This thread is all over the place -- and great fun -- but I think the article Puer referenced shouldn't be overlooked. The Tweeting Trump represents the zeitgeist of America and that is much scarier than an anomalous narcissist in the White House. Impeachment and, in fact, Trump himself are not the point.PuerAzaelis wrote: ↑Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:48 amMan, who would have expected the ride we're all having right now? ... The money's rolling in and this is fun. I've never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It's a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going.
CBS Chairman Les Moonves, during the 2016 campaign.
Now, stare at him again. And keep looking. If you don’t take him in, you won’t understand what this moment actually is. Yes, he’s the Dumbfounding Father of twenty-first-century America and that’s distracting, but he’s also the ultimate symptom of the unfounding of this nation, of the moment when — to slightly adapt a Cole Porter line — Plymouth Rock finally landed on us.
Truly, don’t look away from the unbelievable figure now in the White House because how else will you know where we are? And until we grasp that, until we understand that he isn’t an aberration but the zeitgeist and that simply removing him from the Oval Office won’t solve our problems, we aren’t anywhere at all.
http://www.mintpressnews.com/unfounding ... mp/235058/
From the same article.
I agree with QQ's definition of power:Okay, it’s true. He’s presidentially bizarre in ways no one expects a leader to be (other than, perhaps, some strange autocratic ruler in Central Asia). And he’s certainly potentially dangerous. But he’s something else, too: just what late twentieth and twenty-first century America prepared us for (even though we didn’t know it). He’s the essence of where this country now is and seems to be headed.
But just as the movie Network taught me that the power of wealth is not acquisition but the ability to influence economic flow, despite Trump's apparent unpopularity and legislative failures, he is moving mountains with his Barnum-like circus distracting from the dog-whistle calls to the worst power bases and his court and bureaucratic appointments. Here are some more quotes from the article.Queequeg wrote: ↑In my view, and arguably the more general view, power is not qualified as good or bad or neutral. Power is the raw capacity to move the world.
Personalized “facts”.To grasp why we can’t help staring at him, why we essentially have no choice but to do so, you need to understand something else: this sort of attention hasn’t been a fluke. … He didn’t create this particular media moment or this American world of ours either. He just grasped how it worked at some intuitive level and rode it (or perhaps it rode him) all the way to the White House.
Plutocracy.In the end, it wasn’t Trump who brought it on; it was the media. And all of this took place in the midst of the rise of a social media scene in which “fake news” was becoming the order of the day and millions of eyeballs could be reached directly by any conspiracy nut or, for that matter, presidential candidate with the moxie to do it.
It was, in other words, the perfect moment for a billionaire salesman-cum-conman-cum-reality-TV-sensation to descend that escalator. Donald Trump was neither a media mistake, nor an out-of-space-and-time experience. He was a man made for our unfounding media moment.
(I read a NY Times article about how the Senate passed the tax bill, but it didn't once mention the tremendous pressure all the big campaign donors exerted on the Senators.)Whatever he might now be fathering, he himself was the child, for instance, of a distinctly plutocratic moment. If we have our first billionaire in the White House, it’s only because by 2015 this country’s democratic politics had devolved (with a little helping hand from the Supreme Court) into a set of 1%, or perhaps even .01%, elections. … If the Republican Party hadn’t been sold to the Koch brothers and the Democratic Party hadn’t gone all neoliberal on us, can you really imagine working class voters putting their faith in a billionaire to make America great again for them? I doubt it.
Power flip-floping.The Donald’s tendency toward authoritarianism is often treated as if it were a unique attribute of his. To believe that, however, you would have to overlook the growth in this century of a distinctly authoritarian spirit in Washington. You would have to ignore what it meant for the national security state to be ever more embedded in our ruling city. You would have to forget about the American intelligence community’s development of a historically unprecedented surveillance machinery aimed not just at the world but at American citizens as well.
The Donald’s surprising decision to surround himself with “my generals” in a fashion never before seen in Washington, even in wartime, was treated in a similarly anomalous fashion. And yet, given the Washington he entered, it was anything but. During the election campaign, candidate Trump referred to those same generals as “rubble,” while deriding the losing wars they had been fighting for so long. He seemed in some way to grasp that this was a country and a citizenry increasingly being unmade by war.
On the point about convincing "rural white working-class voters", here's another article I found interesting: "Racism, fundamentalism, fear and propaganda"It took him next to no time as president to tack to where Washington had been heading since 9/11. As I’ve argued elsewhere, he might better be thought of as our chameleon president: a Democrat who became a fervent Republican, a billionaire businessman who somehow convinced rural white working-class voters that he was their man, a former globalizer who’s taken off like a bat out of hell after globalizing trade pacts of every sort. He’s a man ready to alter his positions to fit the moment when it comes to everything except himself.