The connotation of “vamping” is, in most contexts, a positive one. For example, it’s a coveted asset for a musician to be able to “vamp” on the changes of a tune; comedians, poets and attorneys who have the gift of cogent, extemporaneous verbiage, use it to amuse, delight and influence others; but it takes a turn when it becomes an obvious deflection for a lack of knowledge, truth and substance.
We rely on lots of things in our day-to-day journeys through the complexity of the 21stcentury. We flip a switch and light magically appears. We twist a knob and, voila…water. Computers and smart phones and automobiles…oh, my! And…we’d be utterly lost without those people, the soldiers and scientists and spacemen and public servants that tackle the myriad of complicated issues that most of us can’t even fathom no less be able to deal with on our own. So, we have to have an enormous capacity to trust them to watch our collective asses. We know that doesn’t always work out so well, (the guys responsible for the water in Flint come to mind), and really, it’s all become way, way, way too complicated for any government, community, blogosphere or Kiwanis Club to keep firmly in check. Yet, for the most part…stuff works. Where it all falls apart, where the shit hits the fan, what science fiction writers have been culling as fodder for tales of our imminent demise, is when our leaders, our protectors, the go-to guys are merely vamping and otherwise clueless. This, unfortunately, is not science fiction, it is present day reality. Our President, his closest advisors, his bumbling cabinet and, (how can this possibly be?), the entire Republican party have eschewed truth, justice, kindness and common sense. The President is a fact-free moron, enamored by his own voice and tweeted opinion and his constant aural and texted barrage has eroded the agencies and alliances desperately needed to delicately balance the volatility of our planet. The “leader of the free world” is clueless about his job and the tremendous responsibility it has to all of those things we take for granted. His entire life has been the worst kind of “vamp”…an unread, uncaring, charlatan snake-oil salesman who will say anything, do anything, harm anyone for his own self-aggrandizement. He is the witting, unwitting, purposeful or accidental mole of Vladimir Putin and he has irreparably damaged democracy. Take that, Mr. Asimov!