One Little Trick to Understand Trump

Photo by Kyaw Tun on Unsplash

One trick to understanding modern US politics?

Forget everything that happened before, say, Carter took office in 1977. All of the stuff from before then is just weird old stuff. NATO. WTO. Great Depression. Actual fascism. Actual, Soviet Union-style communism.

World War II, Korea, Vietnam. JFK.

It’s all fallen away from the consciousness. Just dreams and mists and a bit of nostalgia.

So, when Trump talks about nationalism, while on the one hand, he knows. On the other hand, he knows he’s talking to people who don’t know, or don’t care, or if they do care… they are fine with it.

It’s like reverse dog-whistling — instead of subtexting the base, he’s subtexting the historians. Instead of just sending hidden messages via, say, a phrase that closely echoes a quote from the Bible, he echoes a phase from a dark age of fascism, knowing it’ll completely freak out the people he’s running against.

It’s a new generation… and an old one, all at the same time.

Nobody can take any of the old structures for granted. The EU. Treaties. Trade deals. Everything has to be re-litigated from the ground up.

Not just re-litigated.

Explained.

Again.

And again.

Like you are talking to a giant, orange goldfish.

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