The Grand Delusion

In a most interesting editorial from Der Spiegel passed along by that consummate blogger, Jill Dennison, we read how some of the folks across the pond view this political race — and especially Donald Trump. The editorial is unsettling to say the least. After talking about the man, it mentions the grave danger to the world if Donald Trump were to hold the nuclear codes; then the writer goes on to attempt to understand why Trump has garnered such a loud and large following:

But Trump’s supporters hardly misunderstand: Crushed by generational, technological and demographic changes and abandoned by a broken political system, they’ve been boiling from suppressed, not-so-secretly yearned-for violence for a while. They were just waiting for their leader.

They aren’t bothered by the fact that he lies pathologically and has no clue about world politics, domestic and economic policy or the intricacies of diplomacy. For too long, they’ve been living in an alternate universe where reality and delusion blur, where truth and lies are inverted. Trump has legitimized them and their worldview.

This is well put. The author measures the frustration experienced by those people who feel disconnected from a political process that has clearly broken down. They see Trump as a knight on a white charger, coming to the rescue. What the editorial does not mention is how deluded this view is. Trump is anything but a knight and there is simply no way he can fix the broken political machine — as he avows. That’s not how it works (when it does work).

We have seen how ineffective a president can be when he has to deal with a majority in the Congress from the other party (who have vowed not to cooperate with the man whatever he might want to do). If Donald Trump were to become president (God forbid) he would be totally ineffective, because he has zero credibility among the professional politicians whom he wants to coerce. Even a well-meaning man like Bernie Sanders would be ineffective in a system that ties the hands of the executive. It’s that way by design. The founders did not trust power and they wanted no part of a powerful president that would be king.

But that is precisely what Trump does want — to be king. He talks as though when he becomes president he will simply snap his fingers and there will be instant change. We know he is stupid, but the extent of the stupidity among his mindless minions who believe this nonsense beggars belief. They simply do not know anything about the political system they are a part of, except that has broken down and they cannot get whatever it is they want. Even under the best of circumstances — a bright and civic-minded president working hand-in-hand with a cooperative Congress — the president can only do so much. And given the fact that the corporations and special interest groups hold the strings that direct the actions of so many in Congress, even under the best of circumstances it is doubtful that much would get done to repair the broken machinery. Just imagine, for example, such a harmonious political executive and legislative body attempting to institute measures that would control the sale of weapons in this country. Is anyone naive enough to think that a president, any president, could take on such a powerful group as the N.R.A. and win the day? Surely not.

But if Trump were president (again, God forbid) there would be no harmony and the machine would work even less effectively than it does at present. He would get nothing accomplished and piss off a great many people in the process. Imagine how his frustration would mount and how that frustration might express itself! There is simply no reason whatever to vote for this man — and a great many reasons not to do so.


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