Saturday, March 19, 2016

Trump Agent for Change or Dangerous Demagogue: Simple Question, Easy Answer

(Credit Illustration by Tom Bachtell)

An absolutely excellent and must-read article from The New Yorker here and skillfully written by Editor David Remnick. This extract is sort of an introduction as it were – as I said, it is a must-read – enjoy. I sure did.

Nearly three decades ago, Howard Kaminsky, of Random House, called on the real-estate developer and self-marketing master Donald J. Trump at his office on Fifth Avenue. Kaminsky brought along a cover design for “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” its author’s literary début. Trump seemed reasonably happy. Just one thing, he said: “Please make my name much bigger.”

It was all so funny once. For a long time, Trump, with his twenty-four-karat skyscrapers, his interesting hair, and his extra-classy airline, was a leading feature of the New York egoscape (Note: Yep, I had to look it up, too).

The editors of the satirical monthly Spy covered him with the same obsessive attention that Field & Stream pays to the rainbow trout. Trump never failed to provide; he was everywhere, commandeering a corner at a professional wrestling match, buying the Miss Universe franchise and vowing smaller bathing suits and higher heels.

You could watch him humiliate supplicants on “The Apprentice” and hear him on “The Howard Stern Show” gallantly describing the mystery of Melania’s bowel movements (“I’ve never seen anything — it’s amazing”) and announcing that, “without even hesitation,” he would have had sex with Princess Diana. As early as 1988, Trump hinted at a run for the White House, though this was understood to be part of his carny shtick, another form of self-branding in the celebrity-mad culture. And now here we are. Trump is no longer hustling golf courses, fake “universities,” or reality TV. 

He means to command the United States armed forces and control its nuclear codes. He intends to propose legislation, conduct America’s global affairs, preside over its national-intelligence apparatus, and make the innumerable moral and political decisions required of a President.

This is not a Seth Rogen movie; this is as real as mud. Having all but swept the early Republican primaries and caucuses, Trump — who re-tweets conspiracy theories and invites the affections of white-supremacist groups, and has established himself as the adept inheritor of a long tradition of nativism, discrimination, and authoritarianism — is getting ever closer to becoming the nominee of what Republicans like to call “the party of Abraham Lincoln.” No American demagogue [before] –– not Huey Long, not Joseph McCarthy, not George Wallace –– has ever achieved such proximity to national power.

Story continues at the main link. It contains much more enlightening reading.

Thanks for stopping by and for reading that assessment. If you like, spread the word about this fine piece.  People have the right to make up their own minds about Mr. Trump that is if they can keep an open mind and act accordingly about what they see and hear from him.

Is what we see and hear from Donald J. Trump, “an agent for political change he professes to be, or is he a very dangerous demagogue.” That remains to be seen.

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