Update November 8, 2016 : #calledit
In the reality tv showi that is American federal politics, clear out of left field has come the noisiest noisebox to sound the siren of populist politics since Julius Caesar. Or maybe just Hitler. Make that Arnold Schwarzeneggar. In any event.
In case you haven’t already guessed, his name is Donald Trump, he’s running under the Republican banner for the 2016 Presidency of the rapidly declining United States of America, and he presently represents the only credible threat to Hillary Clinton’s bid to become the first “female” President.ii The question on everyone’s lips is whether someone so obnoxious, so flamboyant, so over-the-mountain-top-and-through-the-valley-yonder, so self-made!iii can be expected to beat out the entirely staid, dull, and uninteresting voice of narrow corporate interests masquerading as the Voice Of The People ?iv
Of course, Trump is pitching himself as an outsider to the two-headed status quo, but so did Obama (and look what happened to him) and so does every “fresh new face” in Washington. Equally obvious should be the fact that it doesn’t matter one picoiota what political campaigners say when they’re campaigning. It never does. Because it can’t. No matter how true the intent of the candidate is. Certainly in the United States, the bureaucratic beast is too simply overwhelming and the pencil dicked pencil pushers are simply too entrenched to be impacted by the flavour of the day Commander In Chief (even if they’re most certainly impacted by the Internet).
mircea_popescu: The only vaguely concerning point was that I thought Hilary’s presidency a foregone conclusion since about I dunno, 2008 or so. But shit like this don’t bode well. Senator Hurrdurr (who really seems an exact mirror image of Ron Paul in left colorings) is certainly out of the question, but omfg don’t tell me Trump takes over and does a postmodern rendition of Reagan.
pete_dushenski: If anything can upset that woman’s dreams, it’s The Donald.
BingoBoingo: The race right now is fucked. The left press called Rubio the winner of the first GOP debate before any poll numbers and Rubio close to platonically stupid.
pete_dushenski: if U.S. politics is a tv game show, which it so often seems to be, how could Trump (or someone equally outrageous) lose ?
mircea_popescu: Jeez. You know, Romanian “press” and “social media” got very much similarly humiliated in 2008 when a Romanian sort of Donald Trump trampled all over their girlbits. It was kinda the point it became obvious the alt-planet lost the battle, there. And it was beautiful, five years of 10-20% shrinkage in “advertising spending” were followed by a 80% and two 50%s. To the point 100s of Romanian Taylor Swifts got recently arrested for prostitution (They were doing it for 1-200 euros, rate price. Rate price means I wouldn’t pay 50% of that in any case).
Is this the future of the USA ? Post-modern Reaganesque Donald Trump and former-two-hundred-millionaires working the streets for pocket change ?
Do you know why you have such poor candidates every single election? Because you want them, you want someone you can easily judge for some sexual indiscretion or because they called latinos chicanos. “Well, that matters to us!” Then you got what you asked for.
The media will have data mined the culture and chosen for you two cans of Campbell’s Chicken Soup, and then encouraged a public debate about which can is a better representation of the spirit of the country, the one on the left or the one on the right. “Well, that matters to us!” I know.
If Trump can continue to brand himself as something other than Campbell’s Chicken Soup, he may well find himself filming future episodes of The Apprentice in the Oval Office. This obviously won’t make much difference to the lives of those enslaved under the Stars and Stripes, but wouldn’t it be something for the rest of the world to watch ?
For all her wanton, paper-fueled planetary destruction, the ol’ girl can at least squeeze a few more lulz out of her aged udders before she croaks. It’s really the least she can do.
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- In a reality tv show, the contestants vie for the adoration and respect of fellow contestants and viewers at home through a series of constructed contests over a period of weeks and even months. In some such contests, the viewers decide who wins the competition, in others it’s objectively determined, and in others still, fellow contestants select the victor.
Now anyone who can convince me that this definition doesn’t also fit like a glove on the hand of US populist politics wins a big shiny bitpenny. You know where the comments section is.
Furthermore, anyone who doesn’t see that Donald Trump’s formative experience starring in 14 seasons of The Apprentice as a nearly insurmountable advantage in terms of dealing with cameras and the media – the most important tools of the 24/7 news networks and their “social media” arms – just isn’t thinking hard enough. It’s his to lose and there seems to be nothing he can say to lose it. But is there anything he can do ? I sincerely doubt his opponents are above Strauss-Khanning him, if they can pull it off… [↩]
- How female are post-menopausal women really ? [↩]
- To quote an earlier article :
The advantage of being, and therefore selecting, a wealthy politician is five-fold:
1. During his campaign, the wealthy politician doesn’t need to strike up new relationships with strangers for the express purpose of extracting their wealth only to find himself in a position where he must repay the favours once in office.
2. The wealthy politician knows the value of a dollar (or bitcoin) and how hard hard it can be to balance a budget in the face of various competing interests and opportunities.
3. The wealthy politician doesn’t have to spend the latter half of their term in office drumming up new favours to finance his re-election. He still has to plan his campaign, but in a purely strategic sense.
4. The wealthy politician, like all wealthy people, has time to think and reflect. This can only lead to wiser and more considerate policy.
5. The wealthy politician has the spine to tell uppity interest groups to “fuck off.”
These all seem to apply to The Donald, y’know ? [↩]
- That’s right boys and girls, the usual suspects are backing Hillary Clinton (and Jeb Bush, the straight-up-the-middle Republican bet), just as you’d expect them to. So pharma, agrifood, banks, and real estate are all making the safe, predictable bets, dependent as they are on continual dole of the USG. That might not be as revelatory as “Bat Boy found in JonBenét Ramsey’s grave” but it’s par for the US political course. [↩]