Trumped by Entertainment: The Death of American Common Sense

March 20, 2016
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Here is the billion-dollar question: why are so many people attracted to Donald Trump? Why is the Republican base of common-sense ordinary folk going gaga for a man who couldn't be further removed from their lives and concerns, a man who until five minutes ago seemed to care not a wit for America and only concerned himself with amassing wealth and growing personal fame by torturing apprentices in a reality TV show?

A lot of the blame for Trump's shocking success has been dumped at the door of the GOP leadership. Last week, Gov. Bobby Jindal warned that Donald Trump's success among Republican voters spells the death of "the GOP establishment", which must have badly neglected the concerns of its voters to make them so illogically crazed for a man who would implode their own party.

Others have blamed the electoral system itself, both the winner-takes-all nomination system of the Republican Party and also the functioning of the presidential race itself.  The Rolling Stone got it almost right last month: 
It turns out we let our electoral process devolve into something so fake and dysfunctional that any half-bright con man with the stones to try it could walk right through the front door and tear it to shreds on the first go.

And Trump is no half-bright con man, either. He's way better than average. an insane twist of fate, this bloated billionaire scion has hobbies that have given him insight into the presidential electoral process. He likes women, which got him into beauty pageants. And he likes being famous, which got him into reality TV. He knows show business.

That put him in position to understand that the presidential election campaign is really just a badly acted, billion-dollar TV show
whose production costs ludicrously include the political disenfranchisement of its audience. Trump is making a mockery of the show...
There is a flash of insight here: yes, in this presidential race we should replace the word "polls" with "ratings". Trump is pure entertainment, and he has figured out how to get his ratings to skyrocket.

Trump is what you get when shallow entertainment and celebrity culture becomes king of your people. 

He's not 'style over substance' - he's just style with no substance. The Trump Wall of Mexico? The deportation of every single illegal immigrant? Every reasonable mind knows this is ludicrous. But today's voters love Trump's audacity. They love his insults and his crazy politically incorrect statements.

This is partly because people are sick of political correctness, and of the fake fronts of all the other candidates. The more Trump shoots off his mouth, the more honest and genuine he seems - like those reality show stars who swear, cry, and bare their bodies and souls for their audiences.

People confuse rudeness with truth, but in reality Trump has just figured out how to hook 'em. It's mind candy, and Americans are mentally obese on it.

It's such a shallow act that even toilet paper is thicker. Once the TV cameras turn off, this newfangled champion of the common man returns to his 118-room palace, where he lives the life of Sun King Louis XIV of France (his staff actually rise when he walks past). Or perhaps he hangs out in his opulent New York mansion, which might just contain more gold than the Canadian mint.

Is this the man who will give America a new start? Wait for it, and you'll see him turn the USA into a United States of China. There too, business and governance have been fused within one dictatorial ruling class that cares far more about enriching itself and its cronies than it does about freedom, human rights or the ordinary citizen. Donald Trump fits right in with those oligarchs, and so will the United States under his leadership (he might even become Putin's new best friend).

Rotten to the core

Why are those ordinary Joes, who were supposed to know better, succumbing to Trump's cheap act? Why are they flocking to a guy who treats a serious Presidential race like a WWF wrestling match?

Because those ordinary Joes...those guys are not what they used to be. Trump is a narcissist vulture feeding off the corpse of American common sense, whose demise is finally becoming noticed.

The rot has been there for decades:
  • Lack of meaningful education in the lessons of history;
  • Liberal brainwashing in schools from elementary through university, teaching that there is no objective truth but only subjective feelings;
  • The rejection of any idea of American greatness, and a national self-loathing as world-wide oppressors...
  • The mental lobotomies of so many addicts to pornography, who start to deny the importance of morality and personal integrity;
  • The giant stain of fetal blood crying out from American soil;
  • The asphyxiation of the natural nuclear family, both through divorce and through a legal re-definition in Obergefell...

Did the GOP expect the common man to stay immune to all this mental fog and flab when he came into the ballot box?

Well, yes. The rot was supposed to be confined to the Democratic base. Republican voters were supposed to know and believe all that's good and true and written in the National Review.

Only, no.

It turns out the ordinary American voter, including that Republican base, is sick n' tired of intellectuals cramming morality and rights and wrongs down his neck. He just wants a good laugh and to stick his middle finger up to the ruling class, even if nothing changes.

This virus infects across the party lines

The Democrats may think that Trump syndrome is restricted to the GOP, but they'd be wrong about that. It's a very communicable disease, and their base already has it too. They just don't have the right candidate yet.

Imagine the pandemonium that Oprah would cause among the Democratic base if she were to run for President. Millions of ordinary Americans would be crying with devotion and kneeling at her feet. With one snap of her fingers, Oprah would sweep Hillary into the dustbin of history.

Trump is just the male Oprah.

Here comes tyranny

When you think about it, the death of America's common sense was a long time in coming.

Judge Learned Hand prophesied these very developments when he said:
"I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it…"
The death of America's common sense means the loss of America's final safeguard against tyranny. Much like the fall of Ancient Rome, the fall of the American empire has been due for quite some time now, and it seems to be nearing with each election.

The way things are going, the Sweet Land of Liberty may soon be but a memory.

Top photo courtesy of: Boss Tweed at Flickr Creative Commons.

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We provide commentary on the cultural decline of the Western world, from a conservative perspective.