The virtual reality president elect is as sharp as P.T. Barnum, who observed that a sucker is born every moment. The cruel truth is that this not only describes America of the hoary past, but also of the recent past, and present.
DT is a reprise, on the national stage, of the familiar carny huckster. But this is not because “the Donald” was wily enough to strategize the opportunity as much as it is the result of a decades long political devolution. Both the Democratic and Republican Parties suffer from dementia, the latter more so. Both parties completely failed to gauge the prevailing populist winds swirling across America. But the Republican Party was “lucky” to pick a carny candidate whereas the democrats chose a despised elite. Not surprisingly, the hustler proved more genuine than gilded speech.
Now, Hillary should have won on the basis of the popular vote. But a big part of the ongoing political stupidity in America is that, despite the Gore loss in 2000 for the same reason, the Electoral College gives more weight to the rural as opposed to the urban vote, and so threw it to Trump. Once again, white America- both men and women, relatively uneducated, gave the election to the carnival barker.
That America does not have a political learning curve is a scary thing. But the Electoral College is the least of our problems. There are so many reasons why elections in America aren’t free and fair. Our democracy has become more and more rigged despite the progress in civil and voting rights. And both Parties are responsible. In short, corporate lobbyists rule the nation.
So, it is altogether fitting that a billionaire carny has barked his way to the presidency. He is the fulfillment of American hustle on the national stage. That he should turn out to favor Russia’s Putin on the basis- not of socialism, but of crony capitalism, is no surprise at all. Both believe that money is power, and that power rules the earth.