Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Chauncey Gardiner, President

Is it Trump's ideas or the idea of Trump that is the appeal? As Trump's thoughts are but enigma, borne not of intellectual pursuit but sleepless nights, it is hard for any diligent observer to weave a cohesive and coherent pattern from his mental peregrinations.
Maybe, owing to the lack of core, those who find merit in Trump create their own logic to his words. We have been advised that voters took him seriously but not literally, and recently we were informed by a member of his transition committee that Trump should not be taken literally but symbolically. In the huge space that exists between what he says and what we say that means seems to lie the very essence of a non-ideology ideology.
Trump is Chauncey Gardiner, full of statements without meaning that others infuse with a seriousness that does not exist, or at least did not exist without straining every muscle in one's brain to the point of exhaustion. And so some Republican intellectuals try to fit Trump's round peg into a square hole, convincing themselves that there is something of substance brewing behind the incoherent  tweets and the teleprompter speeches.
But in the final analysis, as in the final words to your article uttered by Mark Bauerlein, I fear that all of us, supporters and foes alike, will have to "suck it up" and deal with the uncertainties and inconsistencies of a President making it up on the fly.


Anonymous said...

Thank you. Your blog is quite a "Wow!" I read the attached New Yorker article and taken together they were really fascinating. I have never paid attention to the political universe and so all of this sound and fury about ideology is quite intriguing to me. I love your blogs. The only other blogs I have ever encountered were those my daughter published for several years, which were absolutely at the opposite end of the intellectual spectrum from yours. They were written by her dog who commented on his daily experiences from a canine's perspective. Wish he were still writing -- his thoughts on Trump and the election would have been a wonderful antidote to much of this. To the dog, everything was charmingly simple, nothing was "rocket science".

Thanks again.


Anonymous said...

Yep! Also, read David Brooks editorial “Preparing for Snapchat Presidency (NY Times).
I have thought from the start, he was just the “Wizard of OZ” and then in the next moment of panic, didn’t know what that actually meant for the country.

BTW Very good writing lately