Well, that's depressing. What's next?
Friend Of The White Nationalists
White nationalists have been thrilled by Trump's victory, and in general, been in the news way more often these days than one might normally hope. Trump hasn't really endorsed any of these groups; it seems like they're mostly gravitating toward him on their own, drawn to his anti-immigration policies or the advisers he works with. And, naturally there are an awful lot of pundits worriedly discussing what it means. Does it mean Trump's brought about some sea change in society, and a new era of white nationalism is about to rise up? Or does it mean we suck, and we always have, and we're just seeing it a little better now?
Neither of those stances are terribly comforting, but with regards to Trump himself, the most valid criticism of the man is that he doesn't distance himself from these groups and people as fast as he should. But it's debatable whether that means he has a deep abiding love for the tenets of white nationalism, or a casual disinterest in anything to do with equality (or anything else), or if he just really likes it when people say nice things about him, and is reluctant to criticize anyone who does.
Still, comparisons to Hitler do crop up every now and then. These are brutally hyperbolic -- Hitler has a few attempted genocides to his name -- and are rightfully shot down as soon as they appear. Hyperbole is a dangerous game, possibly the most dangerous game of all, so we shouldn't encourage that kind of nonsense too much.
Besides, the Russians hate Nazis. They'd never let it happen.
We have to rely on that now.
A few months ago, there was this thing on social media where any time Trump said or did something terrifying, so like a couple times a day, people would begin mocking it or sobbing hysterically over it. All normal so far. But then, about an hour after the first wave of reactions would come a second wave of wise, chin-stroking types, who would shrewdly claim "This is just a distraction people! We really need to focus on XX," where XX was whatever that person always is going on about. The dumb tweets were distracting from the Muslim travel ban, which was distracting from the Russia investigations, which was distracting from the new health care law, which was distracting from the obstruction-of-justice investigation, which was distracting from the pee tape, and so on.
The underlying conceit of this is that the president is some kind of master of manipulation, an expert on the human psyche, capable of distracting the world with a few twitches of his impossibly tiny thumbs. And although that seems absurd, there might be some truth to it. During the campaign, Trump said awful things at such an incredible frequency that many of them weren't ever totally analyzed in the media. This idea of scandal fatigue has been suggested as one of the reasons Trump beat Clinton; we could spend weeks and months considering the implications of her email scandal, but could never come to grips with all of Trump's mishaps, so fast they rolled in. As an example, it is absolutely bananas that we ever stopped talking about this one.
But that's not something done with intent. At best it implies Trump is some kind of political idiot savant. Or as one growing theory is suggesting, if he's managing to do all this accidentally, thus removing the "savant" portion of the previous description, he might actually be a ...
In the last few months, a new narrative has emerged to describe the man, driven largely by the deluge of leaks pouring forth from this new colander of a White House. Staffers who work with Trump every day, including many who are only passably loyal to him, have begun to give us a picture of what the president is actually like in person. And it's not good.
Unless you dislike him, in which case it's very, very good and rad.
We've detailed some of these before, but to sum them up, it seems the president of the United States has a short attention span, disinterest in complicated topics, a deep abiding love of television, and a fascination with hearing his own name. The conclusion is that America has something quite a bit like a child serving in its highest office, and the balance of the world now rests in the hands of advisers trying to steer and direct that child's attention. "No, no, don't press THAT button," things like that.
So what's the truth?
It'd be a bit disingenuous to suggest the truth lies somewhere in the middle of all of these, or to claim that Donald Trump is a rich tapestry of a man who defies simple categorization. Few good tapestries have vignettes depicting someone eating steak with ketchup, for example.
So no, the answer doesn't lie in the middle. The current conventional wisdom seems to be that it lies a little off to the side of the middle, leaning quite a bit toward Child President and Cynical Self-Promoter. But that's likely to change -- maybe in a month or so, we'll all be pretty confident Trump is really another Kenyan interloper or something. And now that you've seen the templates, and know how they're mainly used by political opponents, exhausted journalists, and his Russian handlers, you can better see their flaws and maybe not get suckered by any sudden change in the narrative of Trump's character, even if it's really hilarious and unflattering.
Until the pee tape comes out anyways. You have my permission to fall for that, hard.
To see the two inexplicably polar opposite muses in Trump's life, check out Donald Trump Is The JFK For Millennials (Seriously, Folks) and How Actual Nazis Are Influencing Trump (More Than He Knows).
Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see how this election has forever changed politics in Why This Is The Worst Presidential Election In U.S. History, and watch other videos you won't see on the site!
Also follow us on Facebook. Yuge.