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Wrestling with Trump

September 15, 2015

Sometimes Trump appears to be wandering recklessly in the wrecked car dumps of power. Other times he appears to be enjoying a grand game of Demolition Derby. I think it becomes increasingly apparent that he knows exactly what he’s doing, and he’s an award-winning grand master at it.

For instance, Think Progress just published an excellent article on his tactics: “This French Philosopher Is the Only One Who Can Explain The Donald Trump Phenomenon,” by Judd Legum. Briefly, so as not to steal Legum’s thunder, Trump was a big success in Entertainment Wrestling, the WWE. When his Republican opponents get into the ring with him, they play another sport—and a lesser one!

It’s laughable.

And I want to add that the WWE is a made-for-tv clown show. All the better for the redhead in the ring.

(When I was a kid, in the very early days of tv wrestling—mid-‘50s, my dad and I rooted for Verne Gagne, because it seemed like he was actually wrestling, and wonderfully so, and the other guys were just “clowning around.” We didn’t know anything about manipulation in sports entertainment, but we had an intuition that quality—truth, in a Heminway-esque sense—was being replaced by fakery.)

I want to add, too, that T’s tactics wouldn’t work if he didn’t have a message that appeals to his constituency, his entertainment demographic, “the fearful and the frustrated,” as Evan Osnos characterizes them—and altho he offers them moments when they don’t have to think, cerainly not analytically, the content is clear to them: triumphant power of a winner, and he’s our guy in the ring. We know he’s our guy because his view about life is our view. He’s beautiful. He speaks to us.

From → Trump

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