Usually the word epilogue is associated with a sort of summing up of a literary endeavor, and thus it naturally comes at the end of a book’s main body. And so as the highpoint of Trump’s life, the presidency, along with his advanced age of seventy-four years, seem to be bringing his life to a close; we might say that he is entering the epilogue of his existence.
Now, I focus here on the word epilogue because as having just finished Bob Woodward’s latest book, Rage, I have concluded that by far the best portion of Bob’s telling is to be found in the epilogue. Indeed the main body is basically wearisome ramblings of the Donald, an endless rehash of his recoded mountain of lies and conspiracy theories. In fact it became so nauseating and boring for me that I rushed at a rate of about 5 seconds a page in some of the latter chapters, but this was definitely not the case when coming to what turned out to be the real heart and soul of the author’s findings, the book’s epilogue.
In the epilogue the book finally seems to take on clarity and purpose — functioning sort of like the clarifying cliff notes of an otherwise long, boring medieval work of literature. While it’s less than seven total pages, the epilogue hits the sweet spot of the Trump persona.
Bob wearily writes in this finishing portion of Rage, ”I’ve come to the conclusion that the ‘dynamite behind the door’ [speaking of that which could alter everything] was in plain sight. It was Trump himself. The oversized personality. The failure to organize. The lack of discipline. The lack of trust in others he had picked, in experts. The undermining or the attempted undermining of so many American institutions. The failure to be a calming, healing voice. The unwillingness to acknowledge error. The failure to do his homework. To extend the olive branch. To craft a plan. To listen carefully to others.”
Of course for those who knew this man-child in his former New York animation as a sleazily media personality and real estate developer none of these character traits would be a surprise.
All his adult life Donald Trump has been like a man in a sealed barrel floating down the Niagara River where off in the distance he could hear the crashing waters of the falls whispering your father was right. You aren’t good enough. You will always be a flop. But never ever admit your limitations to anyone, especially yourself. But now the killer falls is only minutes away and the whispering of failure has turned to a loud din that batters his senses and ego unmercifully.
He can’t sleep with worry and guilt. Thus he is up all hours of the night calling allies as a means of deflecting the accusing message of the ever nearing falls. All he has left is his cult following, folks who in the main see their own lives as so meaningless that they have ever been looking for a strongman to relieve them of all responsibility. The fact that they have picked a failed being like Trump only underscores their poor judgment in the first place.
Unfortunately, though Trump may be entering the epilogue of his life, the type that clings so tightly to his false sense of strength will forever be renewed as mindless true believers. And so it goes.