Trump as Ideology
Donald Trump is a politician par excellence. The Samuel Johnson dictionary, the benchmark in English language dictionaries, defines a politician as: ’ 1. One versed in the arts of government; one skilled in politicks. 2. A man of artifice; one of deep contrivance.’ A man of artifice … Donald Trump is a man of artifice. More than a politician, Trump transcends into an ideology. Donald Trump is an ideology.
Trumpism is the pathological ideology of the new (old) American folk culture. It is the expressive belief system of a lost generation of American whites. Trumpism is a neofascism that radically exploits the psychological fascism of the marginalized individual. In this sense Trumpism isn’t a radicalization of individuals, instead, it is a curtain call for the latency of American fascism. That is, this ideology is nothing new. The racism, bigotry and misogyny are nothing new. Trumpism is America and epitomizes the American epoch up to this point.
Delueze and Guattari once said that in fascism there is a realized nihilism. It is hard to see Trump supporters as anything but nihilistic. His supporters are walking contradictions in that Trump’s economic position(s) are exactly what has marginalized them in the first place. Trumpism allows Trump supporters a platform to express their fascist desires. A fallacious rosy retrospectivity drives his supporters forward in the false belief that somehow the past was better. This is blatant in his campaign slogan to ‘Make America Great Again!” As if it was ever great for these people who support him.
Spinoza once asked, “Why do men fight for their servitude as stubbornly as though it were their salvation?” This is the contradiction faced by Trump supporters in their stubborn belief that he is their liberator and not their oppressor. This pathological instance in Trumpism was played out perfectly in Lewis Carroll’s Sylvie and Bruno when a chancellor hires a group to stage a “spontaneous” protest. During the protest “some were shouting “Bread!” and some “Taxes!”, but no one seemed to know what it was they really wanted.” When the protesters broke out into a riot the mob confusedly shouted “Less! Bread! More! Taxes!” But perhaps this is what they desired after all? Desiring repression.
Trumpism represents the extraction of headless American patriotism which is founded, not as the rhetoric claims on freedom and equality, but on the oppression of the lower classes and marginalized people in order to suspend the welfare of the middle and upper-classes. Trump’s rhetoric plays on the desire-machine of the lower class. It displaces fact for a false dream of a perfect past in which the white majority enjoyed a faultless and perfectly comfortable life. Trumpism is an ideology concentrated around victimhood and blame allowing it to snowball into racist bigotry and simple hatred.
Trumpism reveals America’s truth. It is a frightened child concocting imaginary bullies so that it may shift our focus from its own faults and fall prey to its blame game. The marginalized miseducated and undereducated folk class of the United States of America need only to express their latent fascism in cathartic fits at Trump rallies to expose their ideology for what it truly is: Trumpism is Americanism. Trumpism is the despotism of America; that is, racism, bigotry and hatred are all of what has made America great, and they are what leads America forward.
Hope was the rhetoric of the past. It is only apparent under the reign of Trumpism that American democracy has no hope under the star spangled banner. Even if Trump loses in his campaign, he will have won in shattering the illusion that America was ever a democratic country. The nihilism of Trumpism continues the great tradition of America’s Manifest Destiny. The destruction of knowledge, culture and people under the guise of democracy and freedom, and through the free-reign siege of neoliberal capitalism. This is America. America is Trump. America needs a haircut like it does a new form of government and politicking.