Feb 052016
 

businessman

by Jerome Grapel…….

Oh no, not him again. Is this all there is to talk about in the world’s only Stupid Power? Whatever happened to Brittany Spears? If only Michael Jackson were still alive. Can’t we go back to those good old days when the title of this essay only pertained to card games? Please, Post Consumer Man, do you have to do this?

I’m sorry — I tried my best and held out for a long time. But with the recent appearance of perhaps the one person in America’s pop culture — and I believe this is all much more related to that than to politics or governing — who can rival Mr. Trump with regard to pompous, self centered, ego-maniacal idiocy, my defenses have been broken down. Maybe I’ll have to go through some self examination later on, but for now —

When I first saw Sarah Palin sprinting onto the stage to join the Trump team, I thought, wow, if there never were an expression like “a match made in Heaven”, this is when it would be invented. Imagine if they had met in their formative years, say in their early 20’s. Isn’t it easy to see them falling catatonically in love? This combination of 2 attractive, mega ambitious young people could have been a sizzling exercise in uber-passion. Of course, 2 or 3 years down the line, with the erotic incentives beginning to wane, I could also see a vindictive, face slapping break up. But I’ll leave that to Dr. Phil.

(As a perhaps chauvinistic aside, this writer considers an in her prime Sarah to be far more sexy than the trophy mannequin trolls Trump likes to show off with these days. The woman he is most associated with, something called Ivanka, is perhaps the least attractive “beautiful” woman I’ve ever seen).

As I watched Palin give her valley girl endorsement of Trump, I could not help but think he had made a mistake giving her such a visible role. Sarah is old news. She is over the hill. Her act, unlike Trump’s, has worn thin. Sure, she still has her fans (so do Hitler and Stalin), but in listening to her, one is amazed to think this is so. Who are these people — or better yet, what are these people? Can we please get modern science to do some research here? Can we find the brain of a recently deceased Trump-Palin supporter? Forget concussions in the NFL. This is where the real action is.

Palin delivers her “shtick” with a shrill teen age quality more suited for a high school pep rally than a political campaign (let’s kick some butt for the old red and blue!). Jimmy Kimmel summed it up perfectly on his late night show: he stood on stage with his fingers in his ears and asked, “Is she done yet”?

The most amazing aspect of the Trump phenomena is how little it has to do with policy or ideology. What is actually being said has almost become irrelevant to how he says it. Bald faced lies, factless assertions and blatantly contradictory statements have no bearing on how the mostly white male groupies who swoon for him feel. Policy? Who cares? We love this guy, he talks our language, he calls a spade a spade. Yeah, but does it make sense? Sense? Are we supposed to take that into account too? How old school.

While listening to Palin’s opening act for Trump, I was enthralled by the stupidity of it all. She began blubbering away about the situation in the Middle East, parroting a position Trump has already stated. In trying to figure out her confused presentation, I was able to glean the following: why don’t we just stay out of it and let the varying Islamic factions kick the bleep out of each other (that’s my translation into English). And then, perhaps a minute or 2 later, Palin goes on to say (as Trump has) “we’re gonna kick ISIS’s ass!”

So what is it? Are we out of it, or are we kicking ass? Is anybody listening?

About the closest Trump gets to any kind of policy statement is to kick out the Mexicans, keep out the Moslems, and bomb the crap out of them. One cannot understand this election cycle without focusing on the following: Trump got his traction with his simple minded demagoguery of the immigration issue. He got his foot in the door with this singular artifice. It gave him the opportunity to take his show on the road and build his portfolio. He even had a fortuitous stroke of luck along the way, to wit:

Some of you might disagree, but in my estimation, by the time the San Bernardino attack took place, the Trump Show’s run on Broadway was starting to get stale. The engine that drove it was beginning to misfire and sputter. It needed a tune up. The incident in San Bernardino did just that. His campaign could now turn from Mexicans to Moslems and the traction he’d gotten from the former could now be turned into a powerful 4 wheel drive vehicle that has run over the Republican Party. But it all started with the Mexicans and the vein of gold Trump found in this issue. If not for that, the Trump personality would not have had its chance to cast its spell, and, believe it or not, in spite of his milquetoast personality, Jeb Bush would probably be the nominee.

And this is why the Rise of Trump has such a distressing quality. It is all parts emotional and no parts rational. Whenever there is a goal to be accomplished, the emotion with which it is undertaken is fundamental for carrying it out. But if that emotion has no foundation of rational thinking, it can lead to disaster. In fact, emotion coupled with no thought could be described as a definition of disaster. This is what happens when an athlete loses his or her composure. It is usually the first symptom of disaster.

