Trump – the cultivation of demagoguery

By   /   July 21, 2016  /   35 Comments

TDB recommends Voyager - Unlimited internet @home as fast as you can get

In a brilliant essay, published on ‘Buzzfeed’, McKay Coppins offers his insights into what motivates a man like Donald Trump to ascend the greasy pole of politics to take on the Republican candidacy in the up-coming U.S. Presidential elections.

.

2016-us-elections-broken-parallel-universe

.

In a brilliant  essay, published on ‘Buzzfeed‘, McKay Coppins offers his insights into what motivates a man like Donald Trump to ascend the greasy pole of politics to take on the Republican candidacy in  the up-coming U.S. Presidential elections.

It is the sort of insightful analysis that allows one to have a glimmer of understanding what motivates a man to enter into what is most likely the most vicious politics on this planet. Also probably the most expensive.

But whilst Coppins paints a reasonable picture of Donald Trump the person, he glosses over what has made him so popular with up to 45% of American voters, according to a recent NBC poll.

Trump has stunned people by defying not just the odds, but the powerful, entrenched Republican establishment. He fought off sixteen other candidates – including seasoned politicians.

He has used the mainstream media and gained free publicity not accorded to any other candidate. According to either the New York Times or MarketWatch, that free publicity is valued at anywhere between US$2 billion to US$3 billion.

His most effective  strategy has been to make outrageous statements;

  • Trump says he will build a wall to keep Mexicans out of the United States
  • Trump called Mexican immigrants drug dealers, rapists, and criminals-in-general
  • Trump wants all illegal Mexicans deported from the United States
  • Trump wants to ban Muslims from entering the United States
  • Trump has called on the registration of all muslims in the United States
  • Trump stated that the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre should have been armed; If the people so violently shot down in Paris had guns, at least they would have had a fighting chance.”
  • Trump is very gung-ho on gun-rights for Americans
  • And Trump expresses demeaning views of women, with Rosie O’Donnell and Megyn Kelly as examples

These vocalised opinions, and others fit perfectly with the typical American right-winger/conservative. They are views more often than not expressed by supporters of the US Republican Party.

Republican political figures – especially those on the far-right – have often endorsed right-wing sentiments that appeal to their right-wing/conservative constituents. Sentiments that are usually reactionary when it comes to misogyny; homophobia; hostility toward ethnic groups; xenophobia; religious bigotry; pro-gun; etc.

This is the very essence of the right-wing constituency of the Republican Party.

This is what Donald Trump has tapped into. It is red-neck territory that other Republican Presidential contenders have never dared venture into.

In September 2012,  Republican candidate Mitt Romney was caught off-guard with a secret video-tape of comments he made at a closed door fund-raising event;

“There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what.

All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.

These are people who pay no income tax.”

The comments were the sort of conservative bigotry parroted by the uninformed; the resentful; the judgemental – in short right-wingers who believe the nonsense that Romney was spouting.

But by October, Romney had apologised for those comments on the Fox Channel’s Hannity programme,

“Clearly in a campaign with hundreds, if not thousands of speeches and question and answer sessions, now and then you’re going to say something that doesn’t come out right. In this case I said something that was just completely wrong.”

Trump does not apologise. He ratchets up his outlandish invective because a sizeable chunk of the American public thinks and often expresses similar reactionary views.

Which makes it deeply ironic that the Republican Party hierarchy so despises Trump, and has tried every ‘trick in the book’ to undermine his chances to become the Republican candidate. Ironic, because Trump not only verbalises what many in the Republican Party think – but is also willing (according to his rhetoric) to act on it.

After decades of right-wing, reactionary sentiments endorsed and exploited by the Republican Party, they now have a candidate who publicly expresses those views.

That is the “secret” of the rise and rise of Donald Trump. There was fertile ground, carefully prepared after decades of conservative, reactionary intolerance. Decade after decade of bigoted, moralistic views.

Donald Trump simply planted himself in that fertile ground. And grew and grew and grew.

The real surprise is that the Republican hierarchy are themselves surprised. Did they never foresee that one day a shrewd, manipulative operator would make full use of the fertile soil of conservatism that had been so carefully laid over the years?

