Sponsored Content
Hillary: When I Said We'd Be Putting "A Lot of Coal Miners Out of Business" With My Renewable Fuels Initiative, That Was a "Misstatement" Which Was "Taken Out of Context" By Stupid Coal Miners Like Yourself | Main | Trump, 2012: "Obama Spoke for Me and Every American" in His Post-Newtown Speech
May 03, 2016

Trump: I'm Not Saying Ted Cruz's Dad Killed JFK, But I'm Not Saying He Didn't Kill JFK, Either

I suppose this latest lowbrow lunacy comes down something that is essentially an aesthetic/personal vanity/conception of what Good Society consists of question: Some will say that Trump is crafty and is showing his willing to "fight," fair or dirty (preferably dirty).

And some will take a cynical -- but very arguably realistic -- view of their fellow citizens and say: Look, no matter how much you might wish it to be otherwise, your average American is simply not that smart. Your average American is prone to believe in all sorts of foolish things -- UFOs, bigfoot, Democratic Socialism -- and likes things kept simple and low-brow for him.

And if the average American is willing to entertain the possibility that Ted Cruz's father was peripherally involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy -- even though this latest smear from the Trump-allied National Enquirer is in fact not a possibility -- then Trump is "smart" to play things so very, deeply dumb.

An aspirational candidate -- one that sums the virtues and gifts we (most of us) would like to have in ourselves -- shows voters what they'd like to be.

A candidate like Trump, on the other hand, shows them what they really are.

And if they're a seething confusion of folly and lowbrow antipathies for this group or that, then so be it: That is the way you win in America, post-Obama.

Obama, after all, offered America a series of scapegoats they were invited to hate and blame for all of America's ills. He didn't go quite this lowbrow -- he dressed it up a bit to seem acceptably middlebrow (middlebrow, with the slightest gestures and pretensions towards highbrow) -- but the principle is the same.

Isn't it?

I don't know. Because a realistic view of humanity -- even a cynically realistic view of humanity -- must take into account the they may be foolish but they are also vain creatures, and they do not like reducing themselves, in their own estimation or the estimation of their fellows.

Buying into a guy who sells one lowbrow, edge-of-psychiatrically-meaningful conspiracy theory after another offends the vanity of anyone who considers himself to not be lowbrow and gullible.

People are class conscious and do not much like associating with those they consider of a lower class. And Trump is playing, in the main, only to those of of only limited education.

Most candidates aim for somewhere in the fat middle lump of the great bell curve. Democrats have historically aimed to project an image of themselves on the "intellectual/elite" side of that middle lump (though they are of course no such thing; they just signal the signage of it); Republicans have historically tried to project a more "average folk/populist" image (to varying degrees of success).

But both of those plays consisted of positioning the candidate somewhere near to the social/intellectual middle.

This is the first candidate I remember to play to one of the thin trailing edges of that bell curve.

Will it work? I don't think so.

There may not be enough smart people in America to elect a real conservative, but there also might not be enough dumb people in America to elect Trump, either.

I guess we'll see. Trump's success or failure will turn on whether America's stupidity or vanity is the greater sin. Tough call.

digg this
posted by Ace at 12:51 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Sharkman: "Sad? Joey, by Concrete Blonde. ..."

Thesokorus: "I do not like to state harsh truths but Little Fea ..."

Cicero (@cicero43): "Nobody can beat Walking On Sunshine by Katrina and ..."

Hector's Pup: "129 Shot a man in Redding might have worked, but w ..."

Otto Zilch: "Making plans to binge-listen ABB on the way back f ..."

mikeski: "[i]What's the happiest song you've ever heard Pos ..."

Sebastian Melmoth: "Sad: "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt. ..."

Robert: "Not many happy songs in metal, but there is what I ..."

Thesokorus: "Oh damn Raitt's cover of angel from montgomery by ..."

Otto Zilch: "Not One Way Out? ..."

Mark1971: "Helloween's Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part Two is t ..."

Schnorflepuppy: "*better ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64