Thursday, May 5, 2016

A very interesting perspective on Donald Trump


My political views are far from Camille Paglia's, but I always enjoy reading her incisive commentary on current events.  In an article for Salon today, she offered this perspective on Donald Trump.  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.

Trump has knocked the stilts out from the GOP establishment and crushed the pretensions of a battalion of political commentators on both the Left and Right. Portraying him as a vile racist, illiterate boob, or the end of civilization as we know it hasn’t worked because his growing supporters are genuinely motivated by rational concerns about border security and bad trade deals. Whether Trump, with his erratic impulses and gratuitous crudities, can morph toward statesmanship remains to be seen.

. . .

In their focus on Trump’s real-estate tycoon father, the media seem to have missed that the teetotaling Trump’s deepest connection was probably to his strong-willed, religious mother. Born in the stark, wind-swept Hebrides Islands off the western coast of Scotland (the next North Atlantic stop is Iceland), she was one tough cookie. She and her parents were Gaelic speakers, products of a history extending back to the medieval Viking raids. I suddenly realized that that is Trump’s style. He’s not a tribal Highlander, celebrated in Scotland’s long battle for independence from England, but a Viking, slashing, burning, and laughing at the carnage in his wake. (Think Kirk Douglas flashing his steely smile in the 1958 Hollywood epic, The Vikings.) Trump takes savage pleasure in winning for its own sake—an attribute that speaks directly to the moment, when a large part of the electorate feels that the U.S. has become timid and uncertain and made far too many humiliating concessions to authoritarian foreign powers like China, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

There's more at the link.

That's not a bad description of the way Mr. Trump has conducted himself - or, at least, developed his public persona - during the campaign thus far.  What's next?  And will Hillary be able to offer any effective counter to the "pillage, then burn" antics of her opponent?

It's going to be an interesting Presidential election campaign . . .

Peter

12 comments:

GEBIV said...

"Interesting" as in the Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times.

LastRedoubt said...

Given that Hillary is so self-unaware that she is effectively producing campaign ads for Trump when trying to be anti-Trump....

Quartermaster said...

It will be an interesting 4 years if he wins, and I think he will. It won't be the walkover a lot of Trumpkins think it will be, though.

The problem we have now, however, is that the patient is very, very sick, and a lot of stuff needs to be done now, and simply dealing with trade and immigration is not enough. Frankly, if Trump is supposed to be the answer, then no one has heard the question.

There has never been a chance that some messiah will be found through the ballot box, and this election places that in bold italics and underlined.

Odysseus said...

My feelings are that I don't think Trump understands Maxim One, there's a fairly sizeable chunk of the non-progressive electorate that feel's pretty burnt after this primary campaign. And I don't think even the threat of the slim difference between New York elitists is going to be enough to get people to actually vote for him.

I suppose we will see come November.

Glenn Hogg said...


'I'm of Viking stock...I Like pillage and Berserking. Bring it on Donald, and by Thor may you prevail! And bring the skin of the Old Hag to our long house to pi@# on.

Rolf said...

The old maxim of "pillage, then burn," is true most of the time. But when you are dealing with rot and plague, a bit of sterilization by fire might be just what the doctor ordered. The nation is sick. It's too late for a gradual approach. But boy, ripping that band-aid off is going to be painful.

Anonymous said...

The Republican Establishment (RE) STILL hasn't come to the realization that Republican voters chose Trump for a reason. They vote Republican because they want legislation passed that does not match the opposing party. For the most part, the past eight years the Republicans have coasted. Its not enough to say "No" - the Republicans didn't push their agenda hard enough.

The RE had quite a few choices of for the voters to choose from - they chose Trump.

Jonathan H said...

While I don't know what to expect, or if Trump will even win the election, the one thing I know is that this fall, and likely the next 4 years, will NOT be 'business as usual'!
One good thing that will happen if he gets elected is that people will stop claiming the D & R are all the same.
I agree that there are many people who are tired of wimpy, whining government and who want to see a robust, even pushy, foreign policy that doesn't take getting pushed around by foreign governments.
People have been saying for years that the government needs to run like a business; if he gets elected we'll see if doing that is any better.

Ragnar The Bold said...

RAPE the women, STEAL the cattle, KILL the men, and BURN the huts. And let's get it RIGHT this time, you morons!

mainelikeitornot said...

