Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Feeling Good, Proud, Happy, And United


Adam Serwer of The Atlantic has written "taking joy.... in their shared laughter at the suffering of others"

is more human than most would like to admit. Somewhere on the wide spectrum between adolescent teasing and the smiling white men in the lynching photographs are the Trump supporters whose community is built by rejoicing in the anguish of those they see as unlike them, who have found in their shared cruelty an answer to the loneliness and atomization of modern life.

Trump’s only true skill is the con; his only fundamental belief is that the United States is the birthright of straight, white, Christian men, and his only real, authentic pleasure is in cruelty. It is that cruelty, and the delight it brings them, that binds his most ardent supporters to him, in shared scorn for those they hate and fear: immigrants, black voters, feminists, and treasonous white men who empathize with any of those who would steal their birthright. The president’s ability to execute that cruelty through word and deed makes them euphoric. It makes them feel good, it makes them feel proud, it makes them feel happy, it makes them feel united. And as long as he makes them feel that way, they will let him get away with anything, no matter what it costs them.

Impressively, Serwer wrote that in early October, in the midst of the Brett Kavanaugh/Christine Blasey Ford controversy. It would be much easier today. From Marianna, Florida on the impact of the Trump Shutdown on the rural, conservative and Republican Panhandle, the New  York Times' Patricia Mazzei reports

Crystal Minton, accompanied her fiancĂ© to a friend’s house to help clear the remnants of a metal roof mangled by the hurricane. Ms. Minton, a 38-year-old secretary, said she had obtained permission from the warden to put off her Mississippi duty until early February because she is a single mother caring for disabled parents. Her fiancĂ© plans to take vacation days to look after Ms. Minton’s 7-year-old twins once she has to go to work.

The shutdown on top of the hurricane has caused Ms. Minton to rethink a lot of things.

“I voted for him, and he’s the one who’s doing this,” she said of Mr. Trump. “I thought he was going to do good things. He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting.”

He's not hurting the people he needs to be hurting. Obviously, Ms. Minton wishes President Trump would hurt "the people he needs to be hurting."

However, I thought he was going to do good things. Because he isn't hurting the people he needs to be hurting, he could not possibly be doing "good things."

And that's one of the reasons Katy Tur, in the video below, is dead wrong, on at least two counts. Tur believes Trump needs supporters who voted for him to "get things done." However, he needs those people less than he needs hard-core Republicans, who will let their Senators know what their political future will look like if they do not stand by their man.

Moreover, notwithstanding Tur's perception, Trump needs to produce "The Wall," however he's able to define a wall.  He needs it not only because his supporters oppose illegal immigration, and most of them, legal immigration.

It is- or would be- a physical manifestation of what they want. Barring from the country individuals who might need social services is a minor benefit. Causing them pain is the major advantage, and the reason (notwithstanding Tur's notion) that "they will let him get away with anything."





A wall may or may not benefit the USA. But it certainly would hurt Mexico.  "Who's gonna topay for the wall?" "Mexico," his exuberant fans would yell back at him. Mexico and Mexicans will have to pay and suck it up.

Steve M understands that the President

wants the fight and the wall. What he wants is to win the fight, which means Democrats lose, and lose badly. ..

Trump can't act in a way that would bring shame upon himself in the eyes of the people he most wants to please (the GOP base, Sean Hannity, etc.). They expect him not to cede anything to Democrats -- and Trump assumes they expect him, the master of the deal, to cut a deal in which he wins everything and the other side wins nothing.

It's not win-win for Trump and most of his supporters. It's not even "tails we win, heads you lose." They will be happy with "you lose."




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