Donald Trump’s rant at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona yesterday is creating a ton of disbelief, even outrage in media circles. It demonstrates, the consensus goes, that Trump is not fit to be President.

What, again? In just the Charlottesville incident, Trump had already demonstrated that, twice. First when he veered off the carefully scripted remarks on his teleprompter to add the palliating interjection “on many sides… on many sides”. Then again when he rebelled at being made to read an unequivocal statement of condemnation and, first chance he got, veered off the development track at his New York press conference to defend the racists and denounce the protestors. Why does it take a repeat performance in Arizona to convince anyone of the blindingly obvious?

This is now fully in rinse/repeat mode. Trump does something batshit. Cue outrage. The White House tries to contain the damage. Trump breaks free of his handlers. Cue more outrage. And so on, ad Infinitum — the issues change, the pattern never does.

So no, there is nothing about Phoenix to outrage about. At least, there is nothing new to outrage about — the Trump of yesterday is the same Trump who kicked off his campaign by calling Mexicans rapists, the first salvo in a series of racist, misogynistic, bigoted remarks that no right-thinking person could possibly condone.

What I find hard to believe is the crowd that surrounded him in Phoenix. As Trump deliberately distorts the case against him, as he portrays himself as the wronged party by fudging his own public words, watch how they nod in agreement, watch how they cheer.heer, applaud, n

Surely they had seen the “many sides” clip too? Surely they knew — as anyone who is not clinically brain dead would know — that he was lying through omission? So how do they smile, and cheer, and endorse a pathological liar?

Is it that they have invested so heavily of themselves in the dream Trump sold them that they cannot now turn apostate, without risking the loss of their self-esteem? And how does this map to events in India, where the powers that be have a large, active cheering squad ready to shield them from their follies, to attack anyone who dares criticize them?

Trump is a walking talking Rorschach Test. We look at him — and what we really see is ourselves.




3 thoughts on “Trumpkins

  1. “…that they cannot now turn apostate…”
    So true. It amazes me to see the kind of adulation and defense, *even* in Whatsapp groups of old college friends. And, it is not limited to education, social status, money or the carrier path.
    I have been ostracized from these groups, not that I am complaining, and these folks just lap up every lie again and again!
    I have never seen such an effect ever in India before. Though, I would think, that Pt. Nehru would have had this effect when he became PM in late 40s.

  2. Prem,

    Do the American voters really have a choice in elections ? Is a choice between R and D, a real choice ? In 2016, the people didn’t think they had a real choice and some people stayed home. Lot of people disappointed with Obama, voted for Trump. (And R always cheat in elections.)

    A real choice would have been between Trump and Bernie. But the DNC fixed the primary. How is it a democracy when the primary is fixed ? Did you read this: ?


    • About choice, you could argue that historically, that is the case in two-party systems, but if you include the primary process (which is integral to the whole), the voters are spoilt for choice. In any case, that is how it is.

      About 2016, I have been reading all I can find (a new book by Jared Yates Sexton is what I am reading right now), and yes, a whole heap of things went awry: Clinton carries too much baggage (as any politician would after four, five decades in public life); she did not have what it takes to take Trump on head-on (except in one debate, where she needled him into losing it); the campaign made a lot of silly choices in where to expend time and money and in the process missed out on key states altogether; a Warren or a Sanders would have been far better choices but the DNC had its finger on the scales for Clinton all along; rigging happened; the media did its bit giving Trump zillions of dollars worth of free publicity and puffing him up; no one really read the simmering anger in key parts of the country… the list of mis-steps is endless.

      And so we end up with someone certifiably insane, in the most powerful elected office in the world. What to do?

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