At the New Year, the good news about the mood of the polity is that it’s increasingly fed up with business as usual in Washington. The bad news is that a good portion of it is increasingly enamored of business as usual as directed from Trump Tower.
Polls tell us that every time Donnie Trump (I can’t understand why no one in the media call him Don or Donnie) tells another big fat lie or says something imbecilic and/or loutish, his numbers go up. Who could have imagined that America has so many patrons for the sort of expression usually featured on the walls of toilet stalls?
Like most Americans, the Trumpen element are not exactly policy wonks. They know little and care less about how our political economy works. They just know they’re getting screwed by it. And, as is unfortunately still acceptable in our society, they blame those poorer and darker than themselves for their woes.
Being puerile among nations, Americans have yet to outgrow their dupability. They’ve been told for eons that the rich are to be envied and emulated, and that private business does everything better than government. They note that Trump is a super rich private businessman with a pushy personality so they figure he can not only solve the country’s problems but also amuse their inner louts by trashing politicians, minorities, Muslims, women, and the handicapped among others. In other words, he validates the good old American propensity to suck up and kick down. And we all know how much more enjoyable that is than observing the by now over done and increasingly ridiculous rules of ‘political correctness.’
You can try to explain things like Trumpism and tea baggery, but only so far. That’s because they don’t make sense. For instance, these yahoos claim to detest business-as-usual politicians for taking money and being beholding to the same fat cats they otherwise esteem. They damn the media as “liberal” despite the fact it was the robustly corporate and capitalist media that made Trump famous if not notorious.
They charge the government with being too big, bureaucratic and bossy, but salute the military, the biggest, most bureaucratic and bossiest part of the government. And no matter how many wars the Pentagon mob has lost and trillions it has seen stolen and/or wasted, they believe that Trump’s real estate and media management skills will soon have Field Marshal Trump, the Clauswitz of the croupier class, leading his dealers in victory parades past Caesar’s Palace.
Are there sufficient numbers of seething and guileless citizens to put Trump in the White House? I hope not. But rattling around in the back of my brain is a quote attributed to the curmudgeonly conservative Henry Mencken: “No one ever lost a dime underestimating the intelligence of the American people.”