Tweeter Trump: New York Bad Boy

By: Bill Whaley
12 February, 2017

Local News: Shannon’s at the Bridge from 1:30 to 3:30 for free weddings on Valentine’s Day. You can vote for “public safety” on the same day at the Town of Taos.

(Editor’s Note: See A Short History of the Trump Family by Sidney Blumenthal, a senior adviser to Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001 in the London Review of Books, Vl. 39 No. 4 · 16 February 2017, pages 32-37. At 9926 words you get an entertaining and familiar summary of 20th Century popular culture, literary and political history in terms of Trumpism, similarities and differences in view of popular culture and the muckrakers.)


Below a couple of paragraphs summarize the response and reaction of the New Yorkers, who know Trump as their least favorite son. He’s pictured on the right with his advisers, Steve Bannon, white supremacist, and Putin-Trump protégé, national security adviser Mike Flynn.

“If there is one subject that has unified discordant New Yorkers over the past five decades, it has been Trump. In 2016, he lost 87 per cent of the vote in Manhattan, and most of those who voted for him probably did so with distaste, casting their loyal Republican votes for a man who for most of his life donated money to Democratic candidates in a Democratic city. (Trump also lost in Queens, carrying only 22 per cent of the vote; in Brooklyn, he won less than 20 per cent; and in the Bronx, about 10 per cent.)

“A week after the inauguration, Nineteen Eighty-Four and The Origins of Totalitarianism were number one and number 36 respectively on the US Amazon bestseller list, but the true-life Donald J. Trump story has more to do with what Scott Fitzgerald called ‘foul dust’ than with ideas or ideology. Reckoning with Trump means descending into the place that made him. What he represents, above all, is the triumph of an underworld of predators, hustlers, mobsters, clubhouse politicians and tabloid sleaze that festered in a corner of New York City, a vindication of his mentor, the Mafia lawyer Roy Cohn, a figure unknown to the vast majority of enthusiasts who jammed Trump’s rallies and hailed him as the authentic voice of the people. “

Blumenthal’s synopsis of Trump bears comparison with essays by Joan Didion, written years ago for the New York Review of Books. Didion the longtime New York—LA observer of the American scene, analyzed Ronald Reagan as Governor and President in the popular culture terms of a “B” grade movie actor and the lessons learned from shooting scripts. Reagan hit his marks and spoke in the reductive sound bytes of the good guys and bad guys, derived from melodramatic film noir, westerns, or saccharine pop culture versions of American life, according to Didion.

Trump represents the flip side of Reagan in the angry and heartless reprise of the con man and opportunist. He knows neither principle nor loyalty but represents the radical roots of savage capitalism, the culmination of tabloid celebrity and Las Vegas style exploitation of suckers and rubes, who aspire to win jackpots but contribute to the profits of the house. Trump will do anything for the sake of self-aggrandizement and profit. But he has this one great failing: the thin-skinned salesman aspires for acceptance from his alleged betters in New York City. There he forged a life based on (not so) petty crimes with help from the underworld, buttressed by Roy Cohn’s political connections as he manipulated the legal system as blunt object with which he bludgeoned foes or enemies, a practice he carries on today in the form of Tweets.” Still New Yorkers aren’t buying into the Trump portfolio worshiped by white supremacists and the rust belt resentful.

Both The New York Times and Washington Post have revealed that the Trump campaign team has played footsie with Vladimir Putin of Russia. Sources in the Times and Post suggest the American intelligence services have begun playing hardball with Trump, whose manic behavior threatens the security of the country. The Republican establishment’s capitulation to Trumpism speaks to the gap between declared principles and actual behavior: morally and ethically vacuous.

The Resistance to Trumpism and Paul Ryan’s fictional Ayn Randism or Mitch McConnell’s misogyny has exploded. Formerly safe Congressional representatives are being challenged at town meetings because they are trying to undo progress of the American medical care system, benefits affecting those with pre-existing conditions or recipients of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

images-2Women are marching and calling for a general strike. Compassionate Americans, including “attorneys,” show up at airports and in the courts to defend the “other.” The fury born of “fair play” grows as ICE rounds up Mexican mothers and fathers, who are seen as victims of a corrupt justice system. American veterans have announced that they will return to support the Tribe at Standing Rock. African America Superstars are speaking up or taking a knee or ignoring ritual meetings at the White House for Super Bowl winners.

Bannonwhite_rally-620x412-600x399Trump and the Republicans are uniting the Resistance. Except for the Neo-Nazi White Supremacists above and Steve Bannon on the right, his supporters in the rust belt will eventually recognize the familiar “con man” embodied by Trump, a traveling medicine man.

Impeachment and/or resignation seems like the only possibility when a spurned security establishment takes umbrage. For this President has not only betrayed the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the rule of law in the U. S. Constitution but is jeopardizing the very existence of the country. The shadow of nuclear winter and extreme weather grows darker and darker but as the poet Shelley said, “O, wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?”

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