To Be an Iconoclast in the Land of the Living Dead


You might hate him or love him, but this arrogant, self-absorbed, reality-resistant mega-star has shaken things up in the political world. To read Mark Leibovich’s Donald Trump is not Going Anywhere in the NY Times, is to realize the extent the Trump phenomenon has upended the status quo of American politics. In many ways, Donald Trump is a prophet for post reality America, feeding an electorate that is fascinated and consumed with the performance of politics, as opposed to its actual substance. The candidates that attempt to sell themselves through actual reality (policy) are losing out to the campaigns driven by mythology (dreams and fabrications): like Trump’s mythic, existential Wall against the “other” that will bring to a swift end the tyranny of illegal immigration.

Much of America is ready to follow Trump right over the cliff into the land of a long ago American Dream, which was once upon a time an era of post World War II Suburban White Upwardly Mobile Prosperity. Trump reminds us of the pure nostalgia of a Truman-show perfection: always winning, always the best. While a disenfranchised fundamentalist America is wondering how in the world we ever could have elected a Black president, approved gay marriage, spent hard-earned tax money on health care, banned confederate flags and ending up as a multi-colored nation in which White is the new minority, Trump provides hope.

He has accomplished this miraculous feat through the rejection of the politically correct, the rejection of the practical, rejection of the process of governing, of the politics of practicality, diplomacy and statesmanship. Trump is about making the deal, the power of personality, the power of persuasion through the creation of a mythological Trump Tower-like Trump-world. He is an artist, with the ability to realize an entire world of the imagination, without detail, but in big broad Trump strokes.

Donald Trump has become a prophet in the land of the living dead, an iconoclast leading the triumphant return to the promise land, to make America “great again,” to paint a fantastically huge reality the people yearn to see: a true post reality Show.