The major unknown at this point is, are we seeing "the real Trump" or has he successfully concealed the persona that will emerge if he is elected? The one true political party that runs this country (The incumbent Party -consisting of both Democrats and Republicans) is nearing panic stage because of their unwillingness to recognize the deep dissatisfaction that motivates a majority of the voters in America and leads them to gravitate to polarized extremes. Trump has them in the position that he as a businessman professes to prefer, between a rock and a hard place. Whether or not he begins to commence negotiations with the political establishment may provide us with an insight into his intentions.

timothy richley said...

When you have the biggest military than the next 10 countries combined, not manpower, but war toys. However, since the Vietnam debacle(I was there 12/01/70 to 12/01/71 and over the past 30 years have read a great many books on the subject) we have become far too causality conscience. IOW, we are loath to fight another war with lots of dead soldiers essentially for nothing. Iraq/Afghanistan. Iraq where we were IMO lied into invading(Condi Rice and her nuclear war statement) and the NYT reporter who pushed the Administration line without ever checking to see if any of it was true. and A'stan where we did a mostly SpecOps invasion + air power. winning until Rumsfeld gave alQaeda an escape hatch at Tora Bora, extending the search for OBL for years. Obama restarted the group looking for him after Bush claimed, after the 04 election that OBL no longer mattered, besides he was out to destroy Iraq.
After 8 years of Bush and 8 years of Obama, we have left the ME in a total mess. Now congress, in an election year, wants to send in an Army to wipe out the Syria govt and ISIS/ISIL/IS or whatever. We really have no dog in either fight.Syria has done nothing to us and Russia is backing them, and we really have no allies, unless we want Sen McCains, alQaeda bunch, we really should bring all our soldiers home, Again, nothing in Syria has anything to threaten our National Security.
ISIS, we got kicked out of Iraq because the Shia govt we installed, hates us, they follow Iran's lead. The Iraqis apparently are unwilling to fight for their own country. So say the Kuds Force that Iran sent to push the Iraqis. But Obama was getting pressure from the GOP, so we sent people in to once again "train" Iraqs soldiers. The Kurds OTOH are worth backing, but we continue to blindly believe that if we ship both money and weapons thru Baghdad, the Kurds will get them.
But the fact is, just like Libya(which thankfully we stayed out of)which was the EU responsibility because they get lots of oil from here.
and once again it is nothing but aSunni/Shia war. and guess what, our "ally" Saudi Arabia is on ISIS side, because they are both Sunni and both hate the Shia.
So again, other than this being an election year and the GOP wanting to invade somebody, because you can't not want to use the army. Which is an all Volunteer military which FEWER THAN 1% OF AMERICANS ARE SUPPORTING BY ENLISTING. The concept itself is heading for a crash, because, we used our Guard units along with troops from Korea because we had so few soldiers and again the countries great loathing for dead troops-the only reason we did not have 20,000 or more dead was the great strides that military medicine has made since Vietnam. The neocon faction of the GOP really wants to invade an oil rich country, Iraq failed due to the locals outsmarting the people Bush sent over there, so the Neocons have turned their sights onto Iran where they again assume that due to "American Exceptionalism" we will quite easily invade and over run the country. Except of course that won't happen, Remember VP Cheney predicting that we would be met by cheering crowds throwing flowers at us as we invaded their country? That never happened either.
The only way to prevent people lik that from starting wars that congress is pushing for is to simply-and it will happen in the not very distant future-restart the Draft, with women added.
Has to happen.. We simply can not keep depending on the Guard units. Not while not making sure the active duty units have enough people. We were allowing people into our military that never would have passed.
Unless of course we start up a foreign legion with Spanish language troops

hightecrebel said...

Oh for the love of...

I don't have time to go deep into this, but...

- We weren't 'outsmarted' in Iraq, we just didn't follow through. We changed plans numerous times. Our biggest mistakes were disbanding the Iraqi army and outlawing all Baathists. Both of those were State Department bureaucrat driven decisions that completely deviated from the original plan, to the point that it was no longer salvageable.

- We were met with cheering crowds in a number of cities, and even where they weren't cheering, mostly it was because they were afraid of being targeted by loyalists

- As far as 'allowing in people who would never pass', that's more the result of us selecting for garrison as opposed to combat types.