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Mar 19, 2024

Sigh. It’s been a little while since the last time the former president went on a rant like the one on Saturday in Dayton, Ohio. It was awful enough to make headlines and to send his sycophants into damage control over what their idol actually meant.

Context is the argument this time, something which Donald Trump has spent his life disconnected from. To help reconnect his actions to a coherent perspective, I would like to make a comparison to help the MAGA cult see their way through it.

Larry Flynt was a pioneer, I guess, in the world of pornography during the 1970’s and 1980’s, as the publisher of Hustler Magazine. What was Flynt’s differentiator? That he was willing to go further, more provocatively, more dangerously than Playboy and Penthouse were willing to go at the time. Then in November of 1972, he got his big break when he acquired sunbathing photos of former first lady, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, and he was willing to publish them. 

His smut magazine sales went from a few thousand to over 2 million. I imagine it was a bloodbath at the Playboy Mansion that quarter. Hugh Hefner couldn’t have liked finishing second.

“Bloodbath” is a provocative word, one that should be reserved for only the most extreme circumstances. defines it first as, “a ruthless slaughter of a great number of people; massacre,” and second as, “a period of disastrous loss or reversal.” I like visually powerful words too, but I know what they mean.

In Saturday’s rant, while showing Ohio Republicans that neither he, nor they, know how tariffs work, Trump proposed a 100% tariff on Chinese auto imports. The crowd cheered. I never thought I would see a gathering of Republicans delight in approval of a historic, enormous tax increase on themselves. Now I have.


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