America has lost its composure.

These assertions can be seen while scrutinizing the Trump Traveling Circus. The supposedly rational aspects of his “policy” delineations — the Mexicans, the Moslems, the faux tough guy foreign policy rants — are not really enunciations of policy, they are applause lines. They are purposely inserted in the script in order to create an atmosphere, a mood, in the same way canned laughter makes a sit-com funny. There is an anarchic, angry, aggressive feel to Trump’s events that could be likened to the beer hall “putsches” in Bavaria where Hitler got his start.

It’s ugly.

My point in writing this essay is not to debate the propriety of whatever it is we can translate as Trump’s “policies”. That can all be sorted out later. What truly dismays me about this man is his persona and the way he relates to other people. Anyone rising to the prominence Trump has risen to has to be considered a representative figure of what a substantial part of his culture admires. Trump is not being admired for his ideas, for his thinking, for his intelligence, for his policies — no. He is being admired for his combative, confrontational, competitive personality. He is being admired for his imbecilic self confidence and narcissism (which is usually a sign of insecurity). He is being admired for his ostentation and braggart-like qualities. I see him as the quintessential embodiment of a cultural sickness that must be brought under control if the patient is not to become seriously ill. He represents an American culture that is so mired in the propaganda of its own greatness and superiority, it refuses to confront reality in an objective way. He represents a cultural sickness that has begun to value conquering each other more than loving each other. He represents a harsh world, a cruel world, a win at all costs world that shows no compassion for “losers” (or in Trump’s case, for those not born into the wealth he was). He represents a culture whose concept for the solidarity of the common good (which also means each individual’s good) has been waning almost into oblivion.

Trump is not the creator of this attitude; he is the result of it. Everything he represents as a person used to be considered in bad taste — his flaunting of his wealth, his crude attacks on his opponents, his total lack of respect for anyone who does not adore him. Such boorish behavior is now considered his greatest asset. This, not his “policies”, is what distresses me about Donald Trump. Is it “the world according to Trump” we want to live in, a world where we simply compete and squash each other without mercy?

Trump is a poisonous plant that has flowered in the soil of an excessively competitive, materialistic American culture. For the many millions of Americans who find him as distasteful as I do, I say look in the mirror. You’ve been worshiping at the altar of the culture that has created him. It’s time for a little humility.

I’d like to finish with this: most of our political pundits have decided to call Trump a “populist”, in the same way other demagogues like Huey Long or George Wallace were. This is wrong. Trump is a spoiled brat rich kid with about as much feel or empathy for the common man as Marie Antoinette. He is not a “populist”. He is a “me-ist”.

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To order you copy of “Because You Never Asked” by Jerome Grapel click here.

Because You Never Asked

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Jerome Grapel
Jerome Grapel was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1945 and raised in the New York City area in what could be called a vintage middle class upbringing. He attended Temple University in Philadelphia where he played baseball and graduated with a B.A. in history in 1967. With a "noticeable lack of vocation for anything, and not knowing what else to do," he continued at Temple Law School, graduating in 1970.
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More articles by Post Consumer Man prior to November, 2014.
 February 5, 2016  Posted by at 12:58 am Essays from Post Consumer Man, Issue #152  Add comments

  17 Responses to “Trump”

  1. Jerome, thanks. I am keeping this as my Bible in the drawer next to my bed to read nightly for strength. You have covered with strength and humor all of the craziness swirling within Trump’s and Palin’s collective mouths. I cannot say “heads” because the jury is still out as to whether there is anything in there. Palin’s, the mother of a drunken-get-into-fights-with-family, a fact that may? Could? represent her followers’ families? God save us if true. As for Trump, making quick money based on inheriting a windfall, is made easy by legislation-friendly (or absent) conditions that allow any Alpha Dog to succeed. Then, of course, Albpha Dog believes that he can be a political spokesperson, and is lauded for being one. Well there are a lot of Alpha Dogs out there. Thanks for my Bible in your writings. Martha

  2. Jerome,

    You’re a brilliant and inspiring author. Thank you for all your extraordinary contributions.

    My take on Trump. Unable to rise above a probing and perhaps planted question (Kelly’s); designed to shame, embarrass and publicly humiliate him. Trump stumbled terribly and made a lastingly poor impression upon many Americans.

