When a politician makes an absolute clot of themselves or does something so utterly immoral, you’d think there’d repercussions of the career-ending or prison kind. But if we’re to go by the troubling pattern that’s emerged from the Trump Administration over the last few years, it seems like that’s far from the case.
In fact, looking at the post-Trump Admin careers of dodgy folk like Sean Spicer and Anthony Scaramucci, as well as the post-Presidency life of George W Bush, it seems like not only are fallen politicians in America getting off relatively consequence-free, they’re undeservedly getting an image rehabilitation.
Let’s take George W Bush as an example. During his presidency, Dubya’s actions resulted in the Iraq War and countless atrocities associated with the conflict, not to mention the regressive conservative policies he brought in. But rather than be put on the stand as war criminal, Dubya is now known as the goofy uncle who likes to paint and is friends with Hollywood elite like Ellen DeGeneres.
Then there’s Anthony Scaramucci, who holds the dubious honour of being the shortest-serving White House Director of Communications (six days officially) ever. But rather be taken to task for being a Trump supporter who supported the US Cheeto-in-Chief’s presidency, he is remembered as that funny bloke whose last name is affectionately used as a unit of measurement for the tenures of the ever-revolving door of Trump officials.
He may have seen the light now but there’s a strong whiff of self-serving insincerity as he only turned on Trump after Combover Caligula sent out a mean tweet about Scaramucci first. That can’t just be a coincidence.
But perhaps the most egregious example of turning a fallen politician into something cute is Trump’s first White House Director of Communications and Press Secretary, Sean Spicer. During his six-month tenure, he repeatedly lied, obfuscated and hit out at the free press, and enabled hatred on the behalf of Trump.
And yet after his sacking, he’s not only been on a redemption tour that’s changed his image from lying POS to goofy clown, but he’s managed to parley the attention into a book deal and an appearance on Dancing with the Stars, where he proceeded to ruin Toy Story for us all.
Sean Spicer should be on a public blacklist or in a jail cell somewhere, not doing the tango on network TV or appearing on late-night talk shows plugging his book. Hell, the same can be said about his Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who has not only gotten away with repeatedly lying to the press but has managed to snagged a cushy gig on Fox News after leaving the Trump Admin.
All this once again begs the pressing question: why are Americans so hellbent on redeeming its fallen politicians as cute goofballs?
Perhaps there’s an argument that the US system isn’t simply equipped to handle this outrageous level of corruption, or maybe it might have something to do with people wanting to exhibit an Ellen DeGeneres-esque level of kindness rather than embracing the hate Trump has been plugging over the last few years.
Whatever the reasons are, there’s no denying that we could all do with a bit of kindness in the world given the dark times we’re living in. At the same time though, Americans should also hold people like Sean Spicer, Anthony Scaramucci and George W Bush accountable for what they’ve done.
Both things are aren’t mutually exclusive and if America keeps offering its fallen politicians the redemption arc they don’t deserve, then we might as well ruin Toy Story for future generations forever by putting on a Woody outfit and making an arse out of ourselves on TV.