There a couple of things I don’t like about Taibbi’s take on the upcoming election. I’m uncomfortable with his tone–which at times seems to betray a barely-disguised admiration of Trump. I also don’t know how you reconcile accusing Dems of being Debbie Downers while making an exhaustive list of Trump’s most infuriating and disgusting characteristics and titling it “Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid.”
The average American likes meat, sports, money, porn, cars, cartoons, and shopping. Less popular: socialism, privilege-checking, and the world ending in 10 years. Ironically, perhaps because of Trump, Democratic Party rhetoric in 2020 is relentlessly negative about the American experience. Every speech is a horror story about synagogue massacres or people dying without insulin or atrocities at the border. Republicans who used to complain about liberals “apologizing for America” were being silly, but 2020 Democrats sound like escapees from the Killing Fields.
*Spiderman points at himself gif*
And–my god–I won’t even touch that “average American” shit with a hazmat glove on.
History will judge us harshly for this, and will look with particular venom at Trump’s political opponents in both parties, who over the years were unable to win popularity contests against a man most people would not leave alone with a decent wristwatch, let alone their children.
This would seem to be a voters problem and not so much a “politicians on both sides *jerk off motion*” problem. The meanest, dumbest man on the planet rode up on his giant clown bike, juggling shit and buckets of fried of chicken and 40 percent of the American people said “Yes. I’ll have that.”
Hate it say but Taibbi gets a lot right about our current political moment. I think he captures perfectly the fecklessness of Democrats and just general rank and file Dem voters (hi, I’m one of those!). Trump makes a puppy snuff film and and we fume and ask “Can you believe Trump murdered a puppy?!” and point to a list detailing the 5,793 lies he told on Wednesday and 40% of the country goes “So what?” And the media starts chasing his next scandal, probably something involving using endangered species for his Trump Grille taco bowls… And we all huff and puff and he and his supporters just sit back and laugh.
Nobody draws bigger catcalls than the “fake” news media. Trump knows this and pauses to let the bile rise. He expresses pleasure at being back in “the American heart land,” which he pronounces as if he’s just learned the term.
He then reflects on his 2016 run, when hordes of people turned out to send him to D.C., from places he, Trump, would never have visited, except maybe by plane crash.
“You came from the mountains and the valleys and the rivers, and, uh, you came for —” He seems to not know what comes after rivers. “I mean, look, you came from wherever you came from, and there were a lot of you.”
He ends up telling a story about early voting in Tennessee in 2016, and a congressman who told him if the whole country was voting like this, he was going to win by a lot. “And we won,” he says. “And we won by a lot.”
Press accounts will call this a lie, and of course it is, and even the crowd knows it. But they cheer anyway. In response, Trump stops and does his trademark stump flourish, turning sideways to flash his iguanoid profile before stalking around the lectern in resplendent, obese glory, inviting all to Get a load of me!
It’s indulgent, absurd, narcissistic, and appalling, unless you’re a Trump fan, in which case it’s hilarious, a continuation of the belly laughs that began in many parts of America with Hillary Clinton’s concession speech.
Trump crowds have changed. At the beginning of 2016, trying to pull quotes out of Trump rallies was like stopping a bunch of straight men who’d just whacked each other off behind a trailer. They didn’t want to talk about it.
As time progressed, the crowd’s profile widened. You met union members, veterans, and where it got weird was the stream of people who appeared to be neither traditional Republicans nor, seemingly, interested in politics at all. Among both young and old, people turned out who had no conception of Trump as anything but a TV star. This second group’s numbers seemed to have swelled.
It’s just that sometimes I get the feeling Taibbi’s laughing along with them.