Unless the GOP does something silly – like steal the nomination in a contested convention by engineering a last-minute coup – it looks as though Donald Trump will be declared the Republican presidential nominee.
Much has been written about this eventuality, and even more will now be written about the “nightmare” (©Bishop of Guildford, 2016) possibility that Trump will soon be ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ and sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Most of this journalistic comment will focus on the ‘gaffes’. How can a man who wants to ban all Muslims from entering the US; build a great wall to keep out the Mexicans; says African-Americans have no spirit; opposes same-sex marriage; favours prosecuting women who procure illegal abortions; leches over his own daughter; repudiates climate change; mocks the disabled; jokes about shooting people in the streets; and who offends women with crude references to the breasts, backsides and menstrual periods possibly become President of the most powerful nation on earth?
It is really quite simple: “I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people, and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either,” he declared in a Fox News interview last year. Trump’s ascendancy is a direct consequence of global political conformity to a certain mode; the insistence on a certain narrative orthodoxy; the intolerance of expressions of moral righteousness and the repudiation of emotional authenticity. The people are sick of plastic politicians with their hollow promises, ‘third-way’ charades and rancid deceptions wrapped in the dodgy billions of corporatist elites curated in the bureaucratic shadows of anti-democratic oligarchs. They want light, liberty, transparency, accountability and justice. They want to be heard. They want to effect change – real change – instead of being forced to vote for cloned autobots of approved-list candidates who spout their scripted promises to change the rotation of the earth, but deliver only images of revolution with impressions of gratitude. Donald Trump’s triumphant political incorrectness is a direct consequence of decades of obfuscatory and tediously incorrect politicalness. The people are just sick of it.
For all the ostensible virtues of pluralism and ecumenism; for all the accumulated wealth, wisdom and belief in the enlightenment of modernity, people are still disenfranchised, excluded, alienated and cynical. There is emptiness, banality, starvation and poverty. Politicians promise transformation and transcendent idealism; they engage in endless ethical politicking and perpetual moral vacuity, all while keeping the people powerless to take control of their own destinies. Tradition is scorned, culture corrected, and new values inculcated. If you refuse to conform, you are labelled an ‘extremist’ in the interminable politicalness of progressive rationality.
Donald Trump may be crass, crude, boorish and offensive. He may demean mature political discourse with his self-absorbed narcissism, and insult all thoughtful, intelligent and enlightened people with his childish tantrums and shallow spirituality. But he speaks with a different voice and exudes a strange confidence. And millions of Americans like what they hear and are mesmerised by a courage which refuses to bow to the embarrassment of being. In the postmodern pomp of coercive uniformity and politically-correct worldliness, Donald Trump is an artist, a philosopher, a prophetic dissenter of imagination and differentiation. He is the progeny of revenge; the disjunctive incarnation of his own consensual meaning. You may be appalled and horrified by his values, norms and amoral fantasies. You may be shocked by his gyroscopic character and detached sense of reality. But he is the fabric of our democratic future. Only when patronising politicians and other elites cease their self-perpetuating circulations of consensual privilege and power in the pursuit of total control will they acknowledge that Donal Trump has reason, justification and substance.