The Irony of Trump’s Followers

Trump Stickers Truck

Last weekend I spoke to two white males who expressed enthusiasm for the Trump experiment. In both cases I declined to get into any in depth debate over the extreme idiocy of such a way of thinking, mainly because neither person struck me as open to argument or worth my time. I merely pointed out that, at the very least, I was unable to risk the government of the United States of America to a personage who had failed to give a single day of public service in their entire lives. You know, maybe if the governing bug hits you you should run for something lower than the leader of the free world, something like mayor, or congress, governor maybe, see if you have the knack before you go for the brass ring.

In both cases their response was something along the lines of “see what public service has gotten us so far?” or “yeah, like our current president.”  Hm, what?

In one case there was clearly little thought given to this, just the frustration and pettiness of someone who thinks that they should be further along in life and has an idea that things could be different and better, if… maybe a businessman… eh… end of thought.

The other admitted to being a libertarian who spouted the usual nonsense about running the country like a business, huge national debt, going to be like Greece any day now… hey Ted Cruz is my real favorite, although I know nothing he proposes would pass.  Oh yeah, one of those funny new libertarians who has no problem denying a woman’s dominion over her own body and asserts Christian dominionist theology.  Abolish the IRS and make it a church!!  He’d like that guy in the WH.  So why would I waste my breath arguing with that?

Trump sure has put together a curious coalition of addle-pated thinkers.  Between pseudo-libertarian business fetishists, resentful middle-aged racist/sexist/nationalists and cynical “they all suck so why not let it all burn down” nihilists, it’s quite a crew.

 Jamelle Bouie has a nice analysis in Slate that focuses on the restoration of the white hierarchy that Trump represents so well, so that even though he’s actually running against other white people, he sounds like he’s running against Obama all the time.

For some on the right, Trump is the grassroots response to Republican elites who have abandoned their working-class voters to the whims of laissez-faire capitalism. “[T]he Republican Party, and the conservative movement, offer next to nothing to working-class Trump supporters,” writes Michael Brendan Dougherty in the Week. “There are no obvious conservative policies that will generate the sort of growth needed to raise the standard of living for these working-class voters.”

I would also note the horrible irony that the justifiable anger out there about the government not doing anything to help working people, caused by the Republican party’s obstruction of everything Obama wanted to do to help them (see the JOBs Act, Infrastructure Bank, etc.), has been a large factor in the creation of Trump.  The success of the Republican establishment in convincing these know-nothings that Obama has been a radical president that gave the store away to black people and illegal immigrants, hasn’t actually inured to their benefit. The GOP plan to manufacture and cultivate cynicism that government doesn’t work and can’t achieve anything has convinced their own followers that they too need to go and we can only really trust outsiders with no credibility.

‘Cause the people with credibility have done so much for us, huh?

P.S. The Ted Cruz lover is convinced Hillary is going to jail. When I pointed out that that is highly unlikely and the Democrats are not worried about it at all, he said “well, nobody really knows.”  Another example of why the Fox News motto should be:

“Fox News, we make shit up and you spout it convincing people you’re an idiot.”

 

 

 

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