Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Trump Thing

The following is a conversation I've been having with a friend about the scary Mr. Trump.

"I'm having a hard time with The Trump thing. I don't like the man at all, but I cannot believe that he is so stupid that he himself believes the crap about stopping all Muslims from entering the country. I have to think that he knows better, but that he's somehow intoxicated with the possibility that he has a shot at the election, and is just trying every way possible to pander to the frustrated masses. That he has come this far is truly scary."
Not masses. 30% of identified Republicans, or roughly 6% of the electorate overall. And 6% of the country believes we faked the moon landings. Read this classic 1964 article, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" to see that this very same fringe has long been a part of our scene. That set finally has a candidate to call their own (it's about paranoia, not politics, which is why someone with terrible conservative bona-fides is being embraced). That's a rare situation for them, and I hope they feel warm and cozy for now, because he'll never win an election.

Meanwhile, seeing people like Lindsay Graham condemn him for going too far with his fear-mongering is not a bad thing. I wasn't sure Graham and his ilk even had a "too far" threshold. Nice to have found a bottom.
"I'm thankful that they have found a bottom (more likely because they see him as the real threat that he is to their party). But the question that remains for me is what Trump thinks. Does he really believe the shit that he is spouting, or does he understand in some level that he is playing the demagogue card?"
Yes, there are political considerations to their condemnations of Trump, but that doesn't matter; it doesn't cheapen it. Remember: to politicians, politics aren't something that "intrudes". It's their life blood. It's way more important than values. So it'll do. It's not full-on terra firma, but it's the best we can expect for now.

As for what Trump really thinks, he's a narcissist in an enormous Skinner box. That's all you need to understand about him.

The real problem is that his words are being seen in the Moslem world. The extremists' goal - to provoke and to polarize, in order to breed more extremists - is being furthered. We are slowly but surely being pulled into the "War Against Islam" these monsters use as their prime recruitment slogan.


Richard Stanford said...

After the latest round of super-crazy, I'm really leaning towards the conspiracy theory camp that this is all just a big joke that got out of control. I think that Trump wanted to have some fun, get some TV time, and never had any particular intention of moving on out of the debates - and purposefully set up an "extreme" campaign to meet those goals.

If you look at his positions over time, they've continued to ratchet up to the point that initial-candidate-Trump seems downright reasonable compared to present-day Trump. You really couldn't get much more fascist at this point unless he starts building a TrumpCamp (never say never).

I do wonder if somewhere in there he's both proud of his coverage and horrified at the number of people who keep going along with whatever he says when he doubles down...

Jim Leff said...

See my reply here: http://jimleff.blogspot.com/2015/12/trump-in-skinner-box.html

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