Cringe is only possible in a cultural and political moment like ours, when we have so effectively surrounded ourselves with those who share our affections and affectations. It’s not until those cultural artifacts break out of our silos — often going viral via mocking screenshot — that we realize just how cringe-tastic they were, and how embarrassing the subservient attitude they represent really is.

If imagining Trump as a world-historical defender of the Constitution is bizarre and anti-democratic, so is turning the vice president and secretary of transportation into cozy sitcom characters rather than people who have been given great power and need to be held accountable for how they use it. Those who can’t resist turning human beings into paper dolls, or the former president into an action figure, should at least keep their cringe to themselves, for all our sakes.