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The Yuge Explanation of the Uniquely American Trump Phenomenon

I’ve been burnt out lately on the current events stuff I was to be posting about, and so have re-focussed more on food stuff lately, which I’m enjoying far more, truth be told. Perhaps I’ll do some sort of current bullshit roundup post every Sunday or something, just to keep some ideas and analysis flowing both ways. Plus, I’m just numb with leftist no-sense, and the social-justice stuff is enough to make me want to vomit my guts. I digress.

Here’s a very solid piece of writing and because it’s on Facebook (go give it a Like or Share), I’ll quote it entirely here, for the benefit of those who, unlike me, are smart enough to stay away from Facebook. It’s by Robert Bidinotto, author of the Hunter series of vigilante novels. I haven’t read them yet, but they’re highly regarded and I’m confident I’ll love them once I do. Bidinotto is a very smart man. I remember him from USENET back in the day, in philosophy newsgroups.

I’ve previously written that what I have liked about Trump being in this presidential race is his general iconoclasm…not in a nihilistic sense, but rather directed towards the entrenched elites who deliver failure upon failure, on both sides. I think Bidinotto is spot on here and delves a lot deeper than I have. I particularly like how he analyzes this as more about individual pride, self-esteem and worth than collective nationalism (we’ve seen that before).

Perhaps the bright spot is that If America’s cultural roots in revolution on behalf of individuals rather than collectives is strong enough to inoculate it from taking this to extreme nationalism, then perhaps it’s also strong enough to overcome a failed Trump presidency.

AN EPIPHANY ABOUT THE APPEAL OF MR. TRUMP.

I’ve read and heard many theories from clueless pundits, pollsters, politicians, and ponderers who are trying to wrap their heads around the Trump phenomenon. Why he, an impious secularist, is drawing more support from evangelical Christians than Cruz or Carson. Why he, with a remarkably elastic view of constitutionally limited government, polls better among self-described “conservatives” than those with far more claim to being principled constitutionalists. Why he, a man who buys politicians in order to turn the power of government to his own ends, is the leading candidate in a party nominally committed to free enterprise, beating even those vocally opposing crony corporatists like himself. Etc.

I’ve tried to wrap my head around all this myself, and until recent days, found myself at a loss. I find bits of truth in many of the proffered theories, but regard most of them as inadequate. The “Parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant” keeps coming to mind: Each theorist seizes only a part of the beast that is Trumpism, then assumes that the part defines the whole of it.

Well, here’s my stab at it.

The most fundamental psychological need of any individual is self-esteem — a belief in his own significance, worth, value. Lose that, and life no longer feels worth living. Which is why people who become humiliated or depressed with their lives are prone to passivity, defeatism, and self-destructive behavior.

Millions of decent Americans, for decades — and most intensely during the past decade — have felt their self-esteem under daily, relentless assault. The attackers are the political, economic, educational, and cultural elites. Americans have heard their values and ideals demeaned, mocked, vilified. They have watched the institutions that are supposed to uphold, symbolize, and protect those values and ideals become subverted, perverted, and corrupted. They have watched helplessly as their own children succumb to the cultural rot. They have tried to protest and fight back — only to have their legal efforts stymied and repelled by morally bankrupt courts, their political efforts crushed by the entrenched political class and thuggish bureaucrats, and their reform efforts betrayed by self-proclaimed political champions, including a venal, self-aggrandizing Republican leadership.

Decent Americans realize that they have been played and betrayed by all the elites — treated as nothing but pawns to be manipulated, as serfs to be bossed, as sheep to be fleeced — all to keep those elites living in grandiosity and comfort, while they struggle and suffer. They realize that, while all of this is happening, they are being laughed at and treated with cold contempt by that same Ruling Class: insulted as ignorant rubes, demeaned as coarse brutes whose bellowing anger is unworthy of even a hearing.

Worst of all, they have been intimidated to silence about it. It is now being made ILLEGAL even to protest. Accurate language describing what is going on and labeling those doing it has been banned as “hate speech.” Mere accusations of “racism” and “bigotry” are sufficient to cause individuals to lose jobs. In the face of snarling thugs, decent people are being frightened into silence, knowing that the full force of the law — backed by all the cultural, media, and political elites — will take the side of the thugs.

