Remember Pat Paulsen? The comedian who ran for President from 1968 thru 1996. How about Pee Wee Herman, aka actor Paul Reubens whose Pee Wee’s Playhouse was shut down after he was arrested for an alleged minor public transgression purportedly involving his genitals and a dark movie house. He’s currently on the comeback trail. Of course we remember washed up actors Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger who both went on to become governors, one of them all the way to the Presidency thanks to the OPEC oil embargo, the Iranian hostage crises and a killer rabbit. Throw in Cliven Bundy, the crazy anti-government welfare rancher or Kanye West the narcissistic hiphop rappa-ego-maniacal self-proclaimed genius and world-savior. What’s the point of mentioning these doofus goofs? Donald Trump. I wouldn’t be more shocked, surprised and perplexed if any of these…Pat (gods rest his squirrelly soul) Pee Wee, Cliven, Arnold or Kanye were on track to actually, truly, really, holy-shit-gawds-save-us, become the Republican nominee for President than I am that a racist, misogonist, (fill-in the operative pejorative) New York City billionaire real estate con man might actually become President of the U. S. of A. (When Reagan was elected President I had to drag myself to a window the morning (in America) after the election to see if the sun would actually appear…to my dismay and shock, it did).
Current analysis has it that Trump’s emergence is the simple result of the buzzards coming home to feast on the carrion of the 1960s-born Republican “Southern Strategy” roadkill. That SS emerged from the traditional Democrat south and American white suburban resentment of the Civil Rights and voting rights acts, demise of Jim Crow politics all encouraged by “dog whistle ” coded language used so effectively by Reagan, et al…states rights, welfare queens, busing and later the cultural issue weapons of GGGG — God, Guns, Grizzlies & Gays. The once Democrat racist south transgendered and traded places with the anti-segregationist republican “party of Lincoln.”
Although accurate, this analysis is incomplete. With the election of Obama in 2008 we were supposedly on the brink of a post-racial era, one in which America finally came to grips with its racist past and began to accept and embrace its destiny as a multi-cultural multiracial nation with equal rights and opportunities for all. We certainly pulled back from that brink, didn’t we. Way back. But now Trump’s emergence as the de-facto leader of the Republican Party begs further analysis, as Trump himself might say, “until we can figure out what’s going on here.” So what is going on here? His identification and exploitation of the Angry Man keys his success. Who are these Angry folks? Sure, some are the defeated diehard leftovers of the Sixties cultural wars. But on reflection Trump, and Bernie Sanders to a similar degree, seem to have tapped into a fracked-up vein of noxious volatile gas festering just below the surface bubbling up to an unaccommodating landscape of gigs instead of real jobs, unindustrialized service economies, jobs outsourced to foreign labor markets, outdated skill sets, down-sized efficiency-ized work forces
Uberized, Amazoned and App’ed.
Of course Trump doesn’t really understand these forces, he just blunders and thunders into the space created by them. Like the old P-Funk lyric “huffin’ and puffin’ you ain’t doin’ nuthin’,” Trump is good at thrusting and hustling but short-fingered on delivering any satisfactory solutions. Instead of answers Trump responds with brags. “Believe me, America will be the greatest because I’m the biggest, the best, the richest, my wife the most beautiful, my steaks the tastiest, my books the best best sellers, my clothes the most stylish, my shoes the shiniest, my hair the orangiest, my teeth the whitiest, my tan the tanniest, my hotels the swankiest, my kids the smartiest, my awesomeness the most awesomiest, my torturing will be the most beautifully painful, my wall the highest, my name-calling the most horribliest, my insults the most egregious…(looking at you, Pope Francis & Mother Theresa…) my Blacks, Hispanics and Muslims love me more than their children….” The more egregious the lies and brags the more people believe, or at least ignore them.
How could this happen in America? I just don’t get it. Really, just what is going on here, anyway?
I tried to generate a world class, best ever anagram for the best name in the world, Donald Trump. My favorites: Damn turd pol. Damp old runt.