Saturday, April 09, 2016

The Harder They Fall

Are the rubes finally waking up to this skeevy, soulless con man, is it possible? Certainly Cruz is no better, and is in fact worse in some ways, as he is a true ideologue. But Drumpf is proving himself by the day at this point to be comically -- no, criminally -- inept, ignorant of basic foreign or domestic policies, incapable even of selecting qualified people to advise him on such matters and competently run his campaign. He has creeps working for him, sexual and intellectual perverts like Paul Manafort and Roger Stone. Jeff Wells knew what that was all about.

And why should anyone expect anything different from a man who kept a collection of Hitler's speeches in his nightstand, who learned at the feet of one of the most vile human beings to infest New York politics in the last century? It's no mystery what Drumpf saw in a scumbag like Cohn:  ruthlessness, belligerence, seething contempt of everyone and everything else, in a futile attempt to project manifest insecurities.

Even Cohn's notorious promiscuity is reflected in Drumpf's behavior toward and treatment of the women in his life. He may pride himself on hiring women for his organization before many of his peers, but it seems that they were only safe if he didn't want to have sex with them. Then they became mere fetish objects, pieces of meat. The creepy comments he's made about his daughters, as this Red State diarist points out, do not point to pedophilia at all; what they point to is the pervasive sense that Drumpf understands women -- and frankly, probably all other human beings -- as sum totals of the "value" they can provide, the money and prestige they can generate for someone else. Someone like himself.

One supposes that life is probably simpler for sociopaths like Drumpf, people who view other humans strictly as commodities, conveyances of assigned value and perceived worth. From that perspective, much is explained.

Take his iconic penthouse for example, by all accounts the apple of Drumpf's aesthetic eye. Gold, marble, and crystal assault the senses from all directions, confusing grand wealth with taste or class. It does not look like a home so much as a museum, a museum bereft of any real artistic effort. Even the "art" pieces -- classical Greek motifs; family portraits straight out of WASP central casting; the recessed tableau ceiling with some low-rent Sistine Chapel humblebrag -- it's all so fucking tacky.

I don't know what's worse:  if this place is truly a reflection of Drumpf's actual aesthetic sensibilities, or if it's just what he thinks it's what someone of his wealth and standing should indulge in. Probably a mix of both. Like any vulgarian true to the name, Drumpf does not perceive art as its own mode of personal expression of the artist, but rather as a vehicle for self-aggrandizement. It's almost surprising that he doesn't have a Thomas Kinkade somewhere in there; if only Kinkade had had the good sense to set aside his mass-produced lithocraps for a second and produce a one-off custom piece for Mister Man, and charge him up the wazoo for it, it would have been a win-win. Again, the mark of the philistine is the idea that art is "better" if its owner/purchaser has paid far more for it than 99% of humanity could ever conceive of.

Is it possible to psychoanalyze someone from afar, by looking at the style of their home, the company they keep, the way they run their enterprises, the logic behind the things the say and do? When they spend as much time in the public eye as Drumpf has for decades, humping every leg in sight, constant empty boasting about how fucking brilliant they are about every little thing, yes, it's entirely possible and fair to sketch a psychological profile of such a person.

And when such a person is barreling toward the highest office in the land, touching off violent reactions to sensitive issues along the way, it would actually be irresponsible not to scrutinize the pattern of motivations behind that person. The incessant boasting about things that are both easily refutable and generally meaningless; the irrepressible urge to attack disproportionately anyone who questions or challenges the lies and rhetoric; the use of money and sex and power merely as different ways of keeping score; the refusal to learn from or listen to anything other than the voices in one's own head -- the pattern is obvious and disturbing. It's almost frightening to imagine what sort of miscreant he'd have been if he'd been born poor.

This is a dangerous, volatile person, harnessing mob mentality, threatening those who dare oppose him, channeling potent ignorance into unpredictable action that would have repercussions for generations to come. The Republicans are getting precisely what they deserve by having Drumpf hung around their necks as a zombie candidate, but better late than never that he gets derailed before his toxic mix of incompetence and insanity does lasting damage to the country.

No comments: