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How Trump Can Win (3)

August 10, 2016

Klown Kaos

“Do I really look like a man with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it. I just do things…. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos.”

Yep, it’s The Joker, in the (almost) completely self-contradictory, “The Dark Knight.” Not just the “sad clown,” but the nihilistically violent clown, who (very nearly) destroys all innocence.

I don’t think Trump will win, because the Democrats will turn out enough voters that the election will not be close enough to steal.

But I think that he can win, by doing all of: (1) holding his base, (2) letting the Republican organization do what it does so well (lying, buying, and stealing elections), and (3) creating a context of chaos. It’s perfect for his disorderly personality, and the practical amorality of his party.

Imagine this: in the remaining days before Nov 8, he puts the integrity of the election in doubt, in the minds of Trump voters and various others, many of whom are angry and armed. He turns the campaign process into a mess. Election day—maybe the last week of campaigning—is, in fact, chaotic. [ * ] Then the vote is close enough that the outcome in the Electoral College hangs by a chad. One state will swing it, maybe two, let’s say OH or FL. The Republican apparatus manipulates the vote count sufficiently that they can take it to court, before Republican judges. Their decision gives the electors to Trump. The Dems appeal to the Supreme Court. That court is deadlocked, so the decision of the lower court stands.

You can imagine some other scenarios, involving what can happen in a scene of armed chaos.  “Race riots,” for instance, in which armed white men, some in uniform, rampage through black neighborhoods.

“You know how [the imagination] is, it’s like gravity, just a little push and it falls into madness,” or archetype.

“We’re destined to do this forever.”

But Night is Dark, and of course The Joker is joking about not having a plan; but he’s not joking about causing and exploiting chaos. The joke’s on us. He operates in a tightly Manichean culture, as does Trump in racist America, and he masters it by turning life upside down so often that the citizens don’t know which is which. They only know that they are desperately out of control, and they want someone who’ll save them. They’ll take a chance.

When Trump began campaigning, I thought: clowns are for children. We take our children to see them, to awaken the spontaneous delight in their soul, to recapture that moment ourselves, the ability to laugh at how contradictory and mysterious and simple life is, with its adults like children, doing silly things. We invite clowns into our homes, to help us celebrate our birth-days.

I thought of the archetypal clown image, with its carrot-top hair (like Nurse Joker in the hospital), then the sad clown, the scarey clown, the violent clown. The violent clown is a horror show. It turns our insides out. It’s a subversive attack on our primal innocence, our awakening into human consciousness, our humanity itself. Aristotle suggested that laughter is our most human trait, because it is most purely a good, in and of itself. Blake called the child’s laughter delight; but the violent clown poisons delight (like Trump, never a spontaneous laughter). It shatters the childlike mirror of a loving face reflected in another loving face. It is the face of the other as inexorably, relentlessly threatening. It is cynicism gone to nihilism. The rampant ego. The amygdala frightened by its ownself. Nature as supernatural trickster. A nightmare.

It’s very, very negative.

Add to that, a violent clown with a penchant for chaos, as its method of triumph and control, its source of personal pleasure, its one and only satisfaction, the pure fun of completeness, ever just beyond its grasp.

The Joker at least has a sense of humor, he appreciates irony (a burning fire truck blocking the street) and self-irony (his bloody smile); he is able to laugh, even at himself. In fact, he can’t keep from laughing, especially when violence is happening.

I’m thinking that chaos is not the antithesis of order, it’s the antithesis of an artificial order that denies and tries to prevent change.

Trump supporters want to be disorderly. At least, a little giggle. They believe that the established social, economic, and political order is irreversibly rigged against them. Like The Joker, they long to burn it down.

“What this town needs is a better class of criminal.”

[Cong. Paul Ryan (R), Speaker of the House of Representatives:  “I’ve been a little busy today,” Ryan said after easily winning his primary Tuesday evening. “I heard about this Second Amendment quote. It sounds like just a joke gone bad. I hope he clears it up very quickly. You should never joke about something like that.”

But Trump isn’t joking.]

[ * Hacking voting machines is easy; and if we show that it’s been done?  “No one has a straight answer, except for a uniform agreement on one thing: chaos that would make 2000 look like child’s play. (Trump aping about “rigged elections” before the vote is even underway has certainly not helped.) The programmers suggest we ought to allow, for the purposes of imagination, the prospect of a nationwide recount. Both sides would accuse the other of corruption and sponsoring the attack.”  Source.]

[Pages one and two of this episode.]

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