COVID Killed Trump
Trump is a reality TV star. All presidents are. But, most have skills outside the fabrication of drama. Not Trump – he is the Drama King. A mindless algorithm exploring the gradient of inter-group conflict, ever-maximizing for it.
This stochastic search strategy worked in 2016. By stoking hatred and animosity, only group calculus remained. It continued to work well for the majority of his tenure, in the sense that represented a reliable form of power that the Republicans happily exploited.
Coronavirus blew it up.
MAGA politics demands incessantly-manufactured culture war fronts – new and bifurcating boundaries of identity as a control collar. But COVID was a universal threat. That’s not to say all parties haven’t politicized it. But, people generally want unity it times of external threat. MAGA can’t deliver on that – disunity is its singular song. And Trump couldn’t adapt to the new reality because he’s an impossibly small man with neither intellectual nor empathetic capacity.
Consequently, Trump and the GOP sufferedI wrote and published this post a bit almost two weeks before the election. I wanted to register my prediction without “debating” any of it – extremely sick of that. The original source is here. I tweeted its hash and commited it to ethereuem’s blockchain. As a weak defense against concealed failure, I archived the post. an embarrassing defeat. The legions of his smart-yet-delusional defenders learned that the “hidden support” they expected was an obvious mirage. That the endless consumption of red-black pills is something like a minimally-invasive and nihilism-inducing lobotomy.
The truth is simpler.
Trump was the most successful court jester in historyMeh. Recent American history, anyway. but COVID stripped the clown emperor of his few remaining clothes. He was always a patently unfit. But, he also promised (and delivered) on lower taxes, deregulation, and cruelty, so he won. People may have spun all manner of batshit rationalizations for why, “well, ackshully, Trump isn’t the problem,” but they knew what he was the whole time.No, Trump isn’t the only problem. The ecosystem that selected for him is in a state of remarkable decay, and it won’t survive its current form. But he was the problem in a critical sense: the agenda power he enjoyed and wielded malevolently acted like a socio-political mutual exclusion object – the entire system would be captured until either an election or nature compelled him to relinquish the lock. They just didn’t care – exemplars of the worst of us.
Except, the shrewdest of the Republicans also saw a starve-the-beast gambit. In the fashion of a serially-bankrupt failson, Trump governed by issuing massive debt. But this debt was abstract – the future cost of restoring American’s social cohesion capital. Had he won 2020, the maturity date would have fell sometime during his second term and it would have been a society-rending catastrophe. (The GOP was more than willing to take that risk.) But coronavirus called the debt in early, and an election was conveniently nearby.Going forward, we all still have to pay it though – so things remain dangerous.
I’m saying all of this because I hope the Democrats don’t draw the wrong conclusion from the outcome. People did not enthusiastically buy what their party is selling. The Republicans may be more further along the necrotic process, but The Nothing rot is everywhere. And I don’t think our socio-political system is adapting quickly enough to both its modern scale and new cybernetic affordances.