Donald Trump is not some alien outsider to the Republican Party – he embodies the naked spirit of the Republican Party, with all the P.R. spin stripped away. Donald Trump is the Republican Party.

The Republican hierarchy are powerless to stop their own political scion –  a product of their own right-wing bigotry. He is their “Frankenstein’s monster”; a creature of their conservatism.

And the creature is loose.

.

demagogue

.

.

.

References

Buzzfeed: How the Haters made Trump

NBC:  Poll – Clinton and Trump Now Tied as GOP Convention Kicks Off

New York Times: Who Is Running for President?

New York Times: $2 Billion Worth of Free Media for Donald Trump

Marketwatch: Trump has gotten nearly $3 billion in ‘free’ advertising

Online  Daily Mail: Donald Trump ridiculed for blaming Charlie Hebdo massacre on France’s strict gun laws

The Guardian: Mitt Romney under fire after comments caught on video

International Business Times: Romney Apologizes For ’47 Percent’ Comment – ‘I Care About The 100 Percent’

Previous related blogposts

When Fact Follows Fiction – The Weird World of U.S. Politics

.

.

.

president-lex-luthor

 

.

.

= fs =

***
Want to support this work? Donate today
***
Follow us on Twitter & Facebook
***

35 Comments

  1. Nick J says:

    So Frank are traditional right wing conservative Republican voters 1%ers, middle class or blue collar? Seems to me a large chunk of Trumps support base (and Sanders) is blue collar, the traditional stronghold of the Democrats, of Labour. So why is the “Left” in USA and UK rejecting Leftist candidates (Sanders and Corbyn with the vote of no confidence)?

    I would hazard to guess that the so called Left i.e what Tariq Ali so eloquently describes as “the extreme centre” cannot percieve that their total alienation of blue collar support has created a vacuum for the likes of Trump to fill.

    To give an example of this think Brexit. My son reliably informed me that low income semi emloyed people in Liverpool where he lives had issues with Poles and Roumanians moving in and depressing wages, adding to job pressure and more on housing health and services. The Labour MPs they see as Oxbridge educated liberals who dismiss these concerns as racism and bigotry. Go into any pub in Anfield or Goodison and they will tell you Labour cares not for them. This is fertile ground for UKIPetc while the Left with its laudable social principles ignores Maslovian reality.

    My point; dont blame Trump. The Left needs to learn from him, get rid of the Clintons and Blairites, reconnect with their real support.

    • fatty says:

      Good points Nick J.

      I’d add that the working class don’t always vote for their economic interests. We see that in every country, including NZ.

      Many people vote for non-economic beliefs and values – such as nationalism and social conservative values. This is the case for many working class Republicans. They will vote for God, guns and making abortion illegal.

      So I think that many working class Republicans would’ve voted for Trump (or any other Republican) even if Sanders had won and the Democrats had a more leftist leader.

      • Nick J says:

        Very true Fatty. Its a matter of getting the general mix right. Trump seems to do this with ease. Meanwhileby focussing on his bad bits his opponents fail to spot both their weakness and their opportunity.

  2. Priss says:

    Excellent assessment, Frank. So the leadership of the Republican Party can’t be surprised at Trump’s rise in power. Trump embodies every nasty, conservative bigotry the Republicans have promoted.

    I guess it would be like the hierarchy of a left-wing party expressing surprise if a socialist was elected leader. Oh, wait, Cue Corbyn…

    • David See-More says:

      I’ve read that Buzzfeed and Trump exemplifies everything that ACT represents, the self-made man not bludging off the state and determined to make something of himself.

      The fact which struck me was there was a lot of antagonism towards Trump because of things outside of his control.

      “Marlene Rathgeb told the Miami Herald in 1986, adding, “The fact that Trump is Jewish and because he’s nouveau riche turns a lot of people off.”

      • Gosman says:

        Interesting you think that. What about his position on free trade then? How does that square with Act views?

        • fatty says:

          OMG, I kinda agree with Gosman.

          Trump isn’t a libertarian, although, neither are ACT.

