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

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Post-Debate Reality - Why The American People Prefer Donald Trump's Bombast And Fantasy To 'The Truth'

Richard Nixon lost the 1960 election to JFK because on the debate stage, the five o'clock shadowed, sweating Nixon looked like a refugee from a Polish shtetl while John Kennedy looked handsome, young, and virile.  It was his disreputable prison look that did him in.  Viewers could not get past the image and listen to the policies, programs, and principles that the man was presenting to the public.


And today, sixty years later, nothing has changed.  It is image that wins debates, wins at campaign whistle stops, and wins on election day.  

There is much more bundled in political image today - Donald Trump's obvious exaggerations, fantastical assumptions and misstatements are deliberate, planned, and part of his persona.  Despite the howls and cries from the Left about Trump's lies and deceptions, his supporters have learned to parse what he means out of what he says and enjoy the bombast, the cannonade of insults, one-liners, parodies, and characterizations of a tummler - a Borscht Belt comedian as funny as Shecky Greene or Jackie Mason. 

No one actually believes that thousands of criminals deliberately freed from Mexican prisons are being given a free lunch and bus tickets to El Norte; nor are rapists, pedophiles, and gang bangers pouring across the Biden border.  It could happen, given the consequences of limitless open immigration. When everyone is let in willy-nilly, thugs, shooters, and drug dealers will certainly be part of the mix.  The message - open borders are bad for America.  

'Insurrectionist, tyrant, anti-democratic dictator' shout the Left, but the allegations don't stick.  Trump's revolution, which he readily admits, is nothing less than a counter-offensive against the policies of race, gender, and ethnicity that polarize and fragment the nation.  His dismissal of COVID - it will pass - was not so much a 'live and let die' callous policy of indifference, but a premonitory warning - the government will do its best to assert and consolidate its authority, restrict and abuse the individual rights of American citizens, and build the foundations for authoritarian statism. 

His constant reference to voter fraud is not, as his opponents claim, a viral, insidious effort to discredit the American electoral process but to state a fact - every citizen must show proof of identity everywhere and every day.  There is nothing politically intrusive about it; and since many jurisdictions are allowing undocumented immigrants to vote, and when the opposition historically has rigged, gerrymandered, and abused the voting process, Trump's message is simple and clear - show proof of citizenship. 

The one-liner, attributed to any number of ward-heeler Democratic politicians in Chicago - 'vote early and often' - the dead men on the voter rolls, the busses of bums and derelicts given a hot lunch and a dollar to vote are as American as apple pie.  The message once again is clear - it has nothing to do with false claims of election theft, but all about electoral vigilance. 


He is not racist in his claims to aggressively dismantle all traces of affirmative action, but democratic.  The Left has gone far to far in its exaggerated efforts to raise the black man to the pinnacle of the social pyramid despite persistent, inherent, and resistant dysfunction in the black community.  He is not homophobic when he laughs at Biden's hilarious transgender appointments as though they actually represented America. 

The point is not to assess the truth of Trump's statements.  Everyone knows or should know that much of what he says bears little relationship to facts and figures; but all but his detractors know that to get at Trump policy and political philosophy, one only needs to parse the hyperbole. 

Deconstructionism has had its day, although because of tenure there are many academics who will preach this secular animism until the day they die.  All texts are equivalent, they say.  There is no such thing as artistic genius, and the works of Shakespeare, Aeschylus, and Dostoevsky should be read only within the narrow context of  race, gender, and ethnicity.  Hamlet and Macbeth are nothing more than plays about political power, the corrupt nature of elites, and the alienation of the many to serve the powerful.

If one reads text carefully, deconstructionists say, one will discover the true meaning behind the words which are mere and artificial constructs of individuals who can but express political zeitgeist and the particular configurations of social, economic, and cultural conflict.

So where are these deconstructionists when it comes to parsing the stump performances of Donald Trump? Why are they so literal in their interpretation of his words?  How could they assume that his hot button rhetoric is anything more than getting sinners to walk up the aisle and accept Jesus as their personal savior?

Trump voters are good Deconstructionists.  They know that language has little do to with describing actual facts - reality - but all in its configuration of the world as seen through a progressive lens.  There are no geniuses in literature, only men who have been influenced and conditioned by culture and society and who reflect this influence in their writing.  In other words, pay no attention to what the words seem to mean, go beyond, beneath, and above to extract meaning. 


America if anything is a country of image - of vaudevillian comedy, Las Vegas girly strip shows and sequined runway entrances; of soap operas, melodrama, impossible Hollywood fantasy, improbably optimistic advertising, comic books, and virtual reality.  The 'truth', if there ever was such a thing has never mattered much; and in fact the more society becomes virtual, the less the truth, fact, and objectivity will matter. 

So, looked at through this historical, cultural perspective, Donald Trump is the most American of any President in recent memory.  He is an old-fashioned stump politician, riling up a crowd, getting them to cheer and toss their hats in the air, clambering for more.  He is snake oil salesman, evangelical big tent preacher, and auctioneer all rolled up into one. 

His policies are simple and unchanged from those of the first conservative president in modern electoral history Ronald Reagan.  Reagan was for small government, low taxes, less regulation, a firm embrace of the freedoms of the Bill of Rights, and a militant patriotism.  He was a respectful, self-confident, quiet but assured president - a man with a devilish sense of humor who never varied from his principles and moral code.  His missteps are well known, tangled as he got in the weeds of Foggy Bottom, but his principles were sound.


If deconstructed, parsed, and subjected to rigorous exegesis - i.e. cutting through the hyperbole, wild accusations, and free and easy handling of the facts - Trump's principles are no different. 

The Democratic mantra - tyrant, anti-democratic insurrectionist felon - simply has no resonance because Trump supporters know - as legal experts are coming to acknowledge - that his New York trial was a travesty of justice, a political witch hunt, and a stain on the judicial system.  They know that January 6th was not a coup, but a grab-bag of Viking helmeted, face-painted deep woods crazies come to Washington to cause trouble.  They know that the election of 2020 was not stolen from Trump but his way of counter-attacking the unfounded, ad hominem charges leveled against him since he rose to political prominence.  

He is no racist, homophobe, or misogynist nor was the election stolen.  These claims are par for the course of political scurrility.  Look only to past presidential elections for mudslinging, catcalls, and ridiculous claims. 

How, asks the Left in all sincerity, could this demonic, soulless, exploitative, amoral character get even one vote How could a man with the morals of an animal, a showman with no sense of honesty, sincerity, or obligation ever have been elected President? 

The question can only be asked by those who have never looked beyond the Potomac. The American people, are not the stupid, unwashed, backwoods hillbillies the Left claims.  They are not taken in by the devil, Trump, but have already shed any vestige of the supposed 'truth' of the Left.  They, like Browning, Durrell, Kurosawa, and thousands of defense attorneys know that there is not such thing as the truth, fact, objective reality but a miasma of differing perceptions.  

Worst of all say Trump supporters, is that in this relativistic, progressively virtual world the Left insists on not only saying that there is such a thing as the truth, but that they have it. 

Despite the caterwauling of the Left and their attempts to cast Trump as the Devil, the former president is poised (June 2024) to win the election.  Enough voters have gotten, understood, and embraced his fundamental messages and dismissed contrary claims; and have dismissed the tired, shopworn, desperate mantra of the opposition. 

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