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slideman

Whither The Trump Paradox?

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That Donald Trump is a vulgar, self-aggrandizing narcissist was obvious decades before that day of infamy in 2015 when he and his well-preserved trophy bride descended the Trump Tower escalator to kick off his presidential campaign.

His strategy then was clear: stir up nativist animosities by calling immigrants and asylum seekers from south of the border rapists, drug dealers, and gang members.

Also: rev up America’s ambient Islamophobia, “dog whistle” support for the “alt-right,” pander to Evangelicals, and give crony capitalists anything and everything they want. In Trumpland, crony capitalists are capitalists who pay homage to Trump and who act as if they owe him fealty.

Trump’s strategy has evolved only slightly since then, mainly to take account of changing circumstances and evolving business opportunities.

High on the list of changing circumstances is the bromance between the best foreign customer of America’s death merchants, the murderous Mohammad bin Salman, one of the most retrograde potentates on earth, and First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner, Trump’s unofficial Secretary of Everything and BFF, best friend forever, of the latest generation of ethnic cleansers of the Promised Land.

Once it became clear that Trump was serious about running for president, that his and Melania’s performance on the escalator wasn’t just a publicity stunt intended to call attention to the brand, Trump’s unsuitability for the office he sought became even more obvious than it had seemed before; and now that he has been in the White House for two and a half years, the unfitness of that most “stable genius” has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

There was, and astonishingly still is, reluctance on the part of some voters to acknowledge the obvious because the idea that the rich and heinous are praiseworthy and smart is a dogma of the American civil religion, and because it is widely assumed that a buffoonish, gangsterish real estate and gambling tycoon, best known as a reality TV star, could never make it all the way to the White House if he didn’t have at least a few estimable qualities.

Perhaps he really is a dealmaker extraordinaire – just not so as anyone can see it. How much more likely is it, though, that what he had going for him was his father’s money and influence, and that what he is good at is conning the terminally gullible and gaming the system.

The charge that Trump is in way over his head, that he is an ignoramus with the emotional maturity and moral sense of an adolescent bully, is beyond serious dispute. So are charges of corruption, overall sleaziness, and “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

None of this can be kept out of public consciousness indefinitely. Presidents, especially ones who, like Trump, are voracious publicity hounds, are so much in the public eye, and the evidence is so overwhelming, that only diehard fanatics could keep the faith for long.

And yet, it is widely accepted that unless a bad diet or a thunderbolt from heaven get him first, Trump could actually win a second term. More distressing even than that, there are vast swathes of the country where he actually enjoys majority support.

How can this be? How can Trump not just be Trump, but act like Trump, and still have roughly two fifths of the electorate supporting him? Granted – it is only at the very bottom of Hillary’s “basket of deplorables” that he elicits much enthusiasm, and many of his supporters are happy to state their misgivings. Nevertheless, the basket is large and its denizens do stand by their man.

Even those of us who expect less than nothing from an electorate that could elect the likes of, say, Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush, find “the Trump base” – that is the current euphemism – shocking and ultimately incomprehensible.

This, then, is the Trump Paradox: each day he is more awful than the last. He makes no secret of it; he flaunts it. And yet each day his boast about how he would only gain support if he walked out onto Fifth Avenue and shot some random person becomes less hyperbolic – to a point where, even now, if it happened, nobody would be especially surprised.

It is possible, of course, that the reality is not quite as paradoxical as it seems; that the nature and extent of Trump’s support might seem more formidable than it actually is.

Nearly everybody underestimated Trump’s appeal in 2016; overestimating it could be an understandable psychological reaction to that. The polls got it wrong in 2016; perhaps we are now experiencing backlash from that as well.

Or perhaps it is “fake news,” driven by greed. Corporate media stand to make a lot more money from a nail biter than from a contest in which the outcome is predictable with a high degree of certainty.

That would be the case in a Trump versus practically anybody contest in an environment in which rationality and basic decency were driving voters’ choices. But this is not the case in our world today. Since even before Inauguration Day 2017, rationality and decency have been hanging by a thread.

