Donald TRUMP’s performative, multi-character, role-playing is a monumental ACT of the suspension of disbelief. TRUMP the statesman? TRUMP the fiery hero of the Alt-Right? TRUMP the cool negotiator of the Art of the Deal? TRUMP the nightclub entertainment buffoon going for laughs? Who exactly is Donald TRUMP? He is a consummate Showman performing a series of episodic comedy-dramas for his own self-indulgent pleasure, which we can’t resist binge-watching.
“He displayed an almost unrecognizable demeanor during his afternoon in Mexico, appearing measured and diplomatic, while hours later he took to the stage at his campaign rally and denounced illegal immigrants on the whole as a criminally minded and dangerous group that sows terror in communities and commits murders, rape and other heinous violence.” – Patrick Healy, New York Times
TRUMP can fool his followers into believing in his manipulative guise, in the dissonance of his political avatars, because in the post real sphere of TRUMP, there is no longer any differentiation between the real and the imaginary. He has inserted himself into that blurry space where he can convincingly cultivate confusion through techniques of performance, stagecraft, and disinformation. For Donald TRUMP it’s all a SHOW, who has elevated himself high above the angry white masses as the Host and Master of Ceremonies of “Make America Great Again.”
“The juxtaposition of Mr. Trump’s dual performances were so jarring that his true vision and intentions on immigration were hard to discern.” – Patrick Healy, New York Times
The vision and intent of TRUMP is, simply stated: to put on a SHOW, to be at the center of the world gaze as a political chameleon who can morph into any particular character that triggers the appropriate response. TRUMP has stated unequivocally that he is NOT a politician, so if you take his statement at face value, everything he does, each character he becomes, all that he says, is an improvisationally constructed fabrication of a politician or anti-politician, whatever routine is required for the occasion.
TRUMP is the quintessential, post-modernist destroyer of political convention, in which he has stripped away all traces of authenticity in order to deconstruct and annihilate the System as an act of performance. His alliance with Stephen Bannon and the Alt-Right online publication Breitbart News Nework provides TRUMP with a powerful distribution mechanism for sowing propaganda, disinformation, controversy, and conspiracy: a literal information bomb for blowing up America’s democracy, leaving in its wake the ruins of demagoguery.
Far, far, far beyond the suspension of disbelief…