          In my opinion, Trump is closest to a little known ideology called ‘producerism’.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Producerism#Modern-day_producerism

          • Nick J says:

            Genius link Fatty. A must read. To quote some of it
            In the United States and in Europe it is often sympathetic towards conservative or Fundamentalist/Primitive Christianity, seen as a defender against both the moral degeneracy of the poor and the rapaciousness of unbridled capitalism. But producerism is not tied to a specific religious world view, and its emphasis on economics, labor, and class resentments embues it with a materialism not entirely compatible with a purely religious outlook
            . Nuff said. Now we know our enemy lets forget about attacking Trump and come up with a more attractive positive option.

          • Rae says:

            ACT are supposed to be libertarian, that is what they were founded on

        • Winnie says:

          Hmm Gosman, suddenly a closet ACT adviser and apologist now? You have been off these pages for so long, most here would have thought have been seeing how the victims of neloliberalism have suffered, by living in your car and foregoing internet.

          Is it because ACT seem to be roving their shifty, dead soulless eyes around looking for a new symbiotic, or parasitic host to inhabit now that the National, ACT, Maori Party and United Future coalition polling is lower than worm-snot?

          Crawl back under your rock, wait for the sun to go down. Your right-wing vampiric neoliberal ways and comments are not appreciated here. You and your neoliberal ilk have sucked the life and heart out of every New Zealander and created such third-world inequality in what was such a great country that I feel the coppery taste of bile rising when I think of how you and your lot have ruined this country.

        • David See-more, the ball’s in your court…

          • David See-More says:

            I’ve been called to a meeting, I will get back to you all in due course

          • Gosman says:

            He’s not representative of Act. He doesn’t even know what is happening in the Act party. If he did he would be able to advise us what has occurred just recently.

            • Hang on, Gosman… I thought ACT supported individualism? Why shouldn’t he (?) be representative of your Party as you are? Sounds to me like you’re adopting a bit of Stalinistic collectivism. For all we know, David See-more is your Party Secretary or President or whatever.

              • Gosman says:

                Ummm…I think you’re mistaking Act with a Anarcho-Capitalist party. David Seymore in fact censured a party member last year who made comments that he deemed I’ll advised on an Act members only forum. It certainly has a degree of party discipline to make sure people are on message.

              • Gosman says:

                Ummm…I think you’re mistaking Act with a Anarcho-Capitalist party. David Seymore in fact censured a party member last year who made comments that he deemed I’ll advised on an Act members only forum. It certainly has a degree of party discipline to make sure people are on message.

                • It certainly has a degree of party discipline to make sure people are on message.

                  “Party discipline”?

                  “On message”?

                  Sorry, are we referring to a free-thinking classical liberal party of rugged individualism, a-la Ayn Rand? Or something more “structured” and adhering to a specific party-line… Like, say, a Maoist or Stalinist party?

                  I dunno if you’re taking the p*ss, Gosman, but I appreciate the self-parody. And if you’re being dead serious… well… That’s even funnier.

                  I’ll leave it to you to figure out what you’ve written, and the perception you’ve (inadvertently?) created.

              • Gosman says:

                I tried replying Frank but for some reason it didn’t come through. You are mistaking Act with an anarcco-capitalist political party. It is definitely not that.

                • David See-More says:

                  The image of Lex Luthor is meant to represent Jamie Whyte again Frank? Don’t you get tired of trying to paint a wonderfully intelligent representative of a compassionate ACT leader like Jamie, as Hood from International Rescue, or Lex Luthor or Minnie Me? It is beneath you to indulge in such preposterous sleights on Jamie?

                  And as for you Gosman, as a supposed aficionado of right-wing politics, you could get substantive facts correct by typing ACT, not Act. You should know better.

                  The meeting I went to, among other things was about Trump’s trade policies:

                  We have taken the liberty of inserting NZ, where US were placed and it doesn’t look too out of place as ACT’s view of Free Trade now does it?

                  The Goal Of The Trump Plan: Fighting For American NZ Businesses And Workers

                  America NZ has always been a trading nation. Under the Trump administration trade will flourish. However, for free trade to bring prosperity to America NZ , it must also be fair trade. Our goal is not protectionism but accountability. America NZ fully opened its markets to China, but China has not reciprocated. Its Great Wall of Protectionism uses unlawful tariff and non-tariff barriers to keep American NZ companies out of China and to tilt the playing field in their favor.

