The Trump Supporter

When standing at the Pearly Gates, I’ll probably pay for drawing more attention to the RNC, Republican Narcissist Candidate, but since we’re stuck with him for the time being, I’m risking it.

From Who Are All These Trump Supporters? by The New Yorker’s George Saunders*:

The Trump supporter comes out of the conservative tradition but is not a traditional conservative. He is less patient: something is bothering him and he wants it stopped now, by any means necessary. He seems less influenced by Goldwater and Reagan than by Fox News and reality TV, his understanding of history recent and selective; he is less religiously grounded and more willing, in his acceptance of Trump’s racist and misogynist excesses, to (let’s say) forgo the niceties.

As for Trump’s uncivil speech—the insults, the petty meanness, the crudeness, the talk about hand size, the assurance, on national TV, that his would-be Presidential dick is up to the job, his mastery of the jaw-droppingly untrue personal smear (Obama is Kenyan, Ted Cruz’s dad was in cahoots with Lee Harvey Oswald, U.S. Muslims knew what was “going on” pre-Orlando), which he often dishonorably eases into the world by attaching some form of the phrase “many people have said this” (The world is flat; many people have said this. People are saying that birds can play the cello: we need to look into that)—his supporters seem constitutionally reluctant to object, as if the act of objecting would mark them as fatally delicate. Objecting to this sort of thing is for the coddled, the liberal, the élite. “Yeah, he can really improve, in the way he says things,” one woman in Fountain Hills tells me. “But who gives a shit? Because if he’s going to get the job done? I’m just saying. You can’t let your feelings get hurt. It’s kind of like, get over it, you know what I mean? What’s the big picture here? The big picture is we’ve got to get America back on track.”

The ability to shrug off the mean crack, the sexist joke, the gratuitous jab at the weak is, in some quarters, seen as a form of strength, of “being flexible,” of “not taking shit serious.” A woman who wilts at a sexist joke won’t last long in certain workplaces. A guy who prioritizes the sensitive side of his nature will, trust me, not thrive in the slaughterhouse. This willingness to gloss over crudeness becomes, then, an encoded sign of competence, strength, and reliability.

Above all, Trump supporters are “not politically correct,” which, as far as I can tell, means that they have a particular aversion to that psychological moment when, having thought something, you decide that it is not a good thought, and might pointlessly hurt someone’s feelings, and therefore decline to say it.

And an especially interesting and insightful analysis of the man and myth by the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer,”Trump’s Boswell Speaks“.

And some much needed levity.

* Thanks DC.

4 thoughts on “The Trump Supporter

  1. Trump doesn’t want to be President of the U.S. He wants to be CEO for life of the U.S., because as we all know CEOs only have to answer to handful of wealthy board members who only want their CEO to keep the money coming their way. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of the gullible who support him would also respond like the lady from Fountain Hills even after they discovered the truth. “Who gives a shit?”

  2. Schwartz, the real author of The Art of the Deal (second link), makes a similar point. Says he’s only interested in the attention being Prez brings. Feels too much like a dystopian novel.

  3. CNN, with the ’round the clock Trump show, is the best entertainment around these days. But you might notice, some of us aren’t laughing. As many are realizing, it is beyond funny, beyond scary, beyond belief, but not beyond possible. That’s what frightens the h…out of us!

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