Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Unaccountable Appeal of Donald Trump

Another day on the basement treadmill, listening to the Donald, this time coming from a rally in Manassas, Virginia.  
You cannot say it was a typical  stump speech, although it was, such as there is stump speech from Trump, beyond that rambling, free association string of stories about how he made his announcement of his Presidential campaign, coming down the elevator in Trump Tower, with his wife. And he reminds everyone the TV executives wanted to renew his contract for "The Apprentice" because it was making so much money, but he gave up all that so he could become President--such is the magnitude of his own patriotism, giving up a TV gig to serve as President. Such sacrifice. Makes you tear up. Makes you proud.

And there is the string of aspersions--Hillary Clinton's whole life has just been so corrupt--the unabashed hyperbole that just leaks out, sails free and is gone before you have time to really react:   Hillary is just so tired, she goes home and goes to sleep after a big rally like this one, whereas Trump, all pumped up, goes out to build another building, or maybe he goes out for a run around the battlefield. You'd be so proud. 

And there are jibes at the hateful Media, and the promise to build a thousand mile wall along the Mexican border, which he will make the Mexicans pay for, and it will be made  out of reinforced concrete and Rebar steel.  A thousand miles of concrete and Rebar. If we had a thousand miles of concrete and Rebar in New Hampshire, we could repair all the bridges. 

And the Chinese built a 30,000 mile wall without tractors or big trucks.  And that comment, too, sails past. Wait!  They built that wall, over how many years? And would that wall have prevented the peasant looking for a job from crossing into China or was it designed to prevent the Mongol hordes from launching a cavalry attack? And exactly how much good did it do?  And if the border with Mexico is 2000 miles and if the illegal immigrants can simply slide around the edges and come in from the Gulf of Mexico, how much good will Mr. Trump's wall  do? I really need to know more about the Mexican border. I need to know more about the great wall of China. And Rebar and concrete, I'm going to Google that, too.

I do know what Matt Santos, the Democratic candidate for President from West Wing, who  I wish was running against Mr. Trump said. He said if you built a wall and doubled or tripled the border guard you might cut the number of illegals getting past the defenses  from 90% to 80%, but the problem is not law enforcement; it's economic. 

But of course, for Mr. Trump it's all about law enforcement because he's heard of at least two cases of illegal immigrants committing murder or rape or both, and if that doesn't tell you everything you need to know about Mexican illegals, well, how stupid can you be?

A friend of mine from New Hampshire, a rock solid liberal Democrat, remarked how guilty she felt, listening to Trump, even though she disagrees with almost everything he says and hates some of it, but she finds herself smiling and enjoying the show. And he addresses this on stage. He says the media says he draws big crowds because he is entertaining, but, he insists to the crowd: "You're not here to be entertained. You're here to vote for me." And the crowd roars.

Which brings me to  the crowd.  The camera pans over them. These are scary people. What makes them scary is they don't look all that vulgar. It's not like "The Shoppers of Walmart" or anything. They look pretty ordinary, like normal folks, just like in the "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." But they are not normal. They are smiling and nodding their heads and loving the Donald.  The Donald drags a few of them up on stage if they ask a question he particularly likes and he takes care to like a question from a Black person and from a serviceman. 
African Americans love me! Who else gets so much love from Black pastors? They say if I get 25% of the Black vote, it's all over. Well, I'm going to do better than that, because I'm a winner. I've been a winner all my life.

Hispanics love me! They love me because I give them jobs and I'll give them more jobs once I'm elected and we'll all be rich!

My mind starts to spin. I need to slow down and replay. But most of all I need to go through the transcript, if I could ever get one, to see what it is he says and how he gets his effects. 

How does a person like Hillary Clinton, who the Donald assures the crowd he will crush in the general election, ever respond? Part of what happens in an education is you learn to avoid doing what the Donald is doing--making generalizations without data to support your assertions. Making general statements--"Hillary: Her whole life has been just so corrupt"--which allow for a single exception to deflate. If there is one part of her life which is not corrupt, then you are wrong.  

And so forth. 

I can hardly imagine President Obama on the same stage as the Donald. How does an educated person deal with someone who does not value what we have been trained to value, like coherence in speech?

Obama is just an utter disaster. We all hate him. He's the worst President ever, and that goes back a thousand years.  Obama's kind of a wimp, you know?  It brings to mind the wonderful riposte of the Virginian Congressman, John Randolph,  who was belittled on the floor of the House by another Congressman who observed Randolph appeared hardly post pubertal, with no beard, child like skin, high voice and slight musculature. Randolph responded:

"You pride yourself on an animal faculty, in respect to which the negro is your equal and the jackass infinitely your superior."

Of course, this is the ante bellum, racist Congress, but it was the perfect response to the Frat boy of the era.

What can you say of Trump?

That he is possessed of that special self adoration of the boy who is rich enough to replace any mirror which reflects poorly on him.

Mr. Trump says he is  a born winner. Well, he was born rich, which in his mind is the same thing.

Mr. Trump basks in the love of Hispanics and Blacks; the Hispanics love him because he signs their paychecks. The Blacks love him because they are always entertained by a very stupid white boy.

Mr. Trump expects the Mexicans to pay for the wall he says he will build across the Mexican border. And Sam Houston and Davy Crockett thought Santa Anna would rebuild the Alamo for them. 

There is a fascinating character in the TV series, "Game of Thrones." His name is Joffrey and he is the beloved blonde son who inherits a throne and thinks he's earned it. While he has no sympathy for the downtrodden masses of his kingdom, he believes he deserves their adoration: Donald Trump might want to watch this. Every man needs a role model.

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