Monday, June 5, 2017

A Simple Way to Understand Enduring Pro-Trumpism

So one of the legions of big-mouthed know-nothings found his way to high office, flaunting his lack of qualifications and his unprofessionalism. The result has been governance via mere gut reaction. A disaster. 

That's how it seems to Anti-Trumpers, who are unable to account for the 38% still supporting him. This shows an alarming lack of perspective. Consider that same narrative, above, but remove the scornfulness. Once you do, it's incredibly clear.

Americans adore the film "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," where an utterly nonpolitical outsider is elected to straighten out the dysfunctional miasma via fundamental American good sense. It goes without saying that Senator Smith would lack sophisticated command of the issues, and would say and do some dumb things, upsetting pompous windbags who worship the status quo. But has anyone ever viewed the ending of that film with trepidation for the hero's lack of experience, depth, and savvy? Was there ever doubt he'd help put government back on the right track?

The story expressed the very heart and soul of American democracy. And, to many, that's what's happening now! If you share Trump's unsophisticated outlook - his visceral talk radio stances on things - he's your Mr. Smith.

No one can hope to understand the current moment without accepting that Donald Trump = Mr. Smith for many earnest, decently American people. And we who sneer*, viewing them as rubes and hicks, personify the villainous side of the equation. We're the slick, corrupt, condescending status quo. We're the miasma.


* - Reread that first paragraph, swapping in Jimmy Stewart's character, to understand how we come off. 

2 comments:

Rajeev Joshi said...

there is a much simpler explanation at hand: pro trumpism endures because it is based on faith, not evidence. as trump famously said, he could shoot someone on 5th avenue and still keep his supporters.

Jim Leff said...

Faith underpins all mass political action - as well as many other sorts of mass behavior.

The above explains, specifically, the faith in Trump.

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