New Orleans There’s hardly room in the newspapers and weekly magazines these days for other news between the pulling of hair and rending of clothes by all of the pundits and data dogs about how they miscalculated the odds on the Trump nomination and their fumbling around trying to figure out the “who” of the Trump voter. Judging by an article in Harper’s as one prominent example, the temptation is going to be to stereotype his voting base as whacko haters.
Big, big mistake. You can’t have a demagogue without the demos, the people, boiling with anger, and the candidate ready to meet it and move it forward.
Pew Research has also weighed in with some frightening news: haters are not just going to hate, they’re going to hide. Pew found that internet polls compared to telephone polling was finding another 8% or more of Trump support that was not willing to come clean talking to a semi-real person on the blower. These are the monkey wrench folks everywhere in America who see a chance to flup the stuff up and show all of them, whoever they are, that they want to be heard and not just heard, but heeded.
Even more dangerous to my lights is that they are fired up and aren’t going to take it anymore, while Clinton supporters are on autopilot, snoring through the rallies or playing with their smartphones, while Rome is burning.
The biggest fantasy is that Trump is going to change. Not only is that not going to happen, but there’s every indication that behind the scenes, he’s getting high-fives and “git ‘r dones” from Republican politicians right and righter from Speaker Paul Ryan on down. Whatever the rationale or fairytales they are telling themselves to try and put clothes on the emperor, they are almost universally in kowtow mode.
Here’s hoping that women save us, and that Hillary actually figures out sooner rather than later how to play that card. Reading about Trump’s private and personal interactions with women behind the scenes is a muckraker’s view of the slaughterhouse and the meat market. Objectification is too long and dainty a word to describe the permanent, leering appraisal that seems to be Trump’s default. This is a dirty old man! And, he has been that way forever it seems.
Trump defines transactional politics devoid of principles of any sort. In that sense he is the perfect representative of the modern political moment, almost startlingly transparent about the equation compared to all of the rest of the political class who try to hide the transactional nature of politics behind one artifice or another of pretense or philosophy. As donors and opponents line up behind him, you can see the hopes for the main chance later, grifting the short game for the long.
Sadly, there’s probably no better case study than Megyn Kelly, currently the queen of Fox News. After being insulted in the vilest way by Trump and eviscerated by a boycott, she now props him for bringing her more attention, and exchanged her pride for an exclusive interview she hopes will propel her into the Oprah and Barbara Walters atmosphere. She could have upped her game, instead she just signed up for the market exchange.
Here’s one thing for certain: help America conserve water! Take your daily shower after you read the morning papers, or you’ll have to take another one to wash off this filth before you leave the house.