Watching the ‘Trump Shit Show’ (i.e., CNN Town Hall) was so ugly it would have to improve to be ranked as awful. “The hatred unleashed in 2016 will take 20 years to correct,” I told a friend some years ago. “It will take at least tens for Americans to figure it out and another ten years to fix it.” Pausing for a moment, “If we figure it out.”

If the audience is any indication of America’s inability to discern, many audience participants looked at everything America experienced during the last election and stated, “Yeah. He’s our guy. Trump does represent me.” Yet, when I looked at the man, I reflected through the lens Trump himself created. Does this man have the cognitive fitness for president? How clear is this man’s thinking? How sturdy is this man’s reality? And better yet, how sturdy is the cognitive ability of Americans who openly admit this candidate captures the most valid form of American values at the heart that I, John Q. Public, will select him again?

Like many Americans, Trump’s failures at life and loss are not his own. When juries rule against him, when judges destroy his legal appeals, when a majority of voters elect another or twice impeached, the fault is never his. Instead, the blame lies somewhere else or someone else. “‘Crazy Nancy’ did it; The election was stolen; It’s all a political witch hunt.” And Americans buy into the dystopian narrative.

Why Americans have bought into this man’s plethora of falsities is beyond logic. The Trumptopian view is his own, faithful only to one person, Trump. And in that world, there’s no room for any other. Trump claimed he did not know the sexual assault accuser, but what happened was ‘Hanky panky.’ E. Jean Carroll’s dog or cat was named vagina. “I finished the wall,” Trump stated. However, Biden could have finished the remaining portion. And with each lie, the audience laughed and clapped.

At one point, Trump stated stupid people are running the country. Unfortunately, however animated Trump was during the CNN Town Hall, animation does not demonstrate competence. However, Americans longing for the days of yesteryear appear willing to covet the orange calf again. It’s as if some godlike power stares at American GOP supporters and citizenry across the landscape cave. “Oh yes, my lord.”

In 2017, Senior White House policy adviser Stephen Miller said, “… our opponents, the media and the whole world will soon see, as we begin to take further actions, that the president’s powers to protect our country are very substantial and will not be questioned.” Miller argued that Trump doesn’t need anything to be constitutional, or anything Trump decides to do is inherently constitutional, regardless of whether it targets a specific religion or anything else. And that, my friends, is the world Trump resides in.

Most Americans who believe in Trump fear diversity. They perceive increasing racial, religious, and ethnic diversity as a clear and present threat. They are more fearful of people of other races and agree with the statement that “sometimes other groups must be kept in their place.”

Politico noted the essential keys of authoritarianism. First, purveyors of the paranoid style conjure an “other.” Second, this other is described as different from mainstream Americans and identified as a clear and present threat to majoritarian values and traditions. Third, the paranoid leader stokes fear that a hidden conspiracy to undermine mainstream values is afoot and alleges that the other is behind it—activating American authoritarians. Finally, in its most virulent manifestation, growing fear of the other is manipulated to rationalize actions that violate fundamental values, norms, laws, and constitutional protections guaranteed to all Americans.

And therein lay America’s golden calf: the man created in his own golden image.