That’s a new word up there. “Permeator.” I made it up. The root for it is, of course, “permeate” which means something that “spreads throughout” - something that “becomes part of everything it touches.” Like sand in your car after the kids played on the beach. Like the foul odor when your dog has tangled with a skunk.
Since I made it up, there has to be a definition - which is Donald Trump. “Permeator.” Over the last 18 months or so, the bastard has “permeated” just about every part of our culture. You can’t get away from him, his opinions, lack of morality, false claims and outright lies. They permeate every part of our society.
Most political wonks - present company included - have grown sick of the name and the person attached to it. But, you can’t escape him. Oh, there are a few political types who run the other way - toward him - but not many. One such not running away is Ridenbaugh Press Prop. Randy Stapilus who undertook writing 100 days of very articulate columns of 100 reasons why no one should vote for Trump. Randy’s written about 70 so far and still going. How he’s keeping his food down we haven’t discussed.
Trump, with his obvious divisiveness, has truly permeated our entire society. Only three other politicos who came about as close to that to my mind: FDR, former Louisiana Gov. Huey Long and Barry Goldwater - God rest his angry soul. If the fawning, ratings-hungry national media we have now had existed in the ‘30's to the ‘60's, they likely would have matched Trump’s permeating everything. But they didn’t. So we’re stuck with today’s left-overs.
In this latest mess - the sexual assault tape - he’s managed to singlehandedly bring the media down to his slime ball level. For many a year, when someone in the “news” business had to use a four-letter word normally reserved for NFL locker rooms, media cretins used one or two letters and some blanks - but at a level primitive enough anyone could quickly figure it out. They weren’t “actually” printing or saying something rude or obscene - just using “word association.”
But Trump has changed that. Now, his latest obscenity is printed/spoken without the substitution of blank spaces. Word for sleazy word. Front page of major newspapers, across the screen on your TV - even in the family hours - and unfiltered on what’s left of radio “news.” He’s crudely lowered the bar - again - and the willing media has followed right along.
Trump has wrought changes in family relationships, caused business partners to break up, lowered the standard for what .is acceptable language, befouled the electronic “pages” of what’s laughingly referred to as “social” media. He, alone, has turned off millions of Americans on politics, increased more violent “acting out” in our nation’s public classrooms, driven coverage of our three wars out of the media spotlight, introduced dozens of worthless insults to our standard of public decency, gone through the bottom of the barrel to find new lows in political discourse.
He’s falsely attacked the honor of otherwise very respectable public figures, lied continuously about every political/private issue he touches, turned our national media into a pack of sycophants bowing and scraping before his every appearance. He’s spoken in blatantly racist terms, insulted a world religion, shown himself to hold women in contempt, broken hundreds of contracts with people he’s done business with, committed personal infidelities in multiple marriages, proven his word is not his bond and has shown repeatedly in speech and deed that he can’t be trusted.
To me, all that - and likely more I’ve overlooked - is proof of just how far this worthless piece of humanity has PERMEATED our entire society. To millions, he’s made acceptable the things we’ve spent years telling our children not to do or believe in. He’s created a following blind to how our country has operated for centuries, become a false prophet to the unknowing, tied together a ragtag lot of misfits looking for something for nothing, offered false hope of quick and easy solutions to intractable problems and made promises no intelligent person could believe.
There is no joy in reciting all this. None. We’re a deeply troubled nation in search of badly needed answers to both our national ills and our anger with one another. We’re on a troubled path to an uncertain future very much different than our past. The need - the absolute need - for wise and proven leadership has not been greater since the Civil War. Then, we had someone with foresight and the absolute power to unite. We need that miraculous mix again.
What we’re left with now is The Permeator. Even when he’s defeated - and he will be - his treacherous presence will still be felt. He, and his cancerous effect on nearly all parts of our society, will last long after our national election. What he’ll leave us with is a need for a national cleansing.