A Few Thoughts on The Last Day of the Pre-Trump Era

Donald Trump, what’s he done? Not much. He’s a heavily leveraged real estate developer and that’s hardly a big-league resume. It’s estimated that had he taken the millions his father bequeathed him and invested the money at ten percent he’d be richer today than he’s become through his own business. He reminds me of a student I once taught at the University of Iowa who said one day he wasn’t into working hard. “I’m majoring in inheritance, Prof. K,” he said. You needn’t be a shrewd analyst to spot anger lurking inside inheritance boys—they’re belittled while entitled. The only thing Trump has accomplished in his rebarbative life is to express contempt for others while inviting the soggy public along. He’s the school kid who says, “C’mon, we’re going to egg some old people’s houses.”

There’s a lot of conventional wisdom flying about: Trump stole the Democrats’ bacon; Trump spoke the true feelings of the rust belt, farm belt, bible belt; voters were sick of business as usual. But Trump won the presidency because he was the best vulgarian in high school. He beat a candidate, perhaps the best person to ever run for the Presidency, on the basis of coded misogyny. And racism. Ableism. Xenophobia. “C’mon, we’re going to egg some Jews’ houses.”

America is now falling like a leaf through space. Ghosts of the hanged stand behind the chairs in the elegant cafes.

Those who hope to resist Trumpism can’t do it riding the rhetorics of conventional wisdom. Americans will embrace bigots and demagogues but they hate cowards. Trump is the egg-boy. He’s a foolish, petulant, ugly man who has virtually no talent for personal happiness. The people of the United States hate losers. The Donald blustered his way onto a stage where his failings will now show, and he’ll demonstrate them quickly. The confirmation hearings for his cabinet appointees have already started this revelatory process.

I’m never going to see him as a legitimate leader. I stand with John Lewis. But I’m also never going to spread the CW. If have my failings, but justifying cowards ain’t one of them.

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