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Dr. Donald And His Mini-Me Contingent


Dr. Donald And His Mini-Me Contingent

One of Donald Trump’s most enduring and least endearing legacies is likely to be the way he aped the character Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies.

Like Mike Myers’ inspired creation, Trump has created a series of “Mini-Me” replicas of himself, versions who stand small in terms of character and thought but nonetheless clog the countryside and make it difficult for anyone else to get anything done while they hop up and down and squeal, “Notice me! Notice me! Notice me!”

Like Trump, these mini-me versions of the former president think saying something is the same as doing it, that the truth is as malleable as silly putty and that making a spectacle of themselves is the same as performing a public service.
Like their leader and inspiration, they see politics as just another reality show. The goal isn’t to accomplish anything that would improve anyone’s life in any measurable way. No, it’s to keep the rubes from switching the channel in search of yet another empty distraction.

They litter the entire national landscape, but they proliferate the most in red states.

Such as Indiana.

In the Hoosier state, perhaps the most visible Trump mini-me is Attorney General Todd Rokita.

Part of Rokita’s aping of the former president is calculated. The Indiana attorney general, who runs for office as a reflex, figures that his best shot at becoming governor involves courting the Trump crowd.

In a crowded Republican primary, Rokita supposes, that carrying the Trump voters will be enough to win him the nomination.

And, in a state that tilts to the GOP, winning the Republican nomination means winning the general election.

So, there is some method to his madness.

But, like Trump, there also is just madness to his madness.

Anyone who has seen Rokita scurry around in search of national TV time and other forms of attention, like a blind mouse scurrying around in search of cheese, knows that he doesn’t just want the spotlight.

He NEEDS the spotlight.

That’s why he starts fights and thrusts himself into debates that make no sense at all.

Rokita’s determination to make himself the center of the constitutional struggle between Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, also a Republican, and the GOP members of the Indiana General Assembly over who could call the legislature into session earned him an unprecedented rebuke from the Indiana Supreme Court. It also exacerbated tensions among Hoosier Republicans as they were gearing up for an election year.

And his most recent bit of desperate attention-seeking—his completely unfounded charges against an Indiana doctor who performed an abortion for a 10-year-old Ohio rape survivor—may expose him to civil litigation.

What’s more, his actions motivated those opposed to any increased restrictions on abortion to mobilize more rapidly and with even greater fervor. That complicated the task of Rokita’s fellow Republicans not just in crafting abortion legislation during the special session, but also won’t help some of them in the fall general election that’s less than 100 days away.

But that’s the way it is with Trump and his mini-me contingent.

Their hunger for the limelight is so great that they can’t see anything outside its glow.

For that reason, the principles of basic math elude them.

In the seven years he has been an active presence in national politics, Trump never figured out that, however large the crowd before him was, the one he was building across the street in opposition to his posturing was even larger.

Rokita seems to struggle with the same sort of arithmetic dysfunction.

But it’s not fair to single out the Indiana attorney general alone.

Mini-me versions of Trump are as thick in the Hoosier air as mosquitoes on a hot, humid night. They buzz around and think that annoying someone is the same as accomplishing something.

They thrive on social media, posting inanities and memes with about the same regularity as when they take breaths. Some of these inanities and memes are racist or bigoted in other ways. Most of the others have as much connection to reality as a 1970s Saturday morning cartoon.

But that doesn’t matter to the mini-me crowd.

Like their leader and inspiration, telling a tale filled with sound and fury signifying nothing is a good day’s work.

The sad thing is that the ground is littered with them.

Littered is the keyword.

FOOTNOTE: John Krull is director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism and publisher of TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students. The opinions expressed by the author do not represent the views of Franklin College.
The City-City Observer posted this article without bias or editing.