                  If you give American NZ workers a level playing field, they will win. At its heart, this plan is a negotiating strategy to bring fairness to our trade with China. The results will be huge for American NZ businesses and workers. Jobs and factories will stop moving offshore and instead stay here at home. The economy will boom. The steps outlined in this plan will make that a reality.

                  https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/us-china-trade-reform

                  Trump won’t get in in America because, like here in New Zealand, we have a left-wing biased media. Notice that The Nation today had Roy Morgan shwoing National at 53% and Labour and the Greens at 43%. Even ex ACT leader Don Brash was forced to say that Roy Morgan’s results were a ‘bit flaky’.

                  So ACT in New Zealand and Trump in the US are hamstrung by leftie media commentary blocking every good idea (look at the nonsense over Charter Schools, with Tamihere on The Nation)?

                  • The image of Lex Luthor is meant to represent Jamie Whyte again Frank? Don’t you get tired of trying to paint a wonderfully intelligent representative of a compassionate ACT leader like Jamie, as Hood from International Rescue, or Lex Luthor or Minnie Me? It is beneath you to indulge in such preposterous sleights on Jamie?

                    I stand corrected, sir. *doffs hat, tugs forelock*

                    I shall never demean Mr White nor his sister again.

                  • Gosman says:

                    Nonsense. This shows why you aren’t an Act party supporter or member. Act believes in open markets regardless of reciprical arrangements.

              • Sally's Husband says:

                Touche, Frank!

            • David See-More says:

              Firstly, I object to the use of the Lex Luthor image, an obvious link with, and swipe at Jamie Whyte. You just can’t help yourself, denigrating ACT can you Frank? I’ve also seen your images of Hood from International Rescue, and these are not helpful, or fair to ACT. http://66.media.tumblr.com/b3b4c30566905c9c4ec2233bcb61de0c/tumblr_o02mpfRNkl1u7966eo1_1280.jpg

              Gosman, it is ACT, get your substantive facts right and if you are the aficionado of the right-leaning parties, you could at least spell our name correctly.

              As for Free Trade, after my urgent meeting I was called to, we have researched Trump’s position extensively and been in discussions with him on these matters:

              The Goal Of The Trump Plan: Fighting For American NZ Businesses And Workers

              America NZ has always been a trading nation. Under the Trump administration trade will flourish. However, for free trade to bring prosperity to America NZ , it must also be fair trade. Our goal is not protectionism but accountability. America NZ fully opened its markets to China but China has not reciprocated. It’s Great Wall of Protectionism uses unlawful tariff and non-tariff barriers to keep American companies out of China and to tilt the playing field in their favor.

              If you give American NZ workers a level playing field, they will win. At its heart, this plan is a negotiating strategy to bring fairness to our trade with China. The results will be huge for American NZ businesses and workers. Jobs and factories will stop moving offshore and instead stay here at home. The economy will boom. The steps outlined in this plan will make that a reality.

              Sorted Frank? Sorted! https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/us-china-trade-reform

              BTW, China’s threats against the coalition will NOT be tolerated, look for some insider information on your “insider tips” page

      • mpledger says:

        Trump isn’t self-made. I read somewhere that if he had put the money he inherited in the bank he would have made more money than going into business.

        His greatest accomplishment seems to be able to get money out of companies he bankrupts.

  3. Doubting Thomas says:

    It may be argued that Trump appeals to those on the right of the political spectrum in the US, who are sick of being screwed over by neoliberal politics, self-interest lobbyists and Wall Street corporate beggars with Armani suits and those GOPers who cannot bring themselves to vote for a centrist Democrat instead of Trump. Trump galvanises the haters on the right, to stay right, instead of going left.

    The same sentiment exists on the left of the US spectrum, for those who distrust, the Clintonesque successionists because they distrust familial dynasties like the Bush-clan, and those democrats who are also sick of being screwed over by neoliberal politics, self-interest lobbyists and Wall Street corporate beggars with Armani suits. The democrats cannot bring themselves to vote for a Republican moderate right-wing candidate, because there are none. Bernie galvanised the malcontents of the left.