Black Lives Matter can chant for the murder of cops…then be invited to the White House. Hollywood stars can advocate banning fossil fuels, and applaud when coal miners lose their jobs…while they are allowed to leave billowing carbon clouds behind their private jets and limos as they flit about to international “global warming” conferences or to embrace Venezuelan and Cuban dictators. College boys are accused of rape, then informed by feminist-coddling administrators that the mere accusations are sufficient to get them kicked out of school, without benefit of any trial or due process, wrecking their future reputations and careers. Christian bakers are forced by law to bake cakes for gay weddings, essentially becoming conscripts in the armies of their adversaries, in violation of the First and Thirteenth Amendments. Millions of consumers are promised they can keep their doctors and health insurance, and that their premiums will go down under “the Affordable Care Act”…then watch videos of the architects of that monstrous act chuckling to each other about how it was all a pack of lies to fool the ignorant masses. Risk-taking entrepreneurs who build the nation’s wealth are told by their president that, no, You Didn’t Build That — and that We’re Gonna Spread Your Wealth Around.

And on, and on, and on.

Now, don’t get bogged down in all these particulars. Look at the bigger picture, at what all of these things represent in common. Most especially, ask yourself how these slights and oppressions are EXPERIENCED by millions of Americans.
The answer is that they are all direct, crushing blows to their sense of personal self-esteem, worth, identity, and significance.

Such treatment makes mockery of the basic American creed: that all men are created equal and endowed with unalienable rights to individual life, liberty, and the pursuit of personal happiness. Americans no longer feel equal — not in rights, not in opportunities, not in RESPECT. They instead feel dehumanized, viewed and treated like second-class citizens — but too frightened of the consequences even to protest. Each day they feel they must bite their tongues while ubiquitous cultural Stalinists smugly, loudly, insolently insult and trash every value, belief, institution, and freedom they hold dear. Meanwhile, the Ruling Class Elites are enjoying their lives unmolested and indifferent, having completely insulated themselves from all the harm they are doing.

SO NOW a brash billionaire comes along and “tells it like it is.” Unconcerned with any consequences to himself — indeed, insulated himself from any blowback by his great wealth — he insults those very elites, right to their faces. Unlike most Americans, he is not intimidated. He calls female politicians “ugly,” he calls senators “liars” to their faces, he calls a famous former war-captive-turned-politician a “loser”… and, mygod, he even calls THE POPE “disgraceful.”

Who dares to do that these days, when everyone is terrified about saying the Wrong Thing, and committing the unforgivable mortal sin of Giving Offense?

Many observers have seen and said as much about Trump. Yet they haven’t tied it to the broader issue of his campaign themes — nor tied those themes to the issue of Americans’ battered sense of self-esteem. Donald Trump says “We don’t win anymore.” I believe the “we” resonates with millions who FEEL that they, as individuals, aren’t winning anymore. His campaign theme is that “We’re Going to Make America Great Again!” — and again, I believe those millions hear: “I, as an individual, can be great again.”

Donald Trump is promising, by implication, to restore their damaged PERSONAL self-esteem, just as he is promising directly to restore the esteem of the damaged nation they love and feel a part of.

Everyone wonders why Trump doesn’t have to be accurate, logical, or especially knowledgeable about policy to hold his supporters — why he can say and do things that would disqualify any other candidate — why evangelicals give him a pass on his dubious Christianity and personal morals — why Tea Partiers give him a pass on his crony corporatism — why constitutional conservatives give him a pass on his affronts to individual rights and limited government — why even members of the left’s favorite “victim” classes, including some blacks and Hispanics, not only give him a pass, but like what he represents.

Trump is succeeding with them all, not by what he thinks, or what he makes them think. He is succeeding by how he makes them FEEL about themselves and their country (which they experience as interconnected).

