Razer: The GOP, Donald Trump and other period dramas

If PT Barnum had sired a son who was raised by the bunnies of the Playboy mansion and groomed at a Shiba Inus specialty salon, he would look, sound and earn quite a bit like Donald Trump. This improbably wealthy pup has long served as a punchline and a comfort that untold privilege can secure neither intellect nor appropriate hair and would still today be enormous fun if he were not also the Republican presidential front-runner. There are, of course, many Tuesdays yet to pass before the Super one that will impact a nation and test the sanity of its citizens. But, as of this Tuesday — one which closely follows Trump’s public observations that immigrant Mexicans are generally rapists and that female broadcasters unenamoured of him are generally on-their-periods—the guy is number one.

Following last week’s GOP debate where the reality TV star urged for the national need for “more quickness” and “more brain”, a raft of surveys situate Trump in a convincing lead. Morning Consult’s tracking poll conducted at the weekend among Republicans sees him at 32%, almost three times that of closest rival Jeb Bush. Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses are considered highly influential and Public Policy Polling has him out in front at 19% in that state. NBC’s poll released Sunday also has him as the preferred nominee for Republicans and we could naturally conclude that the liberal democracies of the world are headed directly to hell. Albeit in a very nice handcart staffed by Eastern European models who promise to serve us shrimp cocktail before the Trump handcart transport consortium files for bankruptcy four times.

There can of course be no doubt that the western world is bound to choke soon on the rind of its own excess and it is probably true that a deluded restaurateur like Trump will, if he does become president, hasten the moment of our final bite. But, we’re stuffed like a shrimp with or without this guy and, if you don’t believe me, take a little time to view the other GOP candidates. When you find yourself thinking “that Rand Paul has some really interesting things to say”, you know the present context is one of normalised evil.

Even a glimpse at the Dems provides little more cheer. There’s some boutique hope in the form of Bernie Sanders whose “utopian” urging to an affluent nation to actually care for its citizens is drawing big crowds. But these are unlikely to be big enough to contest Hilary Clinton’s faith in big money. Or anyone else’s. Nothing is big enough, not even a devastating financial crash that produced homelessness and lost income across a nation, to destroy the idea that the concentrated accumulation of wealth is inevitable and necessary. Rich is good! Even though it clearly isn’t.

We can laugh at Trump — it’s impossible not to — or we can despair for his crudeness. We can also say, as many have, that his ultra-Clive Palmer style is evidence of diminished faith in politics. Or, we could, perhaps, admit that his ideas are not really noteworthy at all.

Trump might claim to be anti-politics, or its close synonym “anti-politically correct”, but he was hardly the least “political”, or most conservative, man on stage last week in Cleveland. Rubio claimed that the modest Dodd-Frank post-crash finance sector regulations had hurt banks. In a post-Snowden world, Christie called for tougher data retention. Cruz turned a shade of Republican red as he vowed to prosecute Planned Parenthood for allegedly criminal activity. There are more nativist and more fundamentalist and militaristic candidates than Trump. But the hate — and Trump’s hate forte seems to be for Mexicans and for women he considers unattractive or menstrual — is really just window-dressing in a nation where growing wealth inequality is the most urgent problem.

All these guys stand for a downward turn in the ratio of wages to productivity. All these guys stand for an ascent in the assets held by corporations. That one of these guys is singled out for saying these things so nakedly seems a bit unfair.

And, Trump has been singled out. Fox News, the US’s most-watched cable news service, is giving the man a shrift shorter than Rand Paul in bare feet. During the debate shown on the channel, broadcaster Megyn Kelly was tougher on the entrepreneur than she was on any other candidate. Following the debate, Fox News managed to assemble the only focus group of Republicans in the nation that had an overwhelmingly negative reaction to Trump. Like the GOP itself, a party that is happy to rob women of reproductive healthcare but comes over all My Body My Choice when Trump makes possible reference to periods, Fox has disinvited the man from the race.

Today, even progressive US news outlets are focusing obsessively on Trump’s sexist outbursts — as though these are even news from the guy who bought the Miss Universe franchise.

At best, this disapproval from all sides can only reaffirm the idea among ultra-conservatives that saying hateful things about entire classes of people is a joyous act of rebellion. At worst, it takes the gaze from where it needs to be leading up to the primaries which is on the economy, Stupid.

Trump, who has been at the centre of micro-economic failures, could lead America into a catastrophically stupid economic failure. But he is leading a large number of Americans into increased impatience with non-core bullshit—and, like it or not, a slight directed at a newscaster is non-core. Like an ill-considered wink, this moment is meaningless and it’s right for Trump, however fundamentally wrong he is about most things, to call the widespread media interest in his period comment bullshit. It is bullshit. It’s bullshit to elevate moments of politicians’ sexism. It’s sexism in policy, for which there is plenty of evidence, which is not bullshit. But, we’re unlikely to talk about that when we could talk about the man’s character and extraordinary hair.

