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Friday, June 16, 2023

The First Real American President–The Glitz, Glamour, and Outrageous Appeal Of Donald Trump

Donald Trump was the first real American President.  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 and victory.

Image result for images gunfight ok corral

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 second 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 do not get nor ever will 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 Shecky Green, Rodney Dangerfield, Eddie Murphy, Jackie Mason, and D.L. Hughley. 

Only the Left miss 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 Sleepy Joe

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Each time Trump goes off-program and Borscht Belt at opponents’ expense, his supporters shout for more.  They have been zipped, closeted, and shut up for decades by the censorious Left, so it is no wonder that they have delighted in the excesses of their man. 

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.

So what to do with this madman, the Left wonders?  How amidst so much social unrest, injustice, oppression, and environmental ignorance could a man like Donald Trump ever have been elected president; how, despite his defeat at the polls could he still be their political nemesis; and how in the midst of his many legal issues, court cases, and civil suits could he still be the champion of so many Americans? 

Donald Trump was finally America’s President, the real thing – lowbrow, arm candy, Las Vegas, Hollywood, NY real estate bully, and one of us.  No fireside chats, warm, worn sweaters, cigarette boat, Vineyard sailing pretentions.  Trump was crass, tinseled, over-the-top and grandiose.  He wanted nothing to do with the Washington Establishment, the powers that be, and least of all with progressive sanctimony and comic book Utopianism.

Image result for images donald trump at beauty contest

He has been a man of the people – not like the humbly born and raised Truman, Nixon, or Reagan, but of the reality TV generation, the generation of make up, Botox, stiletto heels, and Las Vegas faux glamour and sexual innuendo. He is a hero to the trailer trash, gun-toting, church-on-Sunday, flag-waving, patriotic crowd which has no chance for his yachts, resorts, and beautiful women but who never resent the fact that he has them.  Wanting these glitzy, showy, fancy things is at the very heart of the American dream.  Donald Trump unapologetically taps into this back country, hillbilly, cracker mentality, and his constituents love it.

How could such a cultural iconic hero, a man who so embodies every core value, every cultural impulse, every street fighting, OK Corral shootout, every tearful episode of As The World Turns, every shell game, snake oil, Ponzi, Enron, Bernie Madoff one of us possibly be anything but president?

The progressive Left is nonplussed at the mania of Donald Trump.  To them he is a misogynist, xenophobic, sexist homophobe - has always been and will always be.  He is an inveterate, congenital liar, a braggart, a capitalist who built his fortune on the backs of the poor, and an unreconstructed egotist.

It is surprising, then, that so many are so apoplectic about Donald Trump, a man who embodies American political tradition better than any President, campaigner, or political aspirant.  He is bombast, exaggeration, Borscht Belt comedian, Las Vegas headliner, Hollywood star, Barnum & Bailey lion tamer, master of ceremonies and all side shows, vaudevillian, and consummate performer.  

Most American politicians have tried to hide their dalliances and misrepresentations; but Donald Trump of the Big Top, glitz and glamour star of Caesar’s Palace, television personality, and fearless down-and-dirty NY real estate mogul wants none of their duplicity.  He says what he wants, when he wants, to whomever he wants without parsing, evasions and stock answers. 

Go ahead, factcheck me, he says, caring little what they find out; because he knows that ‘truth’ is only a fictitious commodity, desperately sought by his academic, carrel-bound critics, dismissed entirely by his supporters who glean the kernels of real message from the Sturm und Drang and circus high-wire theatrics.

Lion taming - Wikipedia

No one but unreconstructed liberal elite takse him at face value.  As a son of Hollywood and Las Vegas; a performer, vaudevillian, and big tent revivalist in the old American tradition, he doesn’t mean what he says.  He says what he means.  His is a political circus act with a semiotic foundation.  Crazy as a fox and as smart as a whip, The Donald speaks a firestorm but is as rational – more rational in fact – than his opponents who speak in platitudes, shopworn nostrums, and old-fashioned appeals to ‘experience’.

The Left simply cannot understand the visceral, iconic nature of the man.  They focus on his supposed and presumed improprieties, his civil and criminal lawsuits, his fast-and-loose Machiavellian America-first foreign policy, his arch-conservative blatantly prejudicial attitude towards the nation’s underprivileged, his hearty embrace of Wall Street capitalism, and xenophobic patriotism; and feel that by calling out this political charlatan for the dangerous criminal that he is, he will lose popular support and go away.

Wrong.  They do not get why he is so appealing.  It has less to do with his profoundly legitimate conservative values than the persona of the man – his absolute confidence, fearlessness, distaste for the exaggerations of the Left and their sanctimonious justification of them; and most of all because he is one of us.  He is an unreconstructed bourgeois genius, a real hero, a champion of American values.  He hides behind nothing, he is more honest than his opponents who claim that truth is on their side, he is loud in his support for American fundamentalism and originalism, defying the baseless calls for revisionism and the cancel culture.

The more that the Left founders farther and farther into the weeds of woke diversity politics, relies on Utopian visions for policy, and have only an array of unrecognizable but meaningful faces to show for it, the more Trump will gain support.  it’s not what he says or what he does, but what he means; and he may well return to the White House.

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