    However, to fully grind Trump and the GOP under their heels for the next 8 years, Hillary would have to appoint Bernie as her VP. That would ensure that a true unified democratic alliance would exist to extinguish the GOP from the face of US politics for the foreseeable future, if not forever.

    Let the same happen here in New Zealand next year, that Trump, Bernie and Brexit have hinted at – the demise of neoliberal politics, corporate welfare, tax cheats, corrupt lobbyists and greedy bankers. Did I mention inequality, sneering contempt for those at the bottom and selective racism? Nope.

    • Castro says:

      You are exactly right. The leadership on the “left” and the “right” are increasingly being viewed as being in fact one in the same by many in the “working class” (i.e. those at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum). The latter have not benefitted from neo-liberal economic policies one iota, and don’t really have the luxury of giving much of a toss about the identity politics of the “left-wing” leadership, telling them to link arms and sing Kumbaya when they are worrying about paying the rent and finding a job. Left and right wing political leaders are essentially one and the same for the have nots… a bunch of condescending, sneering and disdainful rich pricks. When Economics 101 tells us quite clearly that large-scale immigration, for example, has an undeniable negative impact on the lower classes (poor and working poor) through lower wages and increased accommodation costs, and when the working poor point this out, articulately or otherwise, and are reviled and derided and called “racist” and “bigot”… expect a lot more one finger salute “fuck yous” to the political establishment… a surge in demagoguery. The illusion that the “red” and the “blue” teams are somehow opposed to each other is now becoming increasingly apparent to the have nots… the political elites on the “left” and the “right” have more in common with each other and care more about their own interests than the “uneducated and boorish” have nots. Welcome to the politics of Elysium.

  4. Rae says:

    And now we hear Trump is planning to pander to the religious nuts in republican party by encouraging the mixing religion and politics. So what now for the secular society if this idiot beomes PotUS?
    The USA is fucked.

    • I concur, Rae. I heard a segment of his speech on Radio NZ’s ‘Checkpoint’. He was ranting. I almost expected him to blurt out that “Poland has always been part of Greater Amerika!!”

      We are seeing history repeat. We can now experience a glimpse of how Adolf Hitler mesmerised (some of) his people through the democratic process.

    • Sally's Husband says:

      “The USA is fucked” – is putting it mildly, Rae. I don’t think we’ve seen this kind of demogoguery since the rise of fascism in the 1930s.

      What kind of society is it that thinks that a man like Fuhrer Trump is a solution??

  5. Archonblatter says:

    The terms left and right are moribund and already disappearing into vortex of history. One is either globalist or nationalist. Nationalist are those who reject all forms of Marxism including the Frankfurt school and all demonic Zionist promoted intellectual political, economic and cultural theories which have for over a century played like gamefish the intellectual dupes of both the left and the right.
    Humanity can do without the wars, destruction and blather but it can’t survive without the sun and the moon and on a dead planet.

    https://smashculturalmarxism.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/the-frankfurt-school-western-subversion-by-design/?preview=true

    • Danyl Strype says:

      Speaking of demoagoguery, here’s one quote from the article linked by ArchonBlatter:

      “That same year, when he became Deputy Commissar for Culture in that short-lived Bolshevik Bela Kun government in Hungary, one of Lukacs’s first acts was to introduce sex education into Hungary’s public schools. He knew that if he could destroy the West’s traditional sexual morals, he would have taken a giant step toward destroying Western culture itself. (More on that later)”

      The ultraconservative paranoia speaks for itself. Then there’s this quote from another article on the same site:

      “Another example would be multiculturalism, they support it because they feel safer in multiracial, multicultural societies and they support it because they have an historic animosity and revengeful attitude against white Christian Europe and the West due to centuries of conflict in which they want you to believe that they were the victims of Christian ‘anti-semitism’ just because they were Jews. They would never accept or consider Jewish behaviour as a motivating factor.”
      https://smashculturalmarxism.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/oswald-mosley-against-jewish-behaviour/

      You’re free to hold and express your opinions, but attempting to back them up with cryptofascist garbage like this does little to bolster your credibility.

  6. […] blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 21 July […]


 
Authorised by Martyn Bradbury, The Editor, TheDailyBlog,