    I field questions such as (Kelly’s) all day long and twice on Sunday. He is either not smart enough or lacks impulse control, as he fell for the bait. And exhibited himself to be a small and petit man.

    One always remains the benevolent benefactor, maintaining the high ground, politely pointing out the ridiculousness of said question, and the great disservice it does to the audience and the American people. Particularly, given the dire state of our world and nation.

    Trump failed miserably with his initial and subsequent responses to That question.

    Retreating from the last debate, amongst an array of illogical alibis and childish excuses, portrayed him in a very bad light.

    My colleagues think it is over for Trump. They believe he could have very easily run the table, without those blunders.

    Having lost. He is a loser. It appears that he’s unraveling, reports of erratic behavior, language and decision making are making their way into the headlines.

    The deep flaws and failings of the Obama presidency gave rise to Trump’s popularity. Hilary’s behavior, characterless actions and significant foreign policy blunders; may resurrect and bring new life to Trump’s Candidacy…

    Blessings & Respect, Always…

  3. good morning jerry..firstly lets get a slight detail out of the way…hitler and stalin were left socialist totalitarian collectivists and a far cry from libertarian individualists.

    remember if this helps…collectivist means the group takes superiority over the individual as in Marxism socialism fascism communism etc whereas in individualism the ‘individual’ is superior to the group as in our constitution and bill of rights as one example.

    http://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-collectivism-and-vs-individualism/

    and lastly second lesson for today is only reason there is such ‘trump traction’ this election cycle is very fortunately the ‘people’ are waking up to the graft and corruption in collectivist politics of the ‘establishment’ left and neocon feeders across the board along with the fact this nation is being run by faceless bureaucrats never voted into office but making fresh law every day over us the voting public who long ago fell asleep at the switch and were successfully ‘usurped’ by dedicated leftists known or unknown even to themselves.

    in a nutshell dear jerry that is the reason for your knashing of teeth and discomfort of loin cloth. 🙁 cheers wjm

  4. Martha, Thanks, as always, for your attention. I know I am doing something right if the likes of you are reading my stuff. I’d say one thing that may differ from your take — the Alpha Dog does not have to be always bad. Sometimes a leader comes along who does worthwhile things. Give me awhile and I’ll think of one. In sports it happens all the time, but we don’t want our world to be just like the win at all costs attitude in sports. It warms my heart to know my “Bible” is in your house. ciao, Jerome

  5. John, I think what you are saying — and you, coming from the neighborhood you come from, should know — that Trump is a bully, and bullies are almost always paper tigers. When the going gets rough, they are the last ones you want in the trenches with you. I think he is close to being toast, one last gasp in NH perhaps might keep him around a while longer. But I disagree with you that anything political caused the Trump phenomena. American disaffection with their country’s ruling apparatus has been around for quite awhile and Obama, though I think he has been weak as a president, has not been a bad president. In fact, the deal with Iran could be one of the most significant steps forward in this world of woe that’s been seen for generations. Time will tell. Trump has risen solely on the back of his own personality. Policy, be it from whoever, has had little to do with it. As for Megan Kelly, you are speaking for people like yourself, and hopefully, the majority of the American people. But for those who fueled Trump’s rise, they loved his performance with regard to all that. It helped him. Thanks John, I appreciate your criticism and backing. Either one is valuable for me, ciao, Jerome

  6. Wankajm, Believe me when I say that I appreciate your comments. No one can be good at what they do without getting challenged and criticized. Having said that, I can’t find much in this comment to respond to. Do you honestly think Donald Trump represents the values you bring up here? Or Palin? They represent nothing but themselves. Thanks for your attention, I hope you’ll keep reading my stuff, ciao, Jerome

    • poor poor jerry you still don’t get it!
      PEOPLE ARE PISSED OFF…IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH TRUMP. he is there reflecting the anger and saying he will rip the establishment apart and that is what people want. they want to see this PC crap and common core crap and ppt crap and obamanation crap like obamacare and school lunch program [didn’t know ms obamma got hired by vote either] and gun control crap and xorder illegal crap and all the snub crap the idiot in DC pulls out of his hat ignoring our military and releasing terrorists for a deserter crap etcs etcs etcs crap. and add the neocons and rinos too crap and stop the graft and corruption crap by jailing the guilty starting with holder the fast and furious guy crap and maybe some faith and legitimacy will returen to DC…..unless of course you think the o-b-one-canobe has not been a bad president ;( my opinion fwiw is he has been ‘historically’ BAD..but then again we dear jerry do come from opposing philosophical underpinnings you being leftist/collectivist and me individualist/libertarian.
      oh well. 🙂

