. Trump is the nation’s first air guitar president.
Trump is all about the superficial performance. He loves to be photographed as appearing to preside over important meetings at the White House, even though he offers no substance about the contents of the meetings.
When Trump signs executive orders, he assembles ceremonies and ostentatiously exhibits the signed orders for the television cameras, despite the fact that many of these orders have little significance, such as merely calling for departmental reviews or studies.
And Trump often displays behind him camera-ready “presidential” backdrops with American flags or other symbols, even when he is at informal locations like his own country clubs. Having the right props is key to creating an illusion.
Like the air guitarist playing the role of being a musician without actually understanding music, Trump plays the role of being president without actually understanding policy.
Trump’s speeches and pronouncements are the equivalent of air guitar performances. He bangs his head and wails away to give the audience a thrilling experience. But Trump possesses no substance to support what he says or to actually govern as president.
One recent example was the nation’s health insurance system. Over and over Trump had denounced Obamacare as being a disaster, and Trump insisted that as president he would replace Obamacare with his own plan that would be “something terrific,” of course. “You’re going to have such great health care at a tiny fraction of the cost,” he promised us all. “And it’s going to be so easy!” He vowed to implement it “Immediately! Fast! Quick!”
Upon becoming president, what did Trump do? Well, nothing. It turns out that he never had any sort of a health care plan at all. He was just playing air guitar. And once in office, he did not so much as lift a finger to create a plan. Instead, he just relied upon the Senate Republicans to pass something, anything, so he could take credit for it. And when the Senate Republicans did create a plan, Trump did not even bother to understand what was in it.
Trump’s entire conception of being president is merely to perform, not to actually govern. He plays air guitar, but he has no idea whatsoever about the underlying substance.
Another example was Trump’s air guitar performance regarding the war in Afghanistan. Over and over again Trump had denounced Obama’s military policy as a disaster, referred to our nation’s leaders as “very stupid,” declared that he would rid us of terrorism, and vowed that he would “utterly destroy ISIS.” Trump repeatedly maintained that America should withdraw all troops from Afghanistan because it was a total disaster and a big waste of money.
As president, Trump recently staged a prime-time address to the nation to unveil his wondrous new strategy for Afghanistan. Is it any wonder that there was no wonder? Trump began by admitting that he had been completely wrong about withdrawing troops, and then he announced a strategy that essentially was no different from Obama’s strategy.
Wait a minute. What about all of Trump’s bluster that Obama’s strategy was a disaster, that everyone else was stupid, and that Trump had a brilliant new plan to fix everything?
We have seen this over and over again. Trump spouts off at the mouth with whatever sounds fantastic, sensational, yuuge. But there is absolutely no substance to anything he says. Or to him.
Just think of the seemingly endless false assertions he has made to voters in his many air guitar performances. Trump promised to stop corporations from off-shoring jobs. He’ll bring the manufacturing industry back to America. Coal miners will be working their behinds off. He’ll tax imports from China and label China a currency manipulator. He’ll eliminate terrorism. He’ll torture suspected terrorists and kill their families. He’ll eradicate crime from America. He’ll fix the inner cities and make them wonderful. He’ll impose a ban to prevent all Muslims from entering America. He’ll stop all illegal immigration and immediately deport every illegal immigrant already in America. He’ll build a border wall and Mexico will pay for it.
Trump claimed that as a business leader, he knew all the best people to bring into his administration. But after only a few months, his own White House has been a laughable revolving door of scandal.
Trump bragged that he would hire the Wall Street shark Carl Icahn to do wonders for America. But it turns out that Icahn did wonders only for himself by reportedly abusing his position in Trump’s administration to seek changes in the law that would enrich his own company to the tune of $500 million. Then he quit (or was fired).
Trump boasted that he commands the respect of the nation’s business leaders and that he would tap them to whip the country into shape. But after only a few months, the business leaders were so appalled by Trump that they resigned en masse, resulting in the dissolution of Trump’s multiple presidential business councils.
The examples go on and on. Trump’s outlandish air guitar performances are spectacles of entertainment.
But air guitarists are not capable of creating music.
And Trump is not capable of governing.