The heel is the antagonist who breaks the rules, cheats, sabotages, and nastily takes advantage of his opponents outside the ring. In lucha libre wrestling, heels (rudo) are brawlers fighting with brute forces, often dressing up like devils or tricksters. Trump wears the same suite and tie every day, like portraying this character he invented. And he gets his crowd to boo, hiss, cheer and jeer, to chant “build the wall!” or “lock her up!” and carries on about “Lyin’ Ted” and “Crooked Hillary,” he turns his political opponents into wrestling characters, and brings what might have been reasoned debate to the level of vulgar theater. His opponents were caught flat footed while he stirred the nationalist id. They either never understood what was going on or were not prepared to meet him on the mat.
More important than the mere act of pathologizing Trump is to understand the social psychology that prepares a culture for Trumpism. This move not only sidesteps the Goldwater Rule, but points us toward a more interesting project of a systematic critical social and psychological introspection in a world of increasing shallowness and hateful reactivity. Wherever there is a post-truth president, there shall we find the post-truth world.
More and more, both arm chair diagnosticians and mental health professionals alike are questioning the mental stability of President Trump. They’re asking what’s the matter what this guy? What’s his malfunction? What the hell is […]
The Two Walls from Fragile Dignity on Vimeo. *** Between Two Walls It seems a bit of an awkward promise to make the public: to build a wall. It’s a rather retro thing if you […]
In Steve Bannon’s world, we are at the end of an age, the end of a forth turning of American history, completing a cycle that began during the Great Depression and World War Two. He saw this “Greatest Generation” of heroes lead to a Golden Age of Capitalism of the 1950s, only to be spoiled by liberal baby boomers of the 1960s leading to Civil Rights Movement, war protesters, feminism, and the moral decay of the narcissistic Woodstock generation. While Reagan saved America from Communism, these Woodstock degenerates would help destroy America with their hedonism, selfishness, multiculturalism and godlessness. They are basically the New Democrats. Bannon, politically awakened after the 2008 crash, which he saw as the fault of Wall Street’s managerial class of libertines, got a hold of a book called “The Forth Turning,” and bought into a prophetic vision that the millennial generation was given the short end of the stick economically and culturally. Left with a gutted economy in the heartland, unattainable and expensive education, and the moral decay of Hollywood libertinism, drugs, secularism and multiculturalism, had no opportunity. Bannon’s prescription is to save the Millennial Generation from the pernicious effects of globalization which opened the doors to these sins. Bannon’s therapy prescription is to close the borders, return the nation to economic isolationist integrity, boom the economy, and rally the nation to a Judeo-Christian crusade against Islam, and possibly against North Korea and the conflict zone in the South China Sea.
The trouble with this theory is basically it’s a political ideology that bears little resemblance to the real world and is replete with laughable factual errors.
One of the remarkable subplots in the last year of Donald’s Trumps ascension to the White House has been the concomitant rise of the alt-right through, among others, the influence of Steve Bannon. Bannon is […]