So, to Trump’s fellow critics (I remain a vocal one), please understand that what we have been interpreting as a rise of “populism” and “nationalism” may not be rooted in ideological preference, or in pragmatic expediency, or even in “irrationalism.” It may well be rooted in psychological desperation: in a quest by truly “downtrodden” and humiliated classes of people to reclaim their shattered sense of self-esteem…to reassert their “manhood” (if you will) against the political/educational/media/cultural Ruling Class that has emasculated them.

This is also why Trump’s supporters seem closed to even the most obvious and rational criticisms of their hero. Their support of him isn’t grounded in his specific policies or views about this or that. It’s because those policies and views — whether by cunning calculation, or from authentic emotion — symbolize the reclamation of a feeling of personal and national dignity and pride. Note how Trump always ties his specific, even mundane policy pledges — whether it’s about taxes, hiring decisions, Supreme Court appointments, his “Wall,” foreign trade, dealing with foreign leaders, the military, veterans, cops, you name it — to his themes of “winning” and “American greatness.” He can remain completely vague or utterly impractical, yet his supporters don’t care. That’s because his critics are paying attention to his often-confused and incoherent lyrics. But his supporters are listening to his music.

And the music he’s playing is the theme from “Rocky.”

Yes, Donald Trump is directing his theme music to all the long-suffering, long-humiliated Rocky Balboas in America. He is telling them that even if THEY can’t stand up to the rich and powerful bullies who have been intimidating them, HE can do it for them. He will be their champion in the political/cultural ring.

