Oct 21, 2016
The Three Ages of Trump:
The Age of Being the Outsider, the Early Primaries.
He says strange things that still can be justified – he doesn’t explain his positions well, but he will. He’s new to politics. He didn’t say they were all rapists. He was talking about the Mexican government sending over “their” (ownership) rapists. He was defended. Yes, he said Carly was ugly, but he called men a lot of bad things too. He was plain spoken and dirty spoken, but it could be digested – he was refreshing. He might win. The Mexican judge comment can be excused because he was talking about the judge’s political leanings, not the relation between the man’s skin color and mental competency. Again, defendable. Yes, one of his advisors supposedly yanked a woman down by her arm, but the video is sketchy, hard to tell. Of course, some start to raise eyebrows about the “ban Muslims” talk but it is assumed he meant war-torn Islamic countries. Some are worried, but it is still possible to vote for him; after all, the Paris attacks just happened and the mastermind was a Syrian refugee. And more, a lot of women, gays, blacks, and Hispanics who know him, like him, and some minority groups even support him. His supporters seem rowdy but normal.
The Age of Genius, the Mid-Primaries, Early General.
Trump knows what he is doing – it’s exhilarating! He is sly like a fox. He has the media in his hand, totally free advertising. Everyone wants to play chess, he plays checkers and it is the right game to play. He refuses to apologize for anything. The people love it. That’s how you beat the PC police – screw the coerced apologies. Never back down from a misstatement. Trump knows his intention was noble, to hell with the literalists in colleges, Hollywood, and the media. It is exhilarating to watch the media and academia launch their wimpy weapons at him while he seems to wear some sort of Iron Man body armor. There is the weird Republican convention, and a bit of mismanagement with Melania’s speech, but explainable. His tweeting is somewhat under control and we all think: “he is a strange genius.” There are flashes of this later on, like in the second debate, that made people pine for a return to this era of Trump. And indeed, in this Second Age the rightwing starts to lick their lips. Finally! Someone is going to attack Hillary, finally someone to take down the deplorable Clintons, someone who will say what we all wish: You are the bigots, the sexists, the people who treat black folks awfully. The polls narrow.
The Age of Uh-oh, Present.
It’s not genius. He is pathological. What a moron. He was a drunken boxer landing lucky blows and many mistook that for a brilliance he didn’t really have. Unorthodox style? Nope. Just a blind-lucky fool. He is what America cannot have. He is anti-intellectual, he is of questionable intelligence, and his followers have to be feeling a bit of remorse – even if they drift into cognitive dissonance. The polls widen in the Democrats favor. He is not just unfit, he’s embarrassing. He’s vulgar and a cheater. He’s weird with kids. Women keep coming out. He says things that make one feel gross. He is Bill Clinton in a lot of ways, a scumbag. His most ardent supporters on the Right – like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham – stick with him in the most repulsive display of loyalty and hypocrisy many have ever seen. These people are all about honesty and Christianity and support the lying and ribald Donald? Trump isn’t fighting PC culture, he’s just a jerk. It even looks as if the Leftwing media actually have a duty to take him down. They finally could let their biases show and admit it. So yes, the argument lesser of two evils might win in this case. Hillary Clinton is the lesser of two-evils. There is zero doubt about it. Republicans leave him in droves and many wonder what is to become of the Party.
The Trump Middle Finger
So what is Trump’s use now that it is nearly guaranteed he will lose? How should neverTrumpers, the Left, and his remaining supporters think of the man? In short, don’t think of the man.
Instead, when Trump comes to mind just envision one giant middle finger that his supporters are waving at everyone in the elite – and that includes their own party (read white people). In this way only, are Trump supporters defensible, and in that way only, are most people voting for the man.
Right now in 2016, being conservative means doing a single job: pissing off the right people. His followers don’t care about economics, foreign policy, or even religion. This befuddles the neverTrumpers. In 2008, the Right spoke about the fear of Obama’s socialism and inexperience. This year they aren’t scared of Hillary, they hate her. They know the press is biased, they hate the press. One man I spoke to said, “Trump says enough awful things, sure, but why do they still have to lie about the amount of violence at our rallies and who is starting it? F*** them.”
The simplistic accusations that the vast majority of Trumpers are now venting long held racisms, originally spurred up by Obama’s election, is laughable and a third-grade interpretation of the situation. Surely it won’t stop most people from making that analysis, but they should know that isn’t at all what is happening. It’s not about Trump uttering vulgarities, it’s about the people using Trump to express a rather vulgar sentiment to the “mainstream.”
Update: Trump won. (About a week before the election, I had a change of heart and thought he might win after talking to my friends in the Midwest – which everyone now says they saw coming, but this is actually true.) At any rate, Trump is still that middle finger. His followers still aren’t racist (most of them). His followers are still called bigots (mostly all of them). The current age of Trump is a mix of all three ages, which has, I suppose, always been true.