Trump is just a love machine and he don’t work for nobody but . . . his base

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More, perhaps, than cheeseburgers, adulation sustains Donald Trump. It’s his happy meal, his comfort food, his B12. Last Saturday, at a tarmac rally in Muskegon, Michigan, he got a huge serving from a good-sized crowd of MAGA-capped supporters.

The big headline out of the Muskegon campaign stop was that Trump encouraged the crowd when a “Lock her up!” chant began in response to a swipe he took at Michigan’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer. She was understandably livid given that the FBI only days earlier had broken up a white supremacist plot to kidnap her and put her on trial for her “crimes,” mainly her efforts to stop people from doing stupid, stubborn, selfish things that are likely to prolong the Covid-19 pandemic and run up the American death toll. Things like rallies without masks or 6-foot social distancing.

She accused Trump of once again inciting domestic terrorism. His campaign insisted he was just “having fun.”

What stuck with me, however, when I happened onto Fox News’ exclusive live magnification of the rally while searching for football game, was the moment when the crowd began chanting, “We love Trump! We love Trump!”

It was almost as if Trump had taken a hit of amyl nitrate.

“I don’t think there’s ever been anything like that little phrase,” he said.

He was beaming, energized, enraptured.

“I won’t even say it (myself) because they’ll say, ‘Oh, why is he bringing that up?’ So, I won’t say it, but you’ll say it. But that’s never been used before. Nobody’s ever heard that before. And we liked Ronald Reagan We like a lot of people. Nobody’s ever heard that phrase before.”

Think about that. Trump is of the belief that he is loved like no President in our history.

People only “liked” Ronald Reagan, the patron saint of the modern Republican-ism. We only “liked” those four Presidents whose heads are sculpted on Mt. Rushmore, where Trump is certain he belongs and which, if you believe his remarks Saturday, Joe Biden and his “far-left” Democrats can’t wait to dynamite as part of their relentless quest to erase our beautiful history.

If Trump could sing and dance, he might have done a spin and a split and launched into the Miracles’ “Love Machine.”

“I’m just a love machine/And I won’t work for nobody but you/I’m just a love machine/A huggin’, kissin’ fiend.”

The “nobody but you” is not everybody, of course. It’s just his base, his acolytes, his fan club. And to anyone who isn’t a member, events such as the one Saturday in Muskegon look like a combination tent revival and cult ritual, like a bizarre exercise in codependency.

For Trump, these rallies are recharging sessions. He’s like Green Lantern plugging his power ring to his lamp. He gets bigger and badder, more emboldened, when he’s worshipped.

For the attendees, it’s like watching a movie in which your hero, your surrogate, takes on your favorite villains and dispatches them with swagger and catchy slogans like you never could.

It’s a spectacle that is at once absurd and scary. It’s a specious circle we non-believers have to break come November 3.

Written by

Mississippi native, award-winning veteran of The Orlando Sentinel, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Newsday, stand-up storyteller, lives in Athens, Ga.

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