Saturday, December 19, 2015

Donald J. Trump, Political Pornographer

I want to vote for Mr. Trump.  He is going to round up all the illegals and send them home.  Then, he is going to bomb the crap out of ISIL.  Then, he's going to tell the Russians and the Chinese to pound geopolitical sand.  Then, we can all go to the seashore.

Mr. Trump lives on a political porn set, where every fantasy is fulfilled.  He is the seducer who never strikes out.  Of course, we want him to be our leader.  We all want to live where what we want is what we get.  No one else is pretending that they can take us there.  But Mr. Trump is (pretending, that is).

Trump sees himself doing for America what the Duke of Gloucester did for England:

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.

Here, the son of New York parts company with the future Richard III.  Where Gloucester bemoans his ill-suitedness for peacetime, Trump is completely unaware of his deformities.  But no matter, we are writing the prequel.  We are still in the winter of our discontent.  As Jesus said on the mount, take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

But why does this prince of political prurience have such support?

First, the Republican field is a disappointment.  The only adult in the room is JEB, and he doesn't have a rich enough fantasy life to get the job.  The right answer to Trump should be "Shh, Donald, the grown-ups are talking.  Go to your room and Google 'nuclear triad.'"  But there are no grown-ups talking.

More important, reality just doesn't play well with voters anymore.   We have become detached from reality thanks to the feckless Congress that we have created through gerrymandering, a first cause that I won't rehearse again for fear of seeming obsessed.  (Gerrymander!  Slowly, I turned...)   Trump's supporters just don't care that he can't deliver on his promises.  No one else is delivering on theirs, so why should he be held to a higher standard?  Even if Trump fails to deliver, he will have at least gone the route famously endorsed by Theodore Roosevelt: he will have failed while daring greatly.

In the meantime, Trump offers us a political lottery ticket, an excuse for our fantasies.  If you don't play, not only can't you win, but you can't even masturbate to thoughts of victory.  Trump supplies the pictures, the toys, and the lube.  What can the others offer?  Not even governance, much less a bit of harmless fun.

So, no, it doesn't matter that Trump sees in Putin a kindred spirit - a leader, a word that will not look so good in the German and Italian press but seems to resonate just fine for us.  We apparently don't remember where Hitler and Mussolini came from.  But we are about to see in real time how such tyrants succeed.  When Hope fails, fantasy remains.  Things are not going so well here in the US of A, so many of us are going to our happy place, where Donald J. Trump is in charge.  Where it's Summer time, and the women are easy.