Happy birthday, America?
It was 241 years ago that our nation's birth certificate was written in Philadelphia — and I've been around for a bunch of those birthdays — but it's hard to remember a July Fourth as dark as this one.
We have celebrated our birthday during wars, many of them; recessions, a few of them; and under the leadership of fools, or liars, or criminals. Now we seem to have hit the trifecta, although criminal acts have yet to be proven. To paraphrase a Meat Loaf song, two out of three is bad.
President Trump's foolishness is obvious and his lies are well-documented, most recently by the New York Times.
Some of his supporters say they take him seriously, but not literally. The mainstream media — or MSM, as Trump believers call it — took him literally but not seriously.
That may have been true once — although I think the MSM didn't take him seriously because he didn't conduct himself seriously — but the MSM take him seriously now, more seriously than he takes himself. He occasionally has to pinch himself when he refers to himself as the president. I do, too.
Some say he's a threat to democracy itself. That also was said about Richard Nixon and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Abraham Lincoln was accused of destroying the nation. The United States survived all that, and we will survive this too.
There have been decades in our history when America was loved, respected, feared, or hated. Today much of the world laughs at America because of our cartoonish president.
Even those nations that don't express open ridicule, such as Saudi Arabia and Russia, must see Trump as a needy, second-class intellect, easily made to roll over after a nice ego massage.
A Pew Research global poll last week showed that only 22 percent of those polled have confidence in Trump as a world leader, a role he seems to disdain.
During the presidential campaign, someone asked Melania Trump what it was like living in the penthouse with her husband and her son. She said it was like having two 10-year-olds. This from a woman who knows and loves him.
She had it right. Children lack impulse control, and Trump's tweets prove how prone he is to tantrums. He uses tweets as payback, cyber versions of Tomahawk missiles.
Like a window into his interior, the tweets show him to be dominated by his reptilian brain, by gut and instinct rather than reason and intellect.
During the campaign, slash-and-burn appealed to a portion of the electorate, mostly those with blue collars and white skins. Some of them had voted for Barack Obama, but they got tired of being the only subgroup that identity-minded Democrats didn't smother with affection.
For five months they have enjoyed their revenge on the professors and the elites who looked down on them and basically blamed most of America's faults on them.
But in their marrow even they must understand he is a step below a street fighter. He's a sewer fighter.
Trump doesn't seem to care that when he attacks MSNBC's Morning Joe, as he did last week, he increases its ratings.
Two days before Independence Day, he tweeted out a video GIF of himself pummeling someone at a decade-old Wrestlemania, the victim's face covered by a CNN logo. It was a fake beatdown.
Some horrified talking heads on the Sunday news shows said Trump was calling for an attack on the media. I disagree.
One pundit thought he was equating wrestling, which is fake, with CNN, which Trump calls fake. No, that's too subtle for him.
To me, the GIF illustrated Trump's juvenile sense of humor. #Sad
I'm almost certain he will tweet out something on July 4. I hope it will be about the real Independence Day, not a movie clip of Will Smith busting an alien in the chops.