The Donald Trump Show (American Distress)

Detail of image via Trump campaign.

“Yes, Antonin Scalia’s passing meant the Supreme Court was down one justice, but it doesn’t take a mathematician to know 3 + 1 does not equal 5.”

Steve Benen

The thing about politics right now is that everything is really, really depressing. I’m deathly sick of Donald Trump, yet the question persists: How did this happen?

Nor do I mean that in any context suggesting plaintive puzzlement. We all have a reasonable idea how the abdication of civic leadership in the context of public service struck the Republican Party so low after decades of pandering to ill-educated bigotry.

Donald Trump saying something stupid really shouldn’t be headline news. It shouldn’t be anything unusual. It shouldn’t be anything the rest of us have any reason to give a damn about. Then again, just how the hell did Republicans find themselves with Donald Trump as their presidential nominee apparent?

Oh, right.

So, here’s the thing:

“We have thousands of people standing outside trying to get in, and they’re great people and they have such spirit for the country and love for the country, and I’m saying, you know, ‘Why am I not doing better in the polls?’ And I’ve noticed the polls are coming up,” Trump said. “But you know, you have to understand, your show, no, but many shows it’s just a constant hit from mainstream media, no matter what you do, it’s always a negative.”

(Gass; boldface accent added)

Does anybody really wonder?

This is the quandary: To the one, somebody stop me. To the other, look what the British had to do to earn their nomination for the Greatest Show on Earth; the Donald Trump Show really is a spectacle hitherto unseen, and hopefully unique―we should never do this again.

The thought that Mr. Trump will never be president is worth some comfort, but I liked the Republican pandering more when it was Bill Maher’s punch line about free beer, no taxes, and vagina trees. We have plenty of reasons to reflect on questions of “democracy” about political party processes, but Republicans really have demonstrated the problem of pandering to mob rule.

Remember that the voter dissatisfaction we hear so much about, the widespread unhappiness with the way things are going in these United States, is not uniform in nature. The most general observable difference is that liberals are unhappy with a lack of sufficient progress, while conservatives are pitching fits about what progress our society has accomplished.

And this is an important difference.


Image note: Detail of image via Trump campaign.

Benen, Steve. “Trump flunks Supreme Court arithmetic”. msnbc. 30 June 2016.

Gass, Nick. “Trump: ‘Why am I not doing better in the polls?'”. Politico. 30 June 2016.

Sainato, Michael. “Debbie Wasserman Schultz Served Class Action Lawsuit for Rigging Primaries”. The New York Observer. 30 June 2016.

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