There could also be a lot of fear mongering going on, engineered by Democratic Party operatives and their media allies. Nothing is better for motivating Democratic voters than the prospect of four more years of the Trumpian menace.

It is probably safe to wager that, against Trump, a Democrat cannot lose in 2020; especially if the Democrats don’t nominate someone like, but even worse, than last time’s loser – in other words, if they don’t nominate Joe Biden or any “centrist” like him.

Therefore, it would probably be fair to conclude that there is not much of a Trump paradox, after all, and that there is no reason to panic on its account. But until nuclear disarmament is achieved and global warming stopped in its tracks, extreme aversion to risk is the wisest course.

Therefore, when and insofar as it matters politically, it makes sense to act as if two-fifths of the electorate is indeed standing by their man, and to assume that most of those people are not going to cast off their delusions before November 2020. For at least the next year and a half, the way forward is to regard the Trump paradox as a specter haunting the next presidential election, and, in view of what is at take, to proceed accordingly.

It is therefore timely to reflect on what hardcore Trumpians, the true believers, think they are doing. It hardly matters whether there really are some forty million of them or many less.

We can begin by acknowledging that anyone who supports Trump who does not have a major stake in the fossil fuel industry or in a handful of other enterprises that really are “enemies of the people,” or who is not filthy rich and grotesquely greedy, has no material interests that would put him or her on Trump’s side.

It is tempting, at this point, to invoke that old standby, “false consciousness.” No doubt, there is a lot of that around. But the Trump phenomenon it is too irrational, too surreal, to be explained entirely by concepts developed in saner times.

Could it be that the Trump forty percent is so propagandized and dumbed down by Fox and such that they are unable to see how irrational they are or, if they do, to grasp the full extent?

Or maybe they see all they need to, but don’t care; perhaps because they feel compelled to act out.

Or, as many a cable news channel talking head has claimed, they have “agendas,” pecuniary or, as in the case of Evangelicals, religious, which they think that Trump will help them advance. They could be right about that, even if, as some of them surely realize, he could care less about their agendas or about them.

Or maybe the problem just is that Trump’s marks cannot or will not admit to themselves that they have been conned? That would at least be humanly understandable.

Two and a half years ago, there was a rationale for siding with Trump over Clinton that is not entirely without merit, though, even back then, only a fool would have found it compelling. It was that a vote for Trump was a vote against the neoliberal, liberal imperialist order that the Clintons did so much to promote and with which they are so thoroughly identified.

A vote for Trump was a vote for someone who railed against that, albeit in a distinctively inchoate way, and whom nearly the entire power structure of our increasingly inegalitarian ancien régime could not abide. This was a cri de coeur, a plea from the heart; as such, there was something appealing about it.

But that was before Trump’s flaws became too glaring to overlook or deny.

It was still possible, back in 2016, to believe that although what Trump did or said or tweeted seemed insane, maybe what it really was is crazy like a fox; that maybe he really is a master deal-maker, a strategist thinking, as a chess master would, many steps ahead.

That argument is rarely floated nowadays. One reason why is that, to anyone who has wallowed in Trumpland for two and a half years, it rings hollow — like a nasty joke, which, in the final analysis, is all that it is.

The several explanations sketched above, and others that could be added to them, do have merit; but, separately or together, they don’t quite succeed in making sense of the Trump phenomenon. Perhaps there is nothing to do except to concede that it defies explanation; it is that bizarre.

 

more:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/14/whither-the-trump-paradox/

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/14/whither-the-trump-paradox/

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okay I read that whole diatribe, mind you I had to go to the original source as it had spaces between the paragraphs.

 

Hint, try that next time.

 

anyways, so this leftist  author supporter of AOC believes or thinks if the Centrist like Biden wins, Trump wins again, and to save America AOC has to be the one in 2028 as she will be eligible to run for POTUS in 2028.

