At this time I was bogged down in home relocation chores. I was making carpentry, not noise, images or writing. But I found this little pile of paperclipped scraps – stuff jotted down during the course of the primary campaign.
August 7, 2015
Watching Trump closely I’m becoming convinced that he can win not only the nomination, but possibly the presidency as well. He’s the essential embodiment of American culture today: selfie narcissism, emotional outburst and ad hominem attack as communication medium, attitude vogueing, values based on quantification, a social/political worldview built on rejection by elites. Emotion-fueled grievance with designated scapegoats and no facts or historical data necessary. He’s the ultimate politician from news-as-entertainment media factory.
Can he win this thing? He has an impenetrable comeback for every criticism lobbed at him. Pure fantasy bullshit but his narcissism is so deeply pathological that he believes all of it. That belief in his lies wins every follow-up exchange. Everything he says is later revealed to be a lie but politicians are expected to lie. Since Watergate it’s been understood to be part of their job description. A personality type like Trump’s competing in an occupation built on lies will be hard to beat. He comes off as the only liar among a zoo full of liars who’s not sweating and stuttering when pressed for verification. Clinton isn’t seen as any more believable even among libs.
Against Hillary he’d seem to be another clueless strutter like W and everybody on all sides of the boat know that W’s utter cluelessness didn’t get in his way until it was way too late. What’s different now is that we seem to be in a moment of doubt about our future as a nation. Much like the post-Vietnam and Watergate years. Reagan succeeded in bringing back national confidence but he wouldn’t be convincing today. Too laid back. The hip hop culture of bragging and Benjamin-shuffling has long trickled down into the American mainstream. My fear is that the Right and much of the independent voting block will be captivated by Trumps’s braggadocio and Mussolini chin aerodyamics. And his left-leaning stated opinions on issues like taxing the wealthy and the toxic effect of money in politics – surely a pose – don’t seem to trouble his far Right base and just might create just enough what-the-hell votes from the Indies to pull this thing off.
The Clintons have always prioritized their comfort zones before all else but unlike Trump, I think they – or Hillary, at least – does truly care about people who are not herself. Trump is no less thin-skinned but instead of stuttering and stumbling through her well-deserved grilling, Trump just vogues down the runway popping back follow-up questions like tennis balls.
October 29, 2015
Ted Cruz is infuriating but he’s so easy loathe that he’s not a serious threat, despite an acknowledged intelligence of some kind and skill set in the occupation of getting oneself noticed. He can gunk up a system but except in rare cases his type is bound to alienate himself out of existence. Then again, Nixon was loathsome asshole with no social skills aside from inventive scapegoating. OK, I’m worried about Cruz.
Huckabee is downright depressing. I feel a sense of hopelessness in the face of someone who’s so sweet natured and humble while pathologically rigid and dismissive of everyone who disagrees with his worldview. He’s everywhere. It points out how intractable stupidity and arrogance are. Unlike a noisy psycho like Cruz, Huckabee is a guy you’d invite into your home and let him stick around awhile until you can feel you IQ numbers dipping. No, he’ll never represent more than 20-something percent of a national vote. He’s got all the ideological ducks in line but is too sweet to ignite rage. Rage is what motivates the Right. Cheerful retrograders might not win elections these days but they gain entry into every media sanctum.
September 17, 2015
I don’t know if I’m hallucinating. Trump looks so much like Mousolinni. It’s got to be intentional. And Cruz looks exactly like Joe McCarthy. No, it’s not one of those dumbster Hitler analogies. It’s not secret that Trump has an exalted sense of himself. He wears in his body language, specially when he does a little strut and puts his chin in the air. Like Mussolini. Add to that, some things he’s been saying that leaves an autocratic impression – there is a hint of the Moose. But nobody believes that he could ever get the trains to run on time.
Bush booked his flight 4years too late. Nice won’t get over any more.
The biggest surprise is realizing that someone can be a world reknown brain surgeon and know absolutely nothing about how the brain functions. Or anything else, for that matter. He comes off like an uneducated narcoleptic guy the Republicans found sleeping on the subway and stuck him in a suit to prove to the world they have a big tent. It’s not like an intelligent African-American was going to win the Republican nomination.
Oct. 29, 2015
All a Republican has to do to get laid is say, “I know it’s not politically correct… “ and be overheard insulting a journalist. A journalist, not a Fox News anchor.
After that first debate I stopped laughing about the Trump candidacy. My friends laugh at me when I say he might win the nomination. I’m kind of amazed that everybody out there in the media is still joking about his candidacy. I doubt, sort of maybe, that he’ll win the big one but… I don’t know. Something feels weird.
January 15, 2016
Watching Trump real closely I’m starting to think he’s the essential embodiment of American culture today: selfie narcissism, emotional outburst and ad hominem attack as communication medium, attitude vogueing, values based on quantification, social/political worldview based on emotion-fueled grievance with designated scapegoats and no facts or historical data necessary. He’s the ultimate politician from news-as-entertainment media factory.
Can he win this thing? Everything he says is a lie embedded in a pubescent tantrum but politicians are expected to lie as a matter of course. Is Clinton any more believable? This is real funny and real scary.
Carly Fiorina clearly has an edge on foreign policy. She knows how to say “Sixth Fleet.” Rubio is an overly-eager puppy. He should wait awhile before runnng for pres. Wait till after I die.
Feb 14, 2016
It’s absolutely astounding and terrifying to see what a pathological liar who knows all the cultural and linguistic memes of his audience can accomplish. His reflexive and transparent rope-a-dope lying – and then lying about having ever made the comment – is there for all to see but is taken as a kind of cuteness; an in-joke his fans will get instantly. But only a coastal egg-head will waste an afternoon researching and explaining it in a way that observes all the academia-mandated rules of grammer and rhetorical logic. Meanwhile in a primary debate their hero can just wing it get the target of his insult stuttering and sweating all over the mic.
Is this how it happens? A mindless clown we scoff at over coctails and two years later we’re in a labor camp.
I wish I had time to really write about all this. Unfortunate to be moving during this period with everything in storage.
Polar Levine, News Goo Dissection, 2015-16
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