Sadly, much of his pitch is b.s. I believe Donald Trump is a narcissistic con man who, even if elected, would break the hearts of his followers. But don’t expect them to listen. They won’t believe you, because they don’t want to. They NEED to believe in him, because they think he’s fighting for their pride, their manhood, their souls. They have identified him with their personal need to believe in THEMSELVES — because he’s telling them that, with his leadership, he’s going to make them feel great about themselves once more.

~~~

Really solid piece, and from someone who’s a Trump basher. But, not a dishonest one, like people who do stuff like this:

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So shamefully dishonest. Profoundly so. Cheerleading or jeerleading tends to do this to people.

Success is always riddled with failures. The mark of a true entrepreneur is that he or she is not afraid to fail at anything, is bold enough to try, but conservative enough to not just throw money at anything.

Here’s a list of 30 people who failed and filed bankruptcy (nobody understands the true purpose of BK, nobody) and went on to do very well, even make millions. I thought Conrad Hilton would be on that list, but turns out he just barely escaped it. Even Abraham Lincoln filed BK, over $10,000, a pretty substantial sum in the mid-1800s.

Please stop being so pathetically dishonest on this, especially those of you who’ve never risked everything to start a business, or ever signed a paycheck. I failed 3 times before success, and I’ve signed around $15 million in paychecks.

So STFU.

Never become either cheerleader or jeerleader for anything except yourself and what’s your own business. Be like this:

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The life of someone like me who generally regards both the left (they are not “liberals”) and the right (they are not “conservatives”) as wrong just about all of the time.

I give a pass to the right often though, because they have a love and respect for values, imperfect as they often are, that nonetheless have been demonstrated to advance life, liberty and happiness for individuals who take efforts to pursue them.

By contrast, the left is always intent on tearing down those values without offering better alternatives. In fact, their only admonishment is that people pursue victim status and dependency in order to “justify” the mass extortion of those who produce by means of the forgoing honest pursuits.

The left is a cancer and it’s growing. Shun all leftists in your life. There’s a worthy pursuit of happiness right there.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

35 Comments

  1. John on February 24, 2016 at 11:51

    I really want to see Trump get in there, talk very often and loudly about how big of a fucking disaster the executive branch is, and then start gutting bureaucracy, Ron Swanson style.

    A man can dream.

  2. David on February 24, 2016 at 12:45

    Can you imagine Hillary vs. Trump debates?

    • Richard Nikoley on February 24, 2016 at 13:13

      Only in my wildest dreams.

      • Colleen on February 25, 2016 at 06:44

        Stay tuned. It appears to be on its way.



  3. Jim on February 24, 2016 at 12:54

    Well written and intelligent, but I thought that guy’s point on why people like Trump was bullshit.

    I’m a big fan, and it isn’t just because he strokes my hurting feelz in just the right places. His eighth paragraph – about Black Lives Matter, etc – starts to get at it before he veers off. For me, anyway. I’ve been hearing and seeing all of that for years, and Trump is the first person in a position of power to even acknowledge how incredibly fucked up it all is. I think Black Lives Matter and the “college rape culture” is all BS, and I see Hillary embracing them. I thought the Affordable Care Act was terrible, and I see Bernie wanting to kick up a notch. I think there’s too much money in politics, and every other Republican candidate is bought and paid for and proud of it. I think immigration is a huge (yuge?) issue, and you’ve got Jeb Bush calling it “an act of love” and everyone on the Left salivating at the idea of turning America into Syria II. So where does that leave me? I’m voting for Trump. Narcissistic, egotistical, sure. (But don’t you kind of have to be to want to be President?) They’re all selling me a fairy tale, of which they’ll only ever really accomplish about 4-5% of what they say they want to. I just like Trump’s 4-5%, and yeah, the way he presents it, better than anybody else’s.

    • John on February 24, 2016 at 13:17

      I am a fan for much the same reason as you.

      The author seems to be a “Trump has no policy” person. Trump is smart – keep people engaged and entertained with his talk, and let people read the details on his website if they’re curious – most who criticize him on “no policy” don’t seem to know about his website.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 24, 2016 at 13:20

      Well, I’m more along your lines, Jim, personally. Pissed to the max, not hurt feelingz, but we’re outliers. Most people are just plain followers of SOMETHING or SOMEONE, based on some theme. They get their feelings hurt, and that’s often expressed as anger too.

      I’m not voting for anyone, per usual, and whether or not Trump wins the nomination or Presidency, his presence is a powerful changing force. Arguably, it may be more important than actually being president itself.

      Perhaps it will motivate other future candidates to say what they really think and not worry about the certainty of bad press, but rather mock the bad press and use it.

