Trump as Ideology

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.