‘The Donald’ Indicative Of Larger Sickness
The Donald Trump that most Americans knew for the past two decades or so would have been a logical pace car driver for the upcoming Indianapolis 500, the ceremonial role that organizers recently asked him to play.
He was America’s premier businessman-celebrity, a real-life version of Gordon Gekko — cocky, boastful, and obnoxious, but almost completely non-political. The controversies he’d stir were more the stuff of “Access Hollywood” — calling Rosie O’Donnell a “pig,” for instance — than “Meet the Press.”
I gave my take, which ended up so long I thought I’d make a post out of it.
I’ve had some people put me down for this but what Trump was selling seems like a modern day incarnation of what was popular for a long time - the racially tinged populism of Jesse Helms, George Wallace and Theodore Bilbo. Establishment conservatives shut this stuff up from Reagan through to Bush in hopes of making the Republican Party what Karl Rove called a “permanent majority party,” but the election of Barack Obama opened up festering anxieties about declining birthrates, Central American immigration and generally white fright. That racial anxiety isn’t strong enough to catapult anyone to the presidency (it never did even during worse times) but it is strong enough to turn the Republican Party into a wet, moist and smelly blob of racist goo.
So we can blame Fox News if we want but Trump’s blatant bigotry is just systematic of a larger long term derangement. A trip into the world of groups like Youth for Western Civilization and Alternative Right will illustrate this.