Sunday, May 8, 2016

Shock and Awe, Part Two

It is his version of shock and awe. Donald Trump stumbled onto something with his damning of Mexicans and has turned that moment into a movement, catapulting him to heights even he never anticipated.

He tried this before, centering a potential run for the presidency on the illegitimacy not of millions but of one. With his fictional Birther controversy, Mr. Trump captured the hearts of those privately seething at the thought of a black man with a foreign sounding name telling them how their country should function.

And while, after far more than 15 minutes in the spotlight, Mr. Trump faded in the last election cycle, he must have sensed that outrageous and outrage were nearly intersecting.

Four years later, four years further disenchanted with their own leaders as well as with a Democratic party they hated with ever greater passion, the discouraged and distressed were ready, willing and Mr. Trump was able to complete his and their break from any semblance of political orthodoxy. 

With each new foray into the abyss, with each demand that our borders be closed to Muslims or their neighborhoods policed, his call for our allies to pay a ransom for our assistance, his threat to tariff our way into new jobs, with each hyperbolic statement unmoored from facts or logic, he became ever more ascendant. For now it was time, his time, and with his innate understanding of what makes for compelling entertainment, he captured what was being handed to him on a silver platter.

He destroyed those who were living in a universe of rules which no longer applied, who were bewildered and befuddled by a language they were unable to speak. Mr. Trump stood alone, ready to reconstruct a collapsed building. 

Mr. Trump is a hat with a logo, a genius at marketing, at the art of the con. He has spent a lifetime readying himself for today. And when he sensed the weakness, when he could denigrate with impunity, when he could fuel the anger without repercussion, when he could brand Bush as low energy, Fiorina as ugly, Cruz as a liar, Rubio as an unprepared baby, the king of image making was on his home turf. 

Now he stands alone, a product whose time has come. Donald Trump, master manipulator, now the master of his party.


Anonymous said...

Well said, as always.


Michael Gansl said...

Trump is a sign of of our times. We are a divided nation. There is no center for now. Sanders on the left, Trump on the other side (not necessarily the right), have caught the imagination and absolute dissatisfaction that so many people feel, and who have found the spokespeople in both Sanders and Trump to say what they want to hear, loud and clear, without any political correctness. However, both Trump and Sanders for now still represent small segments of then population. We shall see what this election campaign from June to November will bring. No doubt it will be the dirtiest campaign in modern times!