Y'know. Since the RNC is about to have their convention in my town it seems that I may as well have comments on recent events.
Generally I'm pretty straightforward about my political leanings - politics is a method of obfuscating & institutionalizing class struggle. The Rule of Law is a system for enslaving the many to the few. Pow - that's it. So, yeah, I'm pretty strongly persuaded by Marx but not very interested in joining up with his contemporary disciples owing to their true-believer eeriness. Distrust Orthodoxies! That's the right choice. Pow.
But the Republicans are coming to town & it looks like Donald Trump will be their guy. Here's the other facts that relate to me - I obsessively follow current events and spend most of my time on the internet reading the news a lot of news. I'm pretty bummed out that Al-Jazeera America has signed off- they were great. I don't have a great source anymore- maybe I'll go back to NPR? Maybe. So that's like, a disclosure - something that maybe I don't go into here. But I try to stay up on events and I have strong interests in the developments breaking out all over the place.
I don't think Donald Trump is racist. I think that's the call that's been put forward & it's one that seems like it will stick - owing to his acceptance of the Klan and his broad claims about Arabs & Latinos. It makes sense to say he's racist because it sure sounds like he is. But here's what I know about salespeople and entertainers - they have to talk a lot, they have a lot of time to fill. AM radio needs their mattress salesmen to be able to talk for 3-4 hours a day, straight. And the truth is, there's just not that much to say - you end up making all kinds of crazy statements when your job is to talk all the time. In the same way that you don't get in car wrecks when you don't drive - you don't end up saying offensive nonsense if you aren't constantly in the public eye.
Y'know - I mean, Donald Trump is certainly racist. But I seriously doubt that the racism attributed to him has that 19th century tone that even contemporary racists often shy away from. I mean that Donald Trump probably doesn't really think about race very much because it's insignificant to his lived experience. I think Donald Trump says intensely offensive things because the people he is talking to want him to. And I think he says moderate, inconsequential things because the people he's talking to want him to.
Sales right? I was a salesman long enough to know these things - you agree with the people you are talking to, you tell them what they want to hear and then you tell them that you're going to take care of them. You talk endlessly to lead people toward the conclusions that you want them to come to - namely - that they should buy something from you. Sales is a devoutly agnostic profession - the salesman is as religious or as progressive or as reactionary as the person he's selling to. That's how the job is done.
I think Donald Trump looked at the country and the demographics within it. He saw the course of the American right- he saw poor people voting in droves to make their workplaces worse & their environments worse & their schools worse & their prospects worse. He saw half the country skipping amiably into the slaughterhouse (so to speak) and he saw that it was religious leaders & mattress salesmen leading them there & I think that these were, to him, challenges.
I think Donald Trump is famous as a salesman & he's famous as an entertainer. I think he's got enough ego in the game that he probably sees preachers & radio presenters & talk show hosts as his actual competitors. I think that he saw an entire population of Suckers and he thought to himself...
Here's the vision that I conjure. There is a window in a high building in a big city. The man looks out this window but doesn't see the city , he sees his reflection superimposed on the long view. His television is blaring and he hears the grating voices of people trying to sell him car insurance & beer. These are interruptions on the program that he has actually tuned into - his own. He is irritated that there are other people, sharing his time-slot, advertisers. He takes their money but is displeased. Every moment of his program should be devoted to selling what he wants to sell. To that end he struggles to create different products, different services that he can sell. He struggles - but the reflection in the window is translucent, it doesn't stop being transparent & he can see the city and the far horizon seeping through. He is failing to superimpose himself thoroughly over the world. It is starting to get to him. And then there is the final insult. The president has a message, he comes on the television to tell about something that is supposed to be important. The fucking president. "This guy", thinks the man, thinks Trump, "couldn't sell water in a desert." He's pre-empted, the reflection on the glass of the high window in the big city fades, he sees too much of the world and not enough of it has his name on it. The president, that nitwit, he's just making it all worse - and he's not even really selling anything. He's? just talking? What about? War? This is the point where the salesman decides that he'll have to put an end to the President's bullshit. Pre-empting me? Not even a good pitch. Garbage.
There's a built in population of suckers & rubes who'll believe anything you say if you tell them that they're great. That's what church is all about right? They're wrong & you're right, you're so right that you will be rewarded forever & they will be punished forever, that's how wrong they are and how right you are. You're so fucking right that we built this huge building to get everyone who's right in the specific way that you're right together. Big buildings for people who are fucking geniuses of being right - that shit is expensive dear congregant - it's expensive as balls & you'd better give till it hurts because that's a big part - not the main part, but probably the biggest part, probably the main part - but not the really main part about being right. The main part about being right is that there really needs to be an amusement park about being right. We should build the fuck out of an expensive amusement park - just for people like you who are right. And y'know - if you thought this big ass church was expensive you won't believe how much you're going to need to give me to build an amusement park!
So yeah. That's what I think. I think Trump is politically agnostic, I think he's about as racist as the person sitting across the table from him with too much money in his wallet. I think he's only as doctrinaire as the audience of the moment.
The thing that I really wonder though - the thing that worries me is that I just don't know if Donald Trump just wants to win, for the sake of winning - I mean, that's certainly a real goal of those people who see life as a competition. Maybe he just wants to win, above all, and then he'll slump through half a term & get impeached for... Oh, just everything. Or maybe, and this is the more troubling possibility - he is really The ArchSalesman and his goal is the looting of the country - that his aspirations are to super-aggressively enrich himself. That's what you get when you win, as a salesman, you get paid right? So I wonder what the commission is on selling the world. That's it.