      • Beans McGrady on February 24, 2016 at 13:56

        I think if you couch what is happening more in terms of John and Jim’s pov, with a dose of the outrage and so forth from the original piece, then one can also understand the Sanders appeal in a kind of mirror image way.
        Everybody is fed up with the status quo. The Democrat wing is giving Hillary trouble, and Trump is just making the Republicans look silly, they both have the claim to “outsider”.
        I see it as a good sign in some sense that people are fed-up.
        One can only double down on ideology for so long before the wheels come off the thinking machine.
        Meanwhile the anarchists should really be teaching their close friends about bitcoin.(bitcoin ain’t an “investment”, and the bubble hasn’t even happened yet)

        “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
        To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

        ― R. Buckminster Fuller



      • John on February 24, 2016 at 14:03

        Beans,

        Yeah, Bernie fans are pissed at the establishment similarly. Unfortunately, they are either stupid or weak and greedy opportunists!

        This outrage and “fed up” element was there in ’08 with Ron Paul. He, however, was not a good messenger to the masses, and was perhaps ahead of his time. So much has progressed in the realm of voting age citizens getting their information on the internet.

        There were a few of us in ’08 pissed off at the media’s treatment of Ron Paul. Again – not the right messenger, not the right time.



      • Beans McGrady on February 24, 2016 at 18:44

        When I was 21 I would have been a Bernie fan too. Somebody could have shown me a couple of facts and I would have changed my mind.
        I for one don’t think people are so hopeless or I wouldn’t be an anarchist. Hopeless is for authoritarians. Have the bernie fans read this.
        http://tomwoods.com/d/bernie.pdf



      • Geoff on February 25, 2016 at 04:12

        Trump and Sanders and their respective supporters may be mirror images of the same underlying frustration with the status quo, but it’s all masturbatory self-delusion. From Trump to Sanders, across the spectrum, all of them and the masses accept the paradigm and the rules of the status quo. I mean, damn, Trump and Sanders are both campaigning to be president. How do you get more status quo, more “establishment” than that?

        Even Trump who doesn’t back down from his purportedly “offensive” statements is still playing within the rules, looking to “Make America Great Again” from within the system instead of seeking to “Make America Great Again” by transcending it.

        Sanders and Trump – thesis and antithesis. Neither of them (nor anyone in between) is up to the task. Who is the modern-day Thomas Jefferson with the synthesis?



      • John on February 25, 2016 at 05:41

        Geoff,

        This is one time I’m not seeking perfection. If I could choose “rip down everything” I would but I’m not going to let whatever I think may be the best decision bring down my optimism about what appears to be the biggest move in the right direction this country has seen in a long time (that is actually presently viable).



    • Geoff on February 25, 2016 at 07:11

      John,

      Thanks, and fair enough. There’s a time for realpolitik.

      Looking back on it after a couple of hours I see how self-deluded my own comment was. As the FB post notes, America, its system, and status quo have already been remade. Dramatically. Were that not the case we’d not have the outrage that gives rise to Trump and Sanders, Tea Party and Occupy, the Cliven Bundy posse and Black Lives Matter.

      But to me all the outrage just seems so backward looking. The current lot of candidates are all about winding back the clock. Trump talks of ending Obamacare and NAFTA. Sanders’ agenda appears to be nothing more than a reboot of the so-called “Great Society”. It’s the product of a sad, nostalgic longing for days gone by when things were better – before it all got twisted, distorted, and corrupted by big government…
      by big banks…
      by big welfare…
      by big money…
      by big education…
      by Obama…
      by Bush…
      by Clinton…
      by Reagan….

      As Richard might say, it’s a “target rich environment”. But there’s got to be more to it than looking backward to move forward.

      My TJ name check gets at this. Jefferson was transcendent not retrospective. We’d not remember him if his answer were just a better king than George.

      Still I’m pissed at myself looking for an external savior. “Who is the modern-day Thomas Jefferson…” I sound just like another one of those pussies in the FB post all butt hurt that a so-called “elite” cut our balls off. If that happened, then it’s because we let it. I let it.

      So as much I appreciate the realpolitik angle, I just can’t buy into anymore. I’m out.

      Thesis – current broken American system
      Antithesis – wind back the clock to when we had it “right”
      Synthesis – systems always fail you until you make and remake your own.

  4. Joshua on February 24, 2016 at 14:11

    Uniquely American? I always figured Trump is our Berlusconi.

    At this point the only reason I care one whit about the presidency is that they nominate the supreme court justices. Lefty justices seem to want to tell folks what to do more than righties, so I hate righties slightly less.

    • Onlooker_T on February 25, 2016 at 05:03

      Joshua,

