The Cult of Trump

It doesn’t look like we’re going to get a result from the states any time soon. I have been pondering what is happening there culturally: By claiming to speak for and represent an apparent ‘silent majority’, is trump doing something both sophisticated and insidious? He is a self-proclaimed millionaire who says he sides with the poor working class; a man who has been on television throughout his life yet who opposes the media and dismisses news as ‘fake’. Trump thus occupies a set of contradictory positions, perhaps most of all by claiming not to be a politician yet occupying the worlds most powerful political office. Does doing so let him appeal to the type of uneducated working class person, who may feel excluded from a Symbolic / Media sphere controlled by educated liberal ‘elites’? Newspapers and TV channels are usually controlled by people educated enough to reject the views of people like Trump and his supporters, which is why such views do not get much representation in the media. But by telling his supporters that they are an underrepresented majority whom he alone stands for, Trump lets his supporters believe that their reactionary, xenophobic views are as intellectually valid as any other, and that the only reason why they are not represented in the Symbolic is that the ‘elites’ are biassed. Trump thus legitimises the simplistic, reactionary thinking of the right by establishing himself as a figurehead for it. Due to him, people think it’s okay to be an uneducated xenophobe, and such thinking is rejected by the media not because it’s flawed, but because the media is controlled by despotic elites.

He thus effectively empowers right-wing reactionism by framing those who reject it as an oppressive, elite minority. Ignorance and the rejection of education, especially higher education, is framed as advantageous; this also allows Trump to establish himself as his supporters sole source of information. Trump therefore has a hoard of ignorant, reactionary zealots following him with cult-like fervour. I find that very concerning indeed: whatever the outcome of the election, such a state of affairs, with so many people following one despotic, egotistical man so blindly, is surely very worrying. Whether he did so intentionally or not (and I rather doubt he is intelligent enough to make such a plan) trump has set himself up as a messianic figure to his supporters, both of the people and superior to them. This means that if he looses the election, his followers are so brainwashed that they would simply see it as another form of oppression by evil liberal elites, refuse to accept the result and probably become violent.

One thought on “The Cult of Trump

  1. I agree that 45 is not conventionallt intelligent. He is much to lazy to value information (or art and culture) as something worth attaining. He paid people to take tests for him. However, he is canny or he could not have managed to escape his creditors for so many years. I think he knew exactly what he was doing in appearing to be an “everyman” when he is in fact effete and elite in every way. He is canny in his use of media. He ran for President in 2016 not to win but to enable himself to create a media business with a brand. The only sucessful business he has was The Apprentice. So long as he takes it to the libs, his supporters will overlook everything else. In a time when they see cultural shifts leaving them behind, Trump publically champions their racism, sexism and xenophobia which allows them to express publically opinions they would otherwise have to conceal. America will not shift easily to a majority minority nation because white supremacy has been a core value since the slave states forced all those compromises into the constitution (and probably even before that). The only group of what voters who supported Biden were under 25 (at 53%) So this battle is likely to continue for twenty or more years.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s