 

He listed every bad thing Trump has ever done and believes he is unfit to run the office, fair enough, he is entitled to his own opinions, no matter how stupid they are.

His private life has nothing do with how he is running the white house, not sure why anyone would bring that up.

 

Of course he did not bring up that Trump in the 1980's was the first major developer in New York to have a woman (Barbara Res)to be a project manager of Trump Tower on 5th and 56/57th avenue in New York.

 

First woman to supervise construction of a skyscraper in NYC, that doesn't sound misogynist to me 

 

while his private life was a mess, what has he done as president that makes him unfit for office?

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, slideman said:

 

 

My hypothesis: 

10% of voters are single issue voters.  

10% are driven by fear of another culture/religion/race

20% are low information . 

 

No need to try to win back those folks. They are too far gone.  

 

That is no reason for Democrats to jump on the AOC's bandwagon. The moderate/centrist/reasonable vote is the demographic needed to defeat Trump. 

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24 minutes ago, chairmanOFTB said:

while his private life was a mess, what has he done as president that makes him unfit for office?

Starting a trade war, attempting to deprive millions of people of their health insurance with no replacement,  cancelling the Iran  Nuclear deal, sucking up to Putin, estranging our allies, refusing to properly staff the State Dept., naming dunderheads like Carson and taking bribes from DeVos for a cabinet position, Making a fool of himself with stupid tweets on a daily basis, Lying about how he "loved the Dreamers" and was going to turn over his tax forms if elected, putting a tariff on Canadian steel and aluminum because it was a matter of national security.

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2 hours ago, Olivaw said:

 

 

My hypothesis: 

10% of voters are single issue voters.  

10% are driven by fear of another culture/religion/race

20% are low information . 

 

No need to try to win back those folks. They are too far gone.  

 

That is no reason for Democrats to jump on the AOC's bandwagon. The moderate/centrist/reasonable vote is the demographic needed to defeat Trump. 

I have been hearing that for decades. It is always used to marginalize liberals like me. I got tired of hearing it and it I left the Democratic Party decades ago because they work so hard to marginalize their liberal base. Half of all Dems self describe as liberal sub Dems bend over backwards to placate the conservative Dems and IGNORE the BASE of the party. I think first if people want to vote for Republicans they will why bother with Republican LIGHT? Also Dems are so spineless. People want to know you are ready to FIGHT and the left sure wont FIGHT for LIBERAL policies.  The Democrats know the energy and ideas come from the LEFT of their party then treat us like the weird uncle they INVITE to the BBQ but hope he wont come. 

 

We have TRIED center right and right and two ticks left of center. Why in the WORLD is it seen as a disaster to TRY some leftist policies? Expecially since they poll pretty well

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2 hours ago, Olivaw said:

The moderate/centrist/reasonable vote is the demographic needed to defeat Trump. 

 

Run Hillary again.

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3 hours ago, rippy38 said:

istock_000005880712_small.jpg

 

51+eZxVQLiL._SX425_.jpg

 

abbie_hoffman.jpg?w=600

 

locale-per-festa-compleanno-bambini-mila

 

3C44E4EEE.gif

hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

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5 minutes ago, Debs said:

I have been hearing that for decades. It is always used to marginalize liberals like me. I got tired of hearing it and it I left the Democratic Party decades ago because they work so hard to marginalize their liberal base. Half of all Dems self describe as liberal sub Dems bend over backwards to placate the conservative Dems and IGNORE the BASE of the party. I think first if people want to vote for Republicans they will why bother with Republican LIGHT? Also Dems are so spineless. People want to know you are ready to FIGHT and the left sure wont FIGHT for LIBERAL policies.  The Democrats know the energy and ideas come from the LEFT of their party then treat us like the weird uncle they INVITE to the BBQ but hope he wont come. 

 

We have TRIED center right and right and two ticks left of center. Why in the WORLD is it seen as a disaster to TRY some leftist policies? Expecially since they poll pretty well

you are no liberal...yer a progressive sack of sh it...

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