"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Genius Of Donald Trump–How A Vaudevillian Became The First Truly American President

The Mueller Report – a long-awaited report on alleged conspiracy between Donald Trump and the Russians to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential campaign – has been filed and reviewed, and edited for early publication.  There is no evidence of any such collusion, said Special Prosecutor Mueller.

Given the hysterical feeding frenzy of the progressive Left and their media supporters who put all their eggs in one basket on this issue – the one, conclusive, final piece of evidence that this lying, philandering, misogynist buffoon should be put out of office – it is not surprising that they are flummoxed by the news.  Anchors on CNN and MSNBC, the media outlets most loyal to progressives and liberal Democrats, stumbled to find something to spin, although because the investigation had been instigated and supported by the Left, it was hard to do so.   “Let’s see the whole report”, they said, before rushing to judgment; but the stunned, nonplussed looks into the camera said it all.  Just like the election of Donald Trump itself, they could not believe the news.

The election of 2016 left Clinton supporters dumbfounded, wounded, and beached.  After almost two years of exuberance – a lock on a woman president, one who espoused the liberalism of Obama and the race-gender-ethnicity theology of Progressivism – the impossible happened.  Not only was their haloed candidate roundly defeated, but she was defeated by the Left’s worst nightmare.  Worse, the conviction that the days of progressive entitlement had finally arrived - that there was nothing to block a world of multicultural inclusivity with  full, equal, participatory democracy and the reversal of war, environmental depredation, and racism – was shown to be the idealistic folly it always was.

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If this profound belief in equality, justice, peace, and world harmony could be simply and summarily defeated by a circus clown, then its roots could not be very deep at all.  Even thought his critics shuddered to even consider it,  Trump’s victory revealed a shallowness of progressive roots, a romantic idealism, and an ignorance of history and human nature.

So the Mueller Report was supposed to be a vindication of progressive righteousness.  After two years failing to derail Trump, progressives’ time had come.  The imposter would be revealed for the charlatan that he is.  The progressive agenda could get back on track, and its progressive advocates would be able to sleep well at night again.

Yet the Report was nothing of the kind.  Not only was it a political vindication, but a terrible victory, coming at the worst possible time.  The cast of presidential hopefuls – all cut from the same politically idealist mold of old Bernie Sanders and young Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, and all of whom thought that any Democratic candidate would be a shoo-in – now wondered what next.  Since the claims of sexual abuse, inveterate lying, dishonesty, arrogance, indifference, and worst of all, Las Vegas-Hollywood bourgeois smarminess never stuck; and since the man has not only not toned down his tweets, ad hominem attacks, and off-the-cuff circus act; but increased them, what was a radical progressive candidate to do?  Maybe flyover country should not be so dismissed; and coastal support taken for granted.  Maybe moderates were increasingly impatient with the Left’s free give-way social hucksterism.  Maybe there was something to be said for the religious and social convictions of Southern conservatives.  Maybe the candidates had jumped the gun.

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How is it that the coastal elites so underestimated Donald Trump?  How was it they totally misread his appeal?  How could they have relied so myopically on their own assumptions of what a president should be?

To be fair, America had never seen a president like Trump.  Even the worst of the lot adhered to certain principles of decorum, temperance, and cooperation.  From Garfield, Polk, and Van Buren to FDR, Kennedy, LBJ, and Obama all presidents have ‘acted presidential’.  As dirty and slimy as their political campaigns might have been, they were models of sobriety and taste once they sat in the Oval Office.  But that was due to the elitism of American politics.  Regardless of bedtime stories of participatory democracy, equal opportunity, and justice for all, everything in America was ruled from positions of received wisdom and established power.   A man like Trump – vaudevillian, circus performer, snake oil salesman, and TV evangelist all wrapped up into one – had never been even contemplated let alone considered.

Yet who could be more American than Donald Trump?  Who better to embody American petty bourgeois notions, materialism, unalloyed ambition, and success-at-all-costs?  Who better to appeal to Americans’ love of image, glamour, presence, showy wealth, and power?  Who better to showcase the American Wild West, rugged individualism, and the ultimate value of success.  It is all well and good to champion the poor, the disadvantaged, the disabled, and the marginalized in public; but the reality behind closed doors is supremacy, aggression, and victory.

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Donald Trump is the quintessential American.  He, like the rest of us, likes beautiful, sexy women; fast cars, yachts, resorts, penthouses, and glamour.  The only difference is that he has them and we can only aspire to them.  We must be satisfied with People, E!, and Entertainment Today while he squires Miss Connecticut, spends weekends at Mar-el-Lago, and plans for his post-Presidential retirement in Palm Springs, Palm Beach, St. Tropez, and Gstaad.

What is more threatening to progressive coastal elites than Trump’s radical populism is his unabashed classless, shameless, American crassness.  What disturbs his woke opponents more than his politics is his Las Vegas style.  No homage to the rectitude and Puritan tradition of the Founding Fathers; no Beacon Hill, Rittenhouse Square, the Main Line, or Russian Hill; no Oxford eloquence, no thoughtful parsing; and worst of all, no respect for anyone.

What these opponents to not get nor will ever get is that most Americans love Trump for his braggadocio, his one-liner insults, his fearlessness, and his absolute, unassailable confidence.  We would like to insult, to ridicule, to stereotype in public precisely because we have been told to shut up, be considerate, compassionate, and respectful despite the fact that the world needs more ridicule not less. We are more Shecky Green, Rodney Dangerfield, Eddie Murphy, Jackie Mason, and D.L. Hughley than priestly Bill Maher or the cabal of late-night mainstream wannabe comics.

Only the Left missed the point and still don’t get it.  Trump supporters knew precisely whom they were electing – a braggadocio, a carny barker, an outrageous, oversized, magnificent blowhard.  They loved his political incorrectness and willingness to take on all comers – Pocahontas, Crooked Hillary, Crazy Bernie, and Low Energy Jeb.

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Each time Trump went off-program and Borscht Belt at opponents’ expense, his supporters shouted for more.  They had been zipped, closeted, and shut up for decades by righteous progressives; so it is no wonder that they have delighted in the excesses of their candidate.

More than two years into his presidency Donald Trump has not reformed nor will he.  He has been as outrageous and unpredictable as he ever was on the stump – even more so; and only the entrenched old guard are surprised.  More importantly they are flummoxed.  They have no idea what to do with an unreconstructed, unapologetic showman.

His arm candy wife, yachts, golf resorts, and uber-mansions are too much, too bourgeois, too superficial, and simply too obvious for the Presidency.  They lament Hyannisport and Camelot, Kennebunkport, Texas and California ranches, Martha’s Vineyard, Pablo Casals, and Robert Frost.

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Many critics have said that Trump’s presidency was an accident, that he did not calculate the resentment of flyover country, that he entered the race as a lark, and that it was only a felicitous coincidence of Trump’s outrageous ambition and the country’s resentment and long-muzzled anger that enable his victory.  So what?  History is filled with such coincidences and such opportunistic advantages taken. Donald Trump is the man for the American times.  While the progressive Left continues to think of him as Satan, Baal, and the Antichrist, they ignore his true Americanism.  While the coastal classes refuse to accept that a man who uses the wrong fork can possibly lead the nation, the rest of the country can and is happier for it.

‘Americanism’ is usually translated as individualism, equality, freedom, and justice; but it really can only be characterized by the glitz of Las Vegas, the showmanship and faux reality of Hollywood and television, and the entrepreneurial aggression of Silicon Valley, Wall Street, and Cupertino.

Donald Trump is America’s president, the first real American president; and whether or not he succeeds to a second term, he will always be remembered as such.

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