All Like This

People on Twitter are having a conniption over Trump’s bragging about the ratings of his coronavirus press conferences. Some of them are poseurs but many are sincere in their cute childish outrage. They don’t understand that this is how absolutely any politician thinks. It’s in the job description. If you don’t think like that, you are not a politician.

The only thing that is different about Trump is that he says it out loud. Once you know that they are all exactly like this, it’s hard not to find it refreshing that somebody is at least open about it.

N and I are watching Downton Abbey (what a brilliant show, please watch it), and when I see the daily Trump-outrage fest I keep imagining the prissily shocked faces of the aristocrats in the show who just found out that the Earl’s youngest daughter ran off with the Irish chauffeur.

The need to imagine politicians as virtuous and caring is a symptom of an oedipal trauma, by the way. So this daily dose of outrage is nothing but a symptom of a psychological dysfunction on the part of the outraged.

9 thoughts on “All Like This”

  1. Speaking of Oedipal trauma, when is the last time a movie protagonist in a US-made movie, who is under the age of 30, didn’t have issues because of a dead or absentee father? It’s like 85% of the movies. Then in another 10% there’s a dead mother. The remaining 5% the kid is orphaned.

    Obvs I am making these numbers up, but it seems one’s story can’t sell if one doesn’t have Oedipal issues.


    1. I agree that it gets repetitive. I really enjoyed the first season, but I was getting bored by the third and never made it to the end.


  2. “The need to imagine politicians as virtuous and caring…”

    The notion that the state can be a source of virtue is a modern conceit. In a world defined by scarce resources, politics is “the authoritative allocation of values” or, more simply, “who gets what, when, and how.” Although it is possible to imagine a virtuous person in politics, politics itself can never be about virtue as it is based on taking away resources from some to give to others.

    However high-minded they try to make themselves appear, politicians are mostly grifters preoccupied with enriching themselves, their friends, and their financial supporters. Trump really annoys them because he owes none of them – or the party, interest group, media, and bureaucratic elites that make up their world – any favours for his climb to the top and is so independently wealthy that he makes a show of not needing to grift from the state.

    “The only thing that is different about Trump is that he says it out loud.” Yup – and some seem prepared, like Samson, to pull down the pillars of liberal democratic norms and institutions to get at him.


    1. The main argument against Trump is that he’s so exceptionally dangerous to democracy that all democratic rules and procedures should be suspended “just for this once” to save democracy. :-)))


  3. I don’t use Twitter at all. I must disagree with the proposition that Trump is representative of all politicians. He is something new and unique, at least among American presidents. I don’t know if he has done it purposely or unwittingly, but Trump has turned his press briefings on coronavirus into a daily TV reality show, starring Donald Trump. He was a reality show host before becoming president, and he is a reality show host again. Donald Trump does not remind me of any previous president. He has nothing in common with Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Wilson, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Johnson, Reagan, Bush, Obama. Trump is not representative of anything common to the American presidency.


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