You’ve got all these people with authority—or more accurate, a mix of social, political, and cultural capital—and their only skill is optics.
I’ve mentioned it before with relation to pundits: their “real” skill is being aesthetes interpreting political events as entertainment, brushing up against the actual stakes only periodically.
On a fairly regular basis in politics, a person with a grasp of rhetoric and the social control possible through impression management will convince themselves that ultimately, every other skill is subordinate to rhetoric, making the base assumption that ideas are a market, and capture of the mass imagination grants so much power that veracity is valueless. This is the other half of the death of expertise: the ascendance of verisimilitude and the imagineers who work in the medium. And the result…which we saw how Iraq…is that, yeah, it turns out that they don’t actually make reality, or control it. So then they move to step two—denying that there’s a relationship between their rhetoric and what happened because of their rhetoric—until it’s time to try again.
So here we are at “…again.” The deceivers who’ve been getting high on “we’re in control because we tell stories” don’t have any fucking back up plan, and this time around the particularly bloc are especially crude and especially invested in the idea that reality ain’t real. We’ve moved from straight grifters working rubes to something much more dangerous; to deep narcissists who lie and believe those lies, speaking to an audience who will just roll with the contradictions so they can feel good about themselves.
And that flight into unreality causes body counts, because…no…they never have to come back out, and those deeply committed to an unreality will die, kill, and let other people die.
I keep talking about how there’s a problem manifesting that’s deeper than politics, and this it. And it’s not just Trump, it’s everybody in the world buying and selling that rhetoric is truth.