Friday, 26 February 2016

Donald Trump for President

boingboing helpfully linked me to a Rolling Stone piece about Donald Trump's presidential run. It's an absolute treat to read, with brilliant turns of phrase like, "Cruz certainly has an odd face – it looks like someone sewed pieces of a waterlogged Reagan mask together at gunpoint," and many more. It was also offered a lot of insight into Trump.

This piece gave me a lot to think about. One thing I missed - and I can't believe I missed it - is that a lot of people support Trump just because the media tells them not to. But also it let me in on all of the Donald Trump quotes you don't normally hear. The ones about NAFTA being a failure, Iraq being a failure based on lies, insurance companies and drug companies being given semi-monopolistic powers.

For me, Donald Trump is an absolute no go because he is a huge racist who might credibly start another holocaust-like event. That is more important than everything else. Putting myself in the mind of the people at those rallies, though, and the people that other boingboing commenters have described as Trump supporters, it occurs to me: If you had to vote between 1) living in a colonialist-Africa-style kleptocracy where the lucky ones get sub-living wage jobs growing cash crops and the rest are totally dispossessed; 2) living in a racist-fascist society where there were jobs and wages and food on the table but an identifiable group you don't belong to were made to suffer; which would you vote for? And before you answer, do you really think that racism isn't a problem in (1)?

And that sounds too stark; Rubio isn't literally going to make America into scenario 1; and I don't think Trump will be able to have enough influence to quite do scenario 2 either. But look at Trump's apocalyptic rhetoric - $300B lost on bad drug prices? 40% unemployment? And plenty of people I know half-joke that this election seems like the end of America - I'm one of them.

Trump isn't just a magnet for overt racists who like his racism. And that explains why his demographics are as they are - as if it's just people selected at random from the population. People point out that 35% of the Republican primaries translates to a very small percentage of the electorate, but it his national favourability is also around 35%. That's about the portion</abbr> of Americans who believe that if the plutocrats have eight more years there will be nothing left of America to salvage and that it is worth doing <i>anything</i> to avoid that.<br /> <br /> I certainly think that Sanders is the answer, but I can forgive people for thinking Trump is better than <abbr title="Is Rubio great on race? he's probably exactly as racist as his donors tell him to be, plus a little for himself">Rubio</abbr>. What I do see, though, is that the establishment candidates and their masters seem to think that this is a war they can win. Winnow the field and Rubio will beat Trump and... what? Those 35% of people who think America is doomed will change their minds? There will be more of them next election and more next election.<br /> <br /> Geologists can predict earthquakes on a geological timetable. They know when an earthquake is coming - within the next 100,000 years, say - and they know it will be big. And they also know that the longer it takes, the bigger it will be. Political timelines are a lot shorter. Trump's presidency would be somewhere in the 8.0-9.0 range. If we have to wait another 8 or 12 or 16 years, America might get a president that will physically rip the country in half.

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