Trump's recent rally in Jacksonville had gotten some press, and I decided that instead of cherry-picking pull quotes from some mainstream media source, let's listen to the entire speech unabridged, and see what all the fuss is about. Who knows, I might gain some insight not only into the man, but the fans.
After all, despite the polemics and snark by which we mostly communicate these post-irony days, experience teaches us that most people -- and even most politicians -- are neither entirely good nor bad. The ones we tend to like or agree with can be assholes about some things, and the ones we despise probably at least care about something, their families, their vision of 'murka, whatever.
So maybe there would be some redeeming quality lurking in the thicket of Trump's semi-improvised bluster, something that might provide some sort of clue as to what inspires such adulation among his faithful. It's unlikely, given that Trump has been something of a national media fixture for a good thirty years or so, but it's possible.
Or so we thought.
Reader, I shit you not when I say I expected very little from this, and it still didn't even hit the low bar I set for this little exercise. It wasn't entirely futile, in that now I know that my previous perceptions of Trump and his flock were off only by a matter of scale and degree -- he and they are much stupider than I had supposed.
Trump is stupider like a fox, of course -- whatever his net worth actually is, it's more than most of us combined, and truly stupid people don't get and stay that wealthy for very long. He is notoriously free of the baser vices -- drugs, alcohol, pussy -- that seem to plague many second and third generations of wealthy families into dissolution and louche behavior. He has considerable strengths as a salesman, and even as a trash talker, which is an underrated skill, and perhaps the most important to his particular fan base.
But that's about the extent of his skill set. In the nearly ninety minutes of the Jacksonville speech, I would bet serious money that a good seventy-five minutes of it was just basic dick-swinging -- every talk show I go on to plug my campaign gets record ratings; I'm drawing record crowds; I built this casino and that golf course, and they were the classiest ever; and on and on.
It's just sad after a while, watching an old, bitter man with fucked-up hair and a fake tan trying to convince "thousands" -- despite a decent amount of searching, I could not find even a ballpark number as to how many people attended this rally, or even what the capacity at Jacksonville Landing is -- that he has a three-foot cock. How many "thousands" -- two, ten, five hundred, one-point-three? Who fucking knows? More to the point, if it was a large number, the accounts would be much more specific; in other words, if it was 50,000 you'd never hear the end of it, but they're not going to brag about 1,500 people, or specify such a number.
For someone who famously eschews teleprompters, Trump really should consider using one. His opening schtick consists of how he doesn't need or use them, but there's no coherence or structure to his arguments that come afterward, and everything just naturally digresses back to his giant cock, which apparently his crowd wants to suck before they vote for it. He throws a little red meat by way of talking tough about trade policy with China and nuke deals with Iran, but provides zero detail on how those negotiations would actually work. He seriously banks on the premise that the Chinese and Iranians will get into the room with him, and just be so intimidated by Trump's enormous cock, that they'll have no choice but to suck it as well, and give him whatever he wants.
Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan is pitch-perfect for his crowd, who to a person appear to be very much like Trump himself -- old, bitter, white. He's definitely got the Archie Bunker crowd locked up. Throughout the speech, there are several spontaneous chants of "Trump! Trump! Trump!" at random intervals, usually when he's saying something completely baseless and impossible to either confirm or refute (such as his threats to impose a trade deal on China that's more favorable to the US). You almost want the camera to turn and show the crowd, just to see if there are a couple of shirtless flabbos, faces and guts painted, one holding a "D" and the other holding a piece of picket fence. These jabbering idiots really do sound like little more than slightly more advanced feces-throwing zoo monkeys.
It would be one thing if the chanting and cheering were occurring during the precious few moments were Trump is making what passes (for him and them) a salient point, and they do. But they also do it when he talks about his golf courses and his ratings, things that have fuck-all to do with running the country. These mouth-breathers seriously believe that leading a huge nation is exactly like building a casino in Atlantic City.
Which brings me to my real point here: just how far and fast the bar has been lowered. There is a direct link from George W. Bush to Sarah Palin to Ted Cruz, and now to Trump. Each step along that unholy path, we thought it couldn't get worse, or stupider. But it continues to get worse, as reliably as the sun rising in the east. The mistake the media tend to make is focusing on the candidates, but the candidates are merely escalating symptoms of the problem.
The problem, of course, is the base, the voters themselves, the perennially discontented group of nincompoops who continue to wonder where their country went, and as a result get gulled repeatedly into voting against themselves, every damned time. With each successive cycle, their fandom gets weirder, more incoherent, less balanced. They seem determined to live out Mencken's quote about every complex problem having a solution that is clear, simple, and wrong.
Times change, people generally don't. Trump will eventually get tired of this game, if he hasn't already, and surely already knows that even if he's serious in his effort, he's signing up for an impossible amount of headaches for a pittance. I'm sure that Barry O would be more than happy to warn Trump that being president mostly involves trying to do the impossible for the ungrateful, that Russia and China and Iran are the least of your worries when you can't even get Congress to work with you.
Trump's trainwreck of a candidacy is being billed as some sort of societal indicator of widespread discontent, but it really should be seen as a warning and a reminder, of just how stupid and venal people can be, and that they can always find a way to get even worse. Wait till one of the Gooper moneybags assholes gets their own -- incrementally worse than even Trump -- for the 2020 cycle.