That there is only bullshit policy — stop the Mexican rapists from crossing the border and menstrual blood from leaking out of women on TV! — underneath Trump’s no-bullshit bluster doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter that his sole qualification as manager of the world’s largest economy seems to be “I have a net worth of eight billion dollars!”  He has learnt the art of the bullshit reveal from his time on reality TV. He is currently the only guy in the GOP who looks as though he’s really interested in the no-bullshit business of the economy, Stupid.

And the rest of us are interested in his flubs and his hair. These are, of course, spectacular. But, if we’re not more careful to look away and put our noses directly to elaborate bullshit, we’ll all be living hard like Playboy bunnies by 2017.

Previously by Helen Razer:

MKA’s legal push to have Hotplate turned off  

10 responses to “Razer: The GOP, Donald Trump and other period dramas

  1. Hear hear Helen; you gotta look through the bullshit distractions and see the real agenda of continuing wealth redistribution to the rich but sadly you very rarely read any meaningful analysis in the Australian media, Fairfax of that other bastard’s, which is why it’s a

  2. The problem is people are just so fed up with politics that being a woman I should care but stupidly don’t. So in that sense you are right Helen or Bob. I am just not interested in what pollies say because I have to struggle to keep afloat with mundane things like electricity bills, groceries & the like. Its been the same for both different parties in office so the system has to take some blame for loosing the interest of general run of the mill swing voters like myself. I just don’t give a shit.

  3. That’s why he is doing so well. People the journalists do not agree with are labelled stupid or evil. Perhaps if you could use real arguments instead of name calling people might listen to your ranting.
    It seems you take your readers for stupid idiots by your spreading of lies and misinformation about Trump. That is probably a fair assumption I admit.
    Hillary was out-polling Trump but her numbers are falling fast now that the FBI has forced her to give up her email server.

    1. I quite like Helens style. I do not agree with her but its miles better than the usual trash from our controlled press. In fact if mister squiggle was to copy her style, well I would follow him as well. You raise very valid points & I agree with nearly all that you say but let me ad freedom to write in your own style keeps me as interested in the comments as the main discourse. I only see Helen as the instigator of discussion. The real nuts & bolts comes from comments such as your self so please keep going Bob. I enjoy reading different aspects from the commentators very much.

      1. You are right Mike. Helen is more interesting than most and does not write political articles all that often so I have been a little harsh. She is probably just regurgitating rather than manipulating.
        I also enjoy reading comments, usually more than the article itself. I remember when Awesome Erick basically shut down the Punch website because he owned all the idiot journalists on a daily basis. I wonder what happened to him?

  4. Trump, besides being a misogynist & racist has filed for bankruptcy protection on four occasions & yet he still is worthy of studying simply because of his ratings in the polls.
    It is an intriguing & complex look into the psyche of the voting population of the USA which is less than half from memory. I have nothing in common with John McCain. We are politically miles apart but having done solitary confinement for two weeks I was rather amused when Trump said McCain was not a war hero. Why he is where he is deserves researching so as to study why we are well into neo-conservatism & also to attempt to stop our political machines emulating or puppeting what is an extremely flawed system that purports to be democracy.

  5. Maybe I have been watching House of Cards too much, but I think that Trump has been put up to running by Hilary as a way to separate those people in the fly-over states who vote against their own self interests from the traditional GOP voters. Trump will eventually move across to running as an independent, taking the 32%+ with him thereby diluting any chance the GOP have of winning.

    I don’t think we really have to worry about a future where Trump is President. The inflammatory comments he makes are clearly designed to separate the wheat from the chaff. No intelligent person could listen to him and take him seriously.

    1. The entire thing certainly brings to mind the ghost of Francis Urquhart! Nonetheless, I think your usage of “no intelligent person” shows great optimism for the rational votes of the USA. :-) Or, at least, little memory for Baby George.
      Though you’re right that Hilary consistently out-polls Trump in surveys, I don’t think you’re right that Trump is the result of conspiracy as much as he is of hubris. Also, if you want to hear things more outrageous than “Mexicans are rapists”, listen to the other candidates.
      The thing is, some politicians or aspiring politicians are actually stupid. And, as the above commenter would indicate, some voters are happy to think of the expression of their stupid ideas as “refreshing” and “honest”. I don’t see what is particularly new and fresh about giving voice to old, low beliefs, myself. Trumps is just a naked conservative, and now a pro-lifer of convenience. Wowee. He’s the right wing Russell Brand!
      IN short, do not underestimate the power of stupid.

  6. This was a pretty weak hit piece. It is sad to see Helen stoop so low with such dishonesty and establishment butt slurping.
    People the world over have had enough of greedy elitist politicians selling out their constituents. They have woken up to the fact that Labor/Liberal, Labour/Conservative, Democrats/Republicans etc are all the same team and that we are being taken for a ride.
    The politicians and bureaucrat need to be reminded that they are public servants, not rulers.
    It is wonderful to see the journalists who see themselves as part of the political class crapping themselves at the prospect of Trump becoming President. That itself is worth the price of admission.

  7. Always a joy to read your work Helen. I noted a new word “restaurater” .
    Thinking on menstruation and cycles I have come up with a new way of dealing with my past. This is it~oh,” that was my/our/their/your (insert name) period”.
    Indications are this is “their Trump period”.

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