Before Trump, King Howard and the Terminator

Donald Trump is a disrupter of norms and elites, but he wasn’t the first.

And hopefully he won’t be the last.

Back in the day, “shock jock” Howard Stern, while admittedly not everyone’s cup of tea, pushed the boundaries of what you could say on over-the-air, FCC-regulated radio. Part of his audience-building formula was rejecting the traditional ways of doing things and jolting people awake, daily, whether it was his listeners, his competitors or his employers.

That led to his self-proclamation as “King of All Media”—a record-shattering deal on Sirius-XM satellite radio.

There, today, however, you would never recognize this king.

He’s  an approval-seeking acolyte, boasting of his obedience to and compliance with the Covidian Big Brother state and his unswerving loyalty to the Democratic Party. Like Biden, he’s lost his memory—of how many Democratic shrews and scolds tried to ban him and lift licenses from his radio stations over the years.

His recent “interview” with the sitting president is something the “old” Stern would’ve profanely skewered in days gone by.

Similarly, the Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, epitomized the rejection of norms and it led beyond cultural superstardom to his improbably election as governor of California from 2003 to 2010. Now he’s more Klaus Schwab than Schwarzenegger.

These two men, 70 and 76 years old respectively, haven’t simply mellowed with age.

They’ve gone from being disrupters of the first echelon to being tired, predictable tools of the establishment. Strangely, in a time where their counter-cultural instincts and talents are more relevant than ever, they strive to show their obedience and compliance.

They’ve lent out their name, following and image for pennies on the dollar. Surrendered for the petty, passing approbation of left-wing JVers.

They were so cool, and I respected them, even in disagreement.

It’s sad to see where they wound up.

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