      • Wankajm, Ranting like this is not becoming of someone trying to make any kind of intellectual point. You are belittling yourself. In fact, you sound a lot like Trump, all emotion and no substance. Do you really believe Trump represents some kind of anti-establishment? You have memorized your cliches admirably and spout them with all the robotic qualities that such actions create. I wonder, do you think Obama is a worse president than the W. brand was? I have my problems with Obama, but please, c’mon. Regardless, I appreciate your attention and comments, thanks, Jerome

  7. Jerome,

    In one of our communiques you mentioned that Trump appeared at times to be a bully. I think the polls reflect your take, with the extremely high ‘unfavorable ratings’ he has received through the course of his candidacy.

    From my perspective, he’s administered several severe self-inflicted wounds upon his bid to be the nominee. Where they deliberate, poor advice or succumbing to the moment; I don’t know.

    Thanks again for a well-thought out and beautifully put together article…

  8. If only Americans could see Trump from a European perspective. As we are accepting immigrants from Syria etc. his words fall on deaf ears here in Europe. Yes, we have far right parties but they don’t even come close to Trump. Many of us have signed a petition to keep him out! So we are left with a situation where the vast majority of the population would open up their homes to a Syrian family with no personal belongings rather than let Trump cross our thresholds. I don’t often agree with the author’s writings as, like us all, he is also a product of his culture; but on this story I full heartedly agree.

  9. Dear Jerome, Well written and entertaining as always…I so understand the urge to resist writing about this repulsive excuse for a human being because we know The Donald loves the attention; positive or negative makes no difference. Like Palin , he is an attention whore and considers himself a winner irregardless of polls, facts or reality.That is his trademark. I just want to add a bit of good news for those terrified he might become the next POTUS. Ain’t gonna happen. The aging angry white male demographic just doesn’t have the power it once lorded over us…If they did, Mitt Romney would be working on his re-election campaign. A little ray of sunshine for the sane and centered. Thanks, amigo.

  10. Madefe, Firstly, it is always appreciated when someone responds to my stuff, and I thank you profusely. If you often disagree, I’d love to hear why. That’s why I do this. Anyhoo … I’ve spent 2 months of every year in Europe for 30 years or more, mostly in Spain. I don’t think we can overestimate the better sense that is displayed there quite often, guns, health care, peace, alternative energy, and now, this Trump thing enters the list as well. And sure, I, like everyone, is a product of their culture, but if you knew me well you’d understand how much I’ve transcended it. That is why I am Post Consumer Man. But Trump is trying to be our president which makes what he stands for much more important. Thanks again, Jerome

    • Jerome, I know you better than you realise. I don’t think people can ever fully transcend the culture in which they grew up. You may have spent two months each year on a Spanish island but you have internalised the culture in which you grew up. I would have to write an entire thesis to account for all the points on which I disagree with you. However, your writing is thought provoking and some of the best stuff I have read for many years. So, keep going.

      • Madefe, You may disagree with me, but you seem to have underestimated me. Of course, I agree, nobody fully transcends the culture they come from, and I really don’t want to, not completely. I am only criticizing our culture’s paradigm. Basically, I am impressed with what our culture has managed to do socially and especially with regard to technology. But, if it does not learn how to use that technology in a positive manner, we could be toast and our idea of happiness or fulfillment, fueled by our economic system, is leading us astray. And yes, we could write entire thesis’s (?) on all this, something I have already done with my essays and will continue to do. And, your compliment, coming from someone who generally disagrees with me, is strongly valued by me. I’ll keep writing and I hope you’ll keep reading. Thanks so much, Jerome

  11. John, Of course, much of what he has done will come back on him. Perhaps you’ll be pleased when I go a little spiritual on you by saying I don’t think it is possible to do what Trump does and not have some kind of Kharma smack him down. It’s almost an ecological law of the Earth. But what is distressing is just how many people do react positively to him. It is still a minority, but it is too much. Thanks John, ciao, Jerome

  12. jerry in answer to your comment on my earlier comment it is not ‘memorized’ but free flowing….its the way I think! can’t ya tell? I’m a liberty and freedom lover….can’t help it. and its not ranting if you can read its meanings and understand the ‘concepts’. starting with our u.s. constitution is a good beginning. then on to the federalist papers. thewre you go a great start. cheers wjm