Sean Spicer just grabbed America by the pussy—and we let him do it

Sean Spicer’s unexpected cameo during the 69th annual Emmy Awards should have been an epiphany and a wake-up call for our celebrity-addled country.

The laughter and cheers in response to Spicer repeating his famous lie about crowd sizes gave us a disturbingly honest glimpse into our collective psychosis: We are a nation suffering from a chronic obsession with celebrity that causes us to suspend rational judgment and act like fawning, gaped-mouthed fools.

Celebrity President Donald Trump understands our mental illness better than anyone else. Not only did he trick a star-struck nation into giving him a free ride to the White House, he even told us he was going to get away with it.

Trump has always boasted that his celebrity status gives him a free pass in life. He said he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody without losing any votes. And he told Billy Bush that when he meets attractive women, he likes to “grab them by the pussy” because “when you’re a star, they let you do it.”

On Sunday night, it was Sean Spicer’s turn to grab us by the pussy. And we let him do it because he’s a star.

For months we laughed at Melissa McCarthy’s impersonation of Spicer, but ultimately the joke was on us because we made him a celebrity in the process. Spicer insulted us and lied to our faces for months, and we rewarded him for it by making him a pop culture star. Now, instead of fleeing to Ireland in exile, Spicer gets laughs on late-night talk shows and applause from celebrities who normally soapbox against everything he stands for. Spicer is even getting rewarded with a visiting fellowship at Harvard, where he’ll get to enlighten the world’s sharpest young minds with whatever nonsense falls out of his tongue-tied mouth.

I’m not arguing that Spicer is an evil person. He’s more like what the communists call a “useful idiot.” A propagandist for a cause that he might not fully grasp. A simple cog in the machine.

But by elevating Spicer to celebrity status in his post-White House years, we’re not only giving him a free pass for his repeated crimes against the truth and decency, we’re also effectively normalizing the Trump presidency and setting a stupid precedent for those who come after him.

What does the future hold for other Trump admin apparatchiks to leave the White House? What will happen to the next person who gets voted off the island of this reality-TV presidency?

Will Kellyanne Conway do the morning talk show circuit and then get a job hosting her own game show where other celebrities try to trick her with alternative facts? Will Don Jr. get a job hosting Fox’s “Big Game Hunting Safari Adventure?” Will former President Donald Trump come back for one more season of “Celebrity Apprentice,” where a cast of Russian lawyers, spies, and oligarchs compete for his attention?

Trump and his ilk have lived their entire lives without ever having to face serious consequences for their actions or misdeeds. It’s something the president revels in.

But democracy dies without accountability. And we can’t allow ourselves to become so blinded by celebrity that we lose sight of that simple fact.

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