      Yep, I’m very much in the same vein as Richard and other here re: voting, and govt generally, but SCOTUS is the one thing that gets my attention right now. As much as the likes of Roberts (Obamacare) and Souter make it a crap shoot even from the GOP, the idea of another Democratic policy rubber-stamping lefty on the court makes me cringe. What’s left of the Republic (and that’s not much) will surely be swept aside in such a scenario.

  5. tatertot on February 24, 2016 at 14:42

    (inside red cap):
    MAKE BLOG
    GREAT AGAIN

    Potato post, please!

    • sassysquatch on February 25, 2016 at 10:49

      I agree Tatertot

      • Richard Nikoley on February 25, 2016 at 11:14

        Hey, why don’t you two guys just team up and go GET OUT THE VOTE! Lol.

        Yep, next post. It’s a doozie.

        BTW, just ate two boiled potatoes. I must be down at least 5 pounds since starting this Sunday (will check when I hit the gym in a few), which is mostly just boiled tater, sprinkles of salt, glass of room temp water.

        Of all the things I’ve tried, just munching on the whole damn spud with salt sprinkles along the way is the best. Have tried vinegar(s), yellow and Dijon mustard…but I like plan salt the best. I can do two medium russets per sitting and don’t have an inkling for another sitting for hours.

        I’ve had a dozen or so ladles of my potato soup along the way, and two regular, nice dinner meals along the way, Monday and last night. Otherwise, plain boiled potatoes. I boil them whole in the skin, eat a couple warm, put the rest in the fridge (skin keeps them from drying) then set out what I’m going to eat in the morning, so they come to room temp, then gently peel off just the outer layer of skin with a pairing knife when I eat them.

        Here was last nights dinner, though:

        https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=241057396226668&set=a.119665765032499.1073741830.100009672279790&type=3&theater



  6. Sean II on February 25, 2016 at 03:16

    When Trump announced his idea of closing immigration to muslims, he was rounded in the media and told to apologise. The following silence could be heard here across the Atlantic.
    That non-act stood him head and shoulders above ALL other politicians today.
    Richard, I am ambivalent about the need to preach new ideas to masses. There might be selfish advantages in plowing your own furrow.
    Your blog discusses anarchist ideas and there are many more ‘blue pill’ advocates on the web spreading a message of self reliance. I can see it all setting a stage for resistance against the demoralising efforts of the state.
    I am not holding my breath though for a wild wind of change because I still see a big emphasis on virtue signalling and what some call ‘the collective guilt of the West’ amongst my peers.
    I’m thankful for your prolific output because it has helped me and my family move closer to achieving freedom.
    Keep up the good work.

  7. Onlooker_T on February 25, 2016 at 05:16

    Not surprisingly my take on all this is very much in line with yours, Richard. I’m very much enjoying the squawking and clutching of pearls from the right and left. They don’t have a clue.

    And though I won’t pretend to know what exactly would come of a Trump presidency, I can’t really imagine how it could be worse than all the rest; or most of the predecessors (and doG knows the thought of Hillary as prez makes me nauseous). Maybe it would make for a very good divided govt and gridlock situation. Who knows.

  8. Onlooker_T on February 25, 2016 at 05:20

    Oh yeah, one more thing. Regarding the BK issue. That makes me crazy too, Richard. With the caveat that I haven’t looked into the particulars, the squawking from both sides about this is ridiculous. Of course some could just be using the issue as ammo when they know better, just because so many have no clue.

  9. rob on February 25, 2016 at 05:28

    I’m voting for him because he is a tremendous asshole and totally unsuited for the position. It’s a way to give the political industry the finger.

    “I despise you so much that I’m willing to elect this assclown. That’s how little I think of you.”

    • sth_txs on February 25, 2016 at 07:31

      :LOL: That’s one of the best one’s I’ve read.

      Or how about:

      Trump-2016 Because what is going to do? Screw it up more already?

  10. Gemma on February 25, 2016 at 07:05

    Concerning Bidinotto’s words… Is it really a prevalent feeling? Do many, or most Americans feel this way?

    “…have felt their self-esteem under daily, relentless assault.”

    and

    “Decent Americans realize that they have been played and betrayed by all the elites”

    It is highly interesting to watch what is happening in the US now, from the (slowly non-existing) EU.

    • Jim on February 25, 2016 at 07:13

      The second quote, yes absolutely. No question.

      As for the first one? Well, I’m pretty sure those in power don’t much give a shit about my self-esteem. But mine isn’t derived from what they think anyway.

    • John on February 25, 2016 at 07:29

      Self-esteem is definitely screwed up. People feel like they can’t find fulfilling work, can’t get paid what they deserve, can’t afford a home, can’t afford a family, can’t speak their minds without being yelled at, etc etc etc etc.

      There are many grown men not looking for wives and family, spending their free time playing video games, scared to even smile at a woman for fear of offending them.

      You’ve got women trying to feel fulfillment via success in their cubicle jobs, foregoing family.

