Trump, fear, Don Winslow, and the SOTU

This New York Times piece looks at Donald Trump’s key weapon in the wielding of power, fear, and how it’s not looking very scary these days outside the ranks of the GOP. Reminds me of these guys for some reason.

Don Winslow is one of my favorite novelists. His latest, The Border, completes an epic trilogy that’s about Mexican drug cartels. I’ve read The Force, about corrupt cops in New York City, twice now. But I digress. Winslow wrote a really interesting and provocative essay in Vulture called “I Write Fiction About Border Crime, But Unlike Trump I Tell the Truth.

Pull quote:

  • The narrative that Trump and his allies create is a flat-out lie about chaos on the border, when the people who live there, as I do, have reported the opposite: not an invading horde of rapists and murderers (most of those in the caravan are fleeing rape and murder), not a rise in illegal immigration (it’s been going down for years), not the daily slaughter of our citizens by illegal immigrants, but murders that are far more often committed by our own.

I read some pieces about the State of the Union and why it’s important or not important. My conclusion is that in the Age of Trump, it’s not important. Moving on.

There were a bunch of other Trump related stories this week (of course, or “obs,” a word that we see way more these days than we used to) — scandal (super obs), power playing in the GOP to stave off a primary challenge in 2020, SOTU fallout stuff — but I mostly felt super burned out on all of it. I’m guessing I’m not alone.

Taking a step back, it’s a very strange thing to not care at all about what the president of the United States says and done, but I’m kind of there. I feel numb to it; I feel numb to him. Likely some new outrage or scandal revelation or crisis will shake me out of it down the road, but that’s how I feel at the moment.

I guess that’s my SOTU about Trump.

This post originally appeared in what had originally been called The Eric Berlin E-mail Newsletter. To get a weekly blast of pop culture, digital media, and politics that helps make sense of an increasingly frazzled world, sign on up for The Berlin Files here.

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