Matt Taibbi on Trump's "fury and failure"


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/17/matt-taibbi-on-trumps-fury.html


#2

“These last days of the Trump campaign are the beginning, not the end. After the election, Trump and his supporters will continue to agitate for an all-white America”

If he loses, Trump will completely lose interest in politics. What’s in it for him?


#3

The popular Plan B theory is that Trump has been posturing to create a right-wing alternative to FOX news–a thought that terrifies me only slightly less than a Trump presidency.


#4

We’ll see; it’ll probably be more popular than the Sarah Palin Channel.


#5

Great writing, if extremely depressing. And I’m not even American. You guys have my sympathies.


#6

A theory that gained quite a bit of credibility when it turned out Trump’s son-in-law has been trying to quietly raise funds for this new media venture recently.
Given that he’s apparently convinced 41% of the electorate that this election will be, on some level, rigged, it’s clear he’s going to have a long-lasting pernicious effect on American politics.


#7

"The only thing that could get in the way of real change – if not now,
then surely very soon – was a rebellion so maladroit, ill-conceived and
irresponsible that even the severest critics of the system would become
zealots for the status quo. "

The people who seem to want whatever revolution Trump is going to bring are those who haven’t really thought about what a mess it will be. When Trump says “what have you got to lose?” the answer is “everything you still have.”

He could do this as an internet-only thing, but an actual Fox News-styled cable channel probably won’t happen. Trump has shown himself to be kind of a cheapskate, and it’s unlikely he would invest the time and money in equipment, studio space, and personnel needed to make a go of it. The guy is all about making quick easy profits. Who would invest? Who would advertise on his channel? How would he fill 24 hours a day with programming? Could he build up its popularity quickly then sell it (to who?) for some ginormous windfall profit? The alt-right crowd is a very limited and limiting audience to play to.


#8

So Taibbi has the shocking insight that both parties are the same and there’s no point in voting? That seems to contradict most of his other writing. I know it’s more nuanced than that - but not a lot more nuanced.


#9

Matt Taibbi is a national treasure!


#10

Where did you find that? Surely not the linked article


#11

So nuanced that it was about something else entirely!


#12

Saying that the parties aren’t violent ideological opposites is not the same as saying the parties are exactly the same and there’s no point in voting. This is especially true if you consider his first point that the Republican and Democratic establishments don’t hold a monopoly on political positions.


#13

This. Even with Ailes in your corner it’s a long row to hoe. Alex Jones, who’s been at this for years and years can’t get off the internet, no sponsors would have him, and he’s the kind of guy that TrumpTV would put into the 8 pm slot, going up against ol’ Papa Bear on Fox.


#14

The way I read it is that “The election campaign is meant to emphasize the differences between the two parties, minimize the similarities, and blame the differences for all of America’s problems, even if many of America’s problems lie in the similarities.”

The problem, of course, being, that since many of America’s problems fall in the “similarities” area that neither party is going to deal with, rational discourse on those issues goes out the window, and we’re left with various nominees hurling insults at each other. And if that’s the job you’re hiring your candidate for, then Donald Trump actually became the nominee on merit: he’s more than proven that he can handle the job of Insulter-in-Chief.


#15

And now there’s an additional lie that all the media always does this.

One small glimmer of a silver lining on the cloud of this election season is that even Fox News has occasionally been forced to call out Trump and a few others (though of course they immediately try to pull it back to a “but it’s still the other side’s fault…”)


#16

This has all been well documented by Chris Hedges in his 2009 work, “Empire of Illusion”


#17

Attention.


#18

That’s a good point.

@NickSay:

Lie No. 1 is that there are only two political ideas in the world, Republican and Democrat. Lie No. 2 is that the parties are violent ideological opposites, and that during campaign season we can only speak about the areas where they differ (abortion, guns, etc.) and never the areas where there’s typically consensus (defense spending, surveillance, torture, trade, and so on). Lie No. 3, a corollary to No. 2, is that all problems are the fault of one party or the other, and never both. Assuming you watch the right channels, everything is always someone else’s fault. Lie No. 4, the reason America in campaign seasons looks like a place where everyone has great teeth and $1,000 haircuts, is that elections are about political personalities, not voters.


#19

I don’t see that message there. He complains about the coverage of elections focusing on the details that differ between the parties and ignoring the large amount of overlap.

Electing a Democrat didn’t close Guantanamo, didn’t end drone strikes, end illegal mass surveillance, stop insane military spending or end poverty.

That doesn’t stop Obama from being far superior to the Republican options on hand, but there are many areas in which both parties silently promise business as usual.


#20

I remain convinced that Matt Taibbi has a stash of Hunter S Thompson’s ashes, which, from time to time, he will snort for inspiration.
I think this article was the product of that carefully hoarded substance.

That said, pointing out that the people in government are disconnected from the governed, well, it’s hardly a new insight is it? Even those who go into government with the best of intentions end up doing things for power’s own sake, that’s just part of the human condition.