      I’m a young lawyer with no debt, working at a respected firm. I cannot presently afford kids and a place bigger than my one bedroom condo, and also continue to have any meaningful savings. I think all the time about what it must be like for others out there.

      • Doug on February 25, 2016 at 09:47

        John…watch the movie Idiocracy 🙂



      • Eric on February 25, 2016 at 13:35

        John, I think you’re off-base in the grown men not looking for wives thing. Video games are a single, oft-cited example of the vastly entertaining things single young men like me have at our disposal. No generation has had the option to pursue so many rewarding activities outside of wife and family.

        Let me give you another example: I’d wager the average, single twenty-something is better travelled than their grandparents, who have had a lifetime’s worth of years to do it in. Airfare’s never been cheaper, and the worlds never been smaller.

        There’s just so much to do and see (including, if you must, video games) that it’s easy to dismiss any woman who’s not perfect in every way as a lead weight, especially when that “biological clock” isn’t ticking.

        Add in the fact that men often get boned in divorce and custody, and you have our present situation.



      • Eric on February 25, 2016 at 13:40

        I should add to the list of rewarding activities internet porn, which allows us to experience at least partial sexual gratification without any of the time or effort.



    • Richard Nikoley on February 25, 2016 at 07:51

      Gemma

      What’s under attack are values people hold, count on, are rooted in western civ and American culture.

      For better or worse.

      For many folks, their self-identity is all tied up in these values, so that’s the self-esteem element.

      I’m a bit different. My self esteem is tied up in the principle value of being able to use my brain and express accordingly, on my exclusive authority regardless of what any individual or club “thinks” about it.

      It’s kinda like hyper-fans of sports teams. Their vicarious identity is tied up in them and when they don’t perform well, get screwed by officials, or get dissed by fans of other teams, they feel as though they’ve lost a little piece of themselves.

  11. pzo on February 25, 2016 at 08:49

    While the proposed psychological explanation certainly has merit, I think the Occam’s version for the success of both Trump and Sanders simply is: “We are fucked, and the sleeping giant has woken up. No more politics as usual, watch out.”

    The average American is fed up with the buying of Congress and elections, jobs being sent elsewhere while enjoying record profits here, the constant threat of a health or bankruptcy disaster, all that.

    While Trump and Sanders speak differently, it’s still the same message.

    • Gemma on February 25, 2016 at 09:01

      “the sleeping giant has woken up”

      This is my impression as well. So much different from the atmosphere 8 years ago, all that “Yes We Can.”

    • rob on February 25, 2016 at 09:32

      That’s my theory, people are fed up. I voted for Sanders in the primary but he’ll never make it to the general.

      If you are fed up, it does not good to vote for a politician, all it does is encourage them. You have to send them a very clear message.

      Same crap year in an year out. Nothing but posturing over issues that mean NOTHING to the average person.

      So how about we only vote for total assholes until they get the message. If a sitting congressman finds himself losing a primary to a complete and total asshole maybe it will get him to ponder the error of his ways.

  12. peanut on February 26, 2016 at 11:42

    I think the leaders don’t make a difference until it is about what they shut down, the negatives, and the vice presidents make or break the land. As always, I wish it was a system where #1 popular vote gets to be Prez and #2 popular vote gets to be VP, regardless of sponsoring party, a long lost practice of real USA style voting.

    About Trump’s fails, 4 years until fail is about the size of any administration. I get sick of what people think they have to take, in a tradition, must have 4 years. Maybe not. I personally think he will not have the results I want, in particular through a VP choice of the one from Ohio. It’s preferred compared to a dynasty relay, which the other group is. If I wanted a dynasty I’d go to another country, preferably a monarchy.

    • Teech on February 28, 2016 at 08:24

      Quote from Battlestar Galactica,”All this has happened before, and all of it will happen again.”

      I’d like to think that what we are experiencing is unique and special, but then I realize that we are just animals following our instincts. Participating or not in the grand charade makes us feel a little less savage and a little more special. Sprinkle in a little Godhead behavior, ” oh the poor masses, they just follow along, and they don’t know the truth,” and we have a nice tonic for not feeling so stupid. When it comes down to it, we are all pawns playing our part. The elite and powerful play theirs, rarely yielding to their own insatiable thirsts, and we play ours, whether we participate or not.

      I like the idea freeing the human animal. The animal doesn’t care about anything else except for his mate, offspring, and his clan. It’s liberating to stop giving a shit about shit that happens over and over again. Kind of like the potato diet – you stop giving a fuck about hunger.

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