By David Gornoski
You know what’s worse than Trump’s crass language and love for the poorly educated? Highly educated fools cawing on about the relative respectability of the other Serious candidates – as if using divisive language was more uncivilized than the bombs and sanctions that continue to sacrifice innocent foreign civilians for the duplicitous god of international order.
The Christian literary genre Apocalypse means to “unveil things previously hidden.” The advent of Donald Trump’s political rise serves as an unveiling of the hidden violence and vulgarity of the state.
“Since he self-funds his campaign, he is not beholden to any special interest groups, especially ones in the military-industrial complex. A real estate-focused businessman and TV reality show star, he has no stake in the neoconservative effort to subdue Russia and have Washington dominate the world,” says Donald W. Miller Jr., M.D.
Trump’s crude satire of the presidential election ritual is a mirror of the disgusting violence every voter is complicit in committing by supporting the one-party warfare-welfare-incarceration state. He turns the lights on during their fantasy programming, so they scapegoat him for their own sins.
Hating Trump isn’t about his platform; all the other candidates are just as violent or worse. It’s about keeping up with appearances. Social status.
For example, I’ve seen a lot people on social networks imitating the meme of how scary Trump rallies are. What I find more disturbing is how shallow their standard of scary is when they comparatively find comfort in the arms of respectable civilized rallies for candidates who have no problem drone striking and barbarically invading and sanctioning countries around the world. Have they seen neighbors mutilated by a missile for Machiavellian machinations? Forgive us Father – we know not what we do.
We’re more scared of associating with people who shop at Wal-Mart than hiring officials that carry out mass murder in our name.
The point isn’t Trump. It’s that the establishment doesn’t want their regularly scheduled programming interrupted. They don’t trust change agents – even authoritarian ones – messing up the smooth sailing suspension of disbelief they’ve managed to keep the TV viewers in for decades.
“Were he to win [Arkansas]. … Maybe I’ll start shopping permanently at Wal-Mart,” Trump declared before the recent Arkansas primary.
What the Serious Adult voters righteously freaking out about Trump don’t seem to get is that that right there is called satire. Trump is mocking pandering itself. The voters bashing him in favor of the respectable Cruz, Rubio and Clinton muppets have failed to get over their love of fantasy. They love being pandered to. They think it’s real. They willingly suspend their disbelief. So when someone comes along and turns the lights on during their favorite movie – “Serious Presidential Politics” – they can’t handle it and freak out.
Crude language and rhetorical scapegoating shouldn’t be glorified. But something is seriously deranged about placing it as an unprecedented evil far greater than the establishment candidates’ promise to continue violent warmongering and economic barbarism in Syria, Russia, Iraq, Yemen, and so on.
Why is it more noble to brutalize a country, like Kosovo or Libya as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supported, than to point out, as Trump did, that some concern is needed in preventing rape during mass undocumented migration from countries like Mexico where the age of sexual consent is 12? Sure, there should be a respectful way of talking about the matter so as to not broad-brush millions of peaceful migrants, but I am astonished at the relative silence of the outrage mob concerning actual mass carnage and mayhem carried out by interventionists in both parties.
In other words, why is pledging to carpet bomb entire cities, as Cruz promises, given a pass by pro-life Christians while Trump’s braggadocio is seen as the end of the world?
The answer is clear: There is a sacredness to the business of the state. Nietzsche is often cited as saying the sacred is whatever you’re not allowed to laugh at in a culture. Trump’s vulgar humor and transparent machismo is too profane to be allowed in the hallowed halls of state power by the state’s most seduced fans: so-called mainstream Democrats and Republicans. His unapologetic self-focus rips the veneer of the state’s respectability wide open.
The establishment’s usual candidates are not concerned with you. They are self-interested, envious, power-obsessed humans just like us. What politicians continue to do with such an unchallenged monopoly of power as Washington affords is disgusting. It’s shameful.
Scapegoating Trump will not erase our shame. Hiding state violence under the cover of politically correct speech codes will not, either. We need only to desire collective repentance – a changing of our minds – for the violence we commit against our neighbors.