Understanding Trumpian Allure

When I was in the fourth grade, there was a student named Kenneth Kirstel in my class. It was a time of “no talking” in that room (unless called upon to do so) or in lines for fire drills or cafeteria lunches. Like little soldiers, we followed directions and regimentation, mostly to avoid the crack on our knuckles from the pointer stick wielded by our teacher, Mrs. Crumbly (Trust me when I tell you how much fun we had with that name). Kenneth was an anomaly in that little world of strict rules that often made us resemble army ants on a mission, the purpose of which generally escaped most of us.

 Having been taught “mannerly behavior” by my parents and schoolteachers, I saw Kenny’s bad conduct as an exciting introduction to actual rebellion. When he pulled the ponytail of hair on the girl sitting in front of him, tripped someone walking past his desk, or made belching sounds during a slide presentation, I was captivated by what I saw as a kind of freedom and temporary escape from the very tight regimen of our otherwise rather robotic behavior.

Our former President, Donald trump, has shown himself to be the Kenneth Kirstel of my adult life over the past few years, only on a much larger scale, where Trump’s deliberately bad manners make Kenneth Kirstel resemble some kind of hallowed saint. Trump’s admirers are like clueless sheep, who from afar, admire and even worship his bad manners, greed, and vulgar attitudes of absolute superiority. His fourth-grade vocabulary doesn’t hurt either in creating that bad boy image that so many chumps seem to admire. Such bravado allows him to say or do anything he wishes, like using silly, childish names, for those with whom he disagrees or who have criticized him in any way or exaggerating the gaffs of others to boost his own, frail little ego, an ego that needs a tire pump to puff it up to his fake Trumpian standards of egomaniacal proportions.

I sometimes wonder what Kenneth Kirstel is doing now and imagine the great appeal he would have to Trumpsters everywhere, who would probably welcome him to the deceptive, unethical world of politics that they have created for their idol.  JB

About John

About John John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BS and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado, where he resided for ten years before moving to Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on Amazon.com as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth book is, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014. John’s most recent book is a novel titled Resisting Gravity, A Ghost Story, published the summer of 2018 View all posts by John →
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