“A Warning” — just say no to more Trump porn

Although “A Warning” by an unnamed a senior Trump administration official won’t be released until November 19, advance copies are out and reviews have already appeared in the New York Times and the Washington Post.

I must admit that I have a guilty interest in the lurid tales that the anonymous insider has to tell about the ongoing dumpster fire that goes by the name the Trump White House, but I chalk that up to my addiction to what could be described as Trump porn. To quote Becky (Rosario Dawson) from Kevin Smith’s prescient “Clerks II,” “I’m disgusted, I’m repulsed…and I can’t look away.”

I would be more embarrassed by this confession if it were not for the fact that I share this prurient fascination with most of my social media echo chamber. Nonetheless, it’s not a point of pride for me. So, I won’t be joining the atta-boy-Anonymous bandwagon anytime soon.

As Jennifer Szalai notes in her review today in the Times, “[a] mildly chastened Anonymous now seems to recognize, somewhat belatedly, that President Trump’s peddling of birtherism conspiracy theories and his boasts about grabbing women’s genitals might have constituted their own kind of warning — plausible evidence that Mr. Trump might not magically transform into the dignified statesman Anonymous so desperately wanted him to be.”

That pretty much sums up the low regard in which I hold this morally compromised, opportunistic author.

And, to make matters worse, all this latest entry into the Trump porn canon will do is to muddy the political waters. At the worst possible time, I might add. Of course, the timing couldn’t be better for Anonymous’s wallet; it appears the publication date was moved up as a result of Nancy Pelosi’s announcement of the House’s impeachment inquiry.

If fence-sitting Republicans haven’t been moved to reconsider their opinions of Donald Trump as a result of the forthright testimony of a decorated Army serviceman as well as highly-respected, long-serving members of the United States foreign service, then I doubt that an anonymous exposé by a self-confessed defector will get them to change their minds.

Indeed, what will happen is that the GOP obfuscation machine will move into a higher gear (or into a lower gear depending on your point of view) to conflate Anonymous’s unsubstantiated behind the scenes reports with all the scrutinized testimony that has been heard by the House impeachment inquiry. Trump’s lying allies will use “A Warning” to likewise taint the upcoming open House impeachment hearings.

That said, if you’re inclined to indulge in porn, there are less harmful ways to do so than by sending Anonymous some fraction of the $30 list price for his upcoming book. I appreciate there is some pleasure to be had by joining in the resistance-led social-media circle jerk that will accompany the release of “A Warning,” but your money will be better spent sending a contribution the way of the Democratic presidential nominee, whoever that may be. Winning in November 2020 is the best way to get off.

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My interests include science, politics, philosophy, and film. I am the Executive Director of the Atlanta Science Tavern a grassroots, public science forum.

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Marc Merlin

My interests include science, politics, philosophy, and film. I am the Executive Director of the Atlanta Science Tavern a grassroots, public science forum.