[Lügenbaron: “Baron of Lies;” the Germans’ nickname for *Baron von Munchausen*]
It’s as if you said ” Republicans are clowns.”, and instead of calmly walking into the room in an understated business suit to rebut your words, they come somersaulting through the window in a green fright wig, floppy shoes and a big red nose, to scream ” We are not CLOWNS!!!” — Andy Kreiss
“I don’t understand that sort of behavior…”
Give yourself a break. All you need is to think back to every petty princess, bully, punk, jerk, and obnoxious dweeb you ever encountered in school; grades K-12. That is the level of psychology at work amongst them. Some people never grow up, they just grow older. A few – like Louie Gohmert or Michele Bachmann – manage to get elected to public office. The rest just roam the halls of the internet, banging on the lockers and mugging at classes through the transoms.
Tony Schwartz, who followed Trump for 18 months to co-author “Art of the Deal” has said:
“I can say with great confidence: Donald Trump has not read a book–other than those written for him– in his adult life. I don’t say that jokingly. That’s a frightening thing to imagine. Here’s the thing;–critical–he has an incredibly short attention span. I’m not here to diagnose what that means, but he is incapable of absorbing information for very long, and therefore, he is incredibly ignorant.”
Somehow the media chattering class still seems obsessed with forcing Trump to fit into the matrix of conventional standards for Presidential politics. His presidency and his persona make no sense within that accepted framework. Yet they persist in whittling away at the square edges; trying to fit him into a round hole of rational comparative analysis.
On the one hand, you cannot put a meth-addled silverback gorilla, brandishing a folding chair and Ginsu knife, into a regulation boxing match and judge that spectacle as a legitimate competition, just because he sells tickets. On the other hand — that is exactly where we’ve been for the last two years. So we now have a punch-drunk press corps appearing perpetually flummoxed by the howling vortex of incongruity that inhabits the White House. Then there is our ratings-driven TV media’s particularly infuriating programming model; supplying a televised parade of truthful, informed pundits who are not permitted to win; debating a clown-car cadre of soulless liars who are not permitted to lose.
Just prior to the election, CNN was running a biography special on The Donald’s business history. In a segment on past publicity around his personal relationships with women, one “knowledgeable” source that they featured was a captioned telephonic audio clip from a boastful trumpster advocate identified as “John Miller.” Apparently CNN’s crack research team is the last to know that the voice on their tape was long ago revealed to be trump; masquerading as one of his fictitious spokespersons.
I could only shake my head in wonder and shame at yet another failure by another news media outlet. They seem intent upon taking the most Byzantine route to adjusting their coverage of this administration; ever reluctant to assert consistent, focused narratives and thoughtfully informed analyses.
Throughout his campaign, president trump meticulously explained his unique qualifications; essentially repeating:
“I’m a terrific, awesomely successful business man, because I do what I am supposed to do.
I pay lowest taxes possible. I hire the cheapest available labor. I buy favors with political donations. I threaten, cajole, and bully to force people to take what I offer them in lieu of what I contractually owe them. I engage in every conceivable form of technically legal sleaze to enrich myself and make things happen.
I do all of that because I’m a business man and it’s what I am supposed to do!
And I can do all of that because the system is rigged and corrupt; and as President I will fix everything. Yeah, I will. Believe me”
Not one of his supporters bothers to wonder why Trump would promise to close off every loophole and avenue of advantage that– by his own admission– have made his own wealth and success possible. The rich ones know he is lying and all the angriest hyper-sentient rabble have lazily abandoned all reason for pure, blind faith. They like that Trump doesn’t promise to redistribute wealth. That is un-American. But redistributing pain and suffering? They can all get behind that.
Yet they are pre-programmed to believe such vague, simplistic drivel because there is something seriously wrong with people predisposed to thinking that the business of government; running a nation and its vast economy, can be conducted around a fucking kitchen table. When confronted with reality, their inevitable fall-back position is simply to insist upon reducing the size of government until it can. Their President will fix that too.
Trump’s popular appeal seems to be as the Catharsis President. He gives voice to the darkest fantasies of those disgruntled fabulists whose imaginations try to reshape the world at large to their own liking, without bothering to contemplate consequences.
Many of you have been studying this particular human species for years now. They are a source of endless fascination in that they have distilled the real world down to a rather perfect bizarro ecosystem that basically rejects all of the formal modes and protocols developed over millennia to build and sustain a civilization that conforms to established laws of the universe.
From the beginning, Trump reminded me of the popularity of 70’s TV version of The Incredible Hulk. While I didn’t follow the series, I recall catching a scene from an episode where Dr. David Banner attempts to make an urgent call from a phone booth. In rapid succession he experiences a series of the most commonly encountered glitches that we all have endured at the hands of pay phones. His mounting frustration progresses into his Hulk transformation and the violent destruction of the phone booth. At that moment of personal catharsis, I understood the appeal of that character and that series.
Similarly, Donald Trump supporters derive endless vicarious thrills from his insane ranting and flights of fancy that play to their purely emotional fantasies, and his supporters continue collectively demanding; “Hulk. Smash!”
With a base of support like that — whose baseline pulse rate is consistent with that of an active red-meat feeding frenzy — it is easy for Herr Lügenbaron to throw out a red herring or two and get away with it. Lacking any internal mechanisms for critical differentiation, they will accept whatever chum is stirred into the flotsam of Rationality’s decaying wreckage that they so assiduously patrol.
I have long imagined — perhaps even theorized elsewhere — that there are a number of copies of a book entitled: ‘Encyclopedia of Logical Fallacies’, whose original covers have been torn away and replaced; books that are in steady circulation within the right wing bubble. It now serves as the official field manual for free-radical Bullshit Grenadiers.
The title of that book now reads: ‘The Official Handbook of Debating Tactics: Applied Strategies for Defeating Liberal Flapdoodle.’
Theirs is an enviably simple environment comprised exclusively of all the faulty and unworkable floor sweepings that civilized man has examined and cast aside; paranoia, ignorance, superstition, mythology, and cruelty. It is their intellectual equivalent of the hot dog, but they have found a way to incorporate “the pig squeal” into their product.
Have a good Labor Day, folks.