They can’t POSSIBLY elect T. Rump, can they?

Finding a new planet to live on might then become a real option.

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Splendid but depressing piece by Paul McGeough this morning:

After 12 years in the business of winnowing truth from falsehood, Factchecker.org claims that Trump is utterly in a league of his own – “he stands out not only for the sheer number of his factually false claims, but also for his brazen refusals to admit error when proven wrong”.

Trump had the nerve to demand an apology from the fact checkers who debunked the “US Muslims celebrate 9/11” lie.

Usually, Factchecker.org honours the lie of the year. But such was Trump’s performance in 2015 that, for the first time, they recognised the liar above any particularly egregious untruth, bestowing on Trump the title King of Whoppers.

One of the more memorable descriptions of the Trump style of political speech came from commentator George Will – “think of a drunk with a bullhorn, reading aloud James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake underwater”.

See also Thomas Frank, Millions of ordinary Americans support Donald Trump. Here’s why.

The man is an insult clown who has systematically gone down the list of American ethnic groups and offended them each in turn. He wants to deport millions upon millions of undocumented immigrants. He wants to bar Muslims from visiting the United States. He admires various foreign strongmen and dictators, and has even retweeted a quote from Mussolini. This gold-plated buffoon has in turn drawn the enthusiastic endorsement of leading racists from across the spectrum of intolerance, a gorgeous mosaic of haters, each of them quivering excitedly at the prospect of getting a real, honest-to-god bigot in the White House…

Stories marveling at the stupidity of Trump voters are published nearly every day. Articles that accuse Trump’s followers of being bigots have appeared by the hundreds, if not the thousands. Conservatives have written them; liberals have written them; impartial professionals have written them. The headline of a recent Huffington Post column announced, bluntly, that “Trump Won Super Tuesday Because America is Racist.” A New York Times reporter proved that Trump’s followers were bigots by coordinating a map of Trump support with a map of racist Google searches. Everyone knows it: Trump’s followers’ passions are nothing more than the ignorant blurtings of the white American id, driven to madness by the presence of a black man in the White House. The Trump movement is a one-note phenomenon, a vast surge of race-hate. Its partisans are not only incomprehensible, they are not really worth comprehending…

Now, I have no special reason to doubt the suspicion that Donald Trump is a racist. Either he is one, or (as the comedian John Oliver puts it) he is pretending to be one, which amounts to the same thing.

But there is another way to interpret the Trump phenomenon. A map of his support may coordinate with racist Google searches, but it coordinates even better with deindustrialization and despair, with the zones of economic misery that 30 years of Washington’s free-market consensus have brought the rest of America…

Update:

See Jim Belshaw’s Sunday Essay – Trump, Sanders and fascism in the US. See also Australian-born US resident Michael J Bayly:

On Friday, the threat of violent clashes forced Trump to cancel a Chicago rally.

The scenes in Chicago followed several weeks of violence at Trump rallies, in which protesters and journalists have been punched, tackled and hustled out of venues, raising concerns about security leading into the November 8 presidential election to replace Democratic President Barack Obama. The disturbances continued on Saturday at a Trump rally in Dayton, Ohio, where Secret Service officers scrambled to surround the candidate after a man rushed the stage.

This evening at The Wild Reed I share a compilation of progressive perspectives that seek to both describe and explain the deeply disturbing rise of Donald Trump…

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4 thoughts on “They can’t POSSIBLY elect T. Rump, can they?

  1. I read that McGeough piece yesterday and came away frustrated that there was no ‘Comments’ button. I have no particular regard for Trump – other than that he seems to be getting all the right people annoyed by his continuing candidacy – but I do think McGeough is just another in a long line of Trump critics who attack the messenger without once spending time on analysing why it is that his message resonates with a significant number of Americans. This is liberal (in the American sense) journalism at its worst; a cobbled together rehash of other journalists’ work stretching back to July last year – the overall consensus being “Trump is an idiot, and his supporters are idiots for supporting him”.

    And I find it ironic that McGeough lauds the rise of fact checking; wasn’t that always supposed to be the role of the press – present the facts? And this in a paper which has just sent on leave Paul Sheehan for his complete lack of fact checking in an article linking Muslims to rape.

    The other article you quote by Thomas Frank at least attempts to address the underlying ’causes of Trump’ and ends with a quite telling para”

    Yet still we cannot bring ourselves to look the thing in the eyes. We cannot admit that we liberals bear some of the blame for its emergence, for the frustration of the working-class millions, for their blighted cities and their downward spiraling lives. So much easier to scold them for their twisted racist souls, to close our eyes to the obvious reality of which Trumpism is just a crude and ugly expression: that neoliberalism has well and truly failed.

    That is something with which I can certainly agree.

  2. Pingback: Fairfax woes and a bit more on T Rump | Neil's Commonplace Book

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