The Trump Show

Here’s to failure!

Over the past long, long year, we’ve seen various forms of a recurring thought: Donald Trump can’t be serious.

He’s doing it for the publicity. He’s a devious Hillary trickster. He wants to launch a new cable channel. He never planned to win, and then he won, and now he’s trying as hard as he can to lose, because no serious candidate could possibly be this awful.

It’s The Candidate meets The Producers.

And it’s all plausible. The Wingnut Industry is full of scammers who raise silly issues and run for president for the sole purpose of frightening the gullible with dire pleas for their money. It’s the old TV Preacher gig, spilled over into an adjacent room.

But Trump has no need for that. His own long-established fleecing operation is based on his personal brand, whether it’s selling water, steaks, or fantasies of becoming wealthy. He’s not above separating fools from their money, but he does it the old-fashioned way, via his own celebrity. And that celebrity predates by decades his run for president.

And besides, we find such double-game analyses profoundly unsatisfying, because they overlook the most obvious characteristic of their subject: Donald Trump is a very, very stupid man.

We’re not being archly clever here. The man is truly dumb as nails. The breadth of his consciousness doesn’t even reach his ears.

Oh, and he’s also rich. That’s the only difference between Donald Trump and everyone you know — and you know plenty — who’s like Donald Trump. Donald Trump is rich. All those Raging Dimwits in your life aren’t.

And Donald Trump grew up rich. Which means he’s been surrounded throughout his life by toadies and enablers who draft off his wealth for their own purposes, never challenging him because that’s not how you get ahead in that world.

It’s not The Producers. It’s The Truman Show.

But this is nothing new in American life. We’ve just never seen it in American politics. And watching Trump cut like a hot knife through the butter of Wingnut resentment leads many — smarter — people to think that something else must be up. It can’t possibly be that easy.

Unless you encounter — to drop one more movie — The Perfect Storm.

The inevitability of this moment has always been clear to anyone who looked. Republicans have been cynically buttering White Resentment since Nixon’s notorious Southern Strategy, always being careful to code their racist messages in innocuous dog whistles, lest they scare the Nice White Folks they also need to win elections. But while the politicos were totally cynical, their audience was not.

Pat Buchanan tried a more direct approach, but he wasn’t stupid enough to make it work. It took someone like Donald Trump to bring his own Fox-enhanced persona to the party, and burst the (metaphorically inappropriate) piñata of electoral treats.

Donald Trump is the Wingnut Id made manifest. But Donald Trump is also a creature of pure Ego, where everything he does — starting with plastering his name on civic erections — is to the glory of Donald Trump.

Understand Donald Trump’s ego — and all the toadies and enablers whose sole purpose is to satisfy it — and you start to understand why his campaign is so fucking awful.

Donald Trump thrives on adulation. Period.

Donald Trump’s entire campaign, from the start, has been about his audience’s love for Donald Trump, their adulation of his greatness. He has never veered from that message — which happens to be the message of autocrats and fascists, but only coincidentally, just as his Id only coincidentally reflects the Id of his core audience, and just as that core audience is only coincidentally a significant portion of the Republican primary electorate.

Luckily for the rest of us, all those coincidences are limited to the Republican primary electorate. Trump can’t “pivot to the center”, because there’s no audience there, no adulation. It doesn’t feed his ego, therefore it’s irrelevant.

And what looks to many like a campaign so awful it must be a deliberate attempt to lose, is really just Donald Trump going back to the trough for nourishment.

Not that the toadies and enablers — including family members — don’t have endgames of their own, not that we would be surprised to see a Trump Network launch next spring. But that’s not Trump’s endgame. All Donald Trump wants to see are monuments to himself, no matter how shoddy.


Never has so little been accomplished by one so short fingered

See also:

Donald Trump the Crisis Actor: A Conspiracy to End All Conspiracy Theories

Fasten your safety belts and put your tinfoil hats in the full upright position.

@ManchuCandidate: I’ve actually been lurking through the comments over the weekend, which is easily the most time I’ve spent there in eight years…

Prommie tried to pitch us as an alternative a couple times, but the stronger push was for a Gawker-related hashtag to continue the conversation. Which is fine; I don’t know how many of those folks would be happy here, since we’ve long since drifted apart.

6.2 quake in central Italy, shakes reach Rome. Don’t know whether Miss Expatria is in Italy or France right now, but this can’t be good.

ADD: France it is.

@nojo: Glad to hear she’s safe.

Meanwhile, I think Nabeesco arrived in Northern Thailand not too long ago, and Burma just got one hell of an EQ.

/pulling out Bat-signal

@SanFranLefty: At least he made it out of the kabubble before the attack on the university. Christ, 2016, enough already!

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