Re: The Crisis-of-Democracy Thread: On Trump, Brexit, and Other Concerns
Out of curiosity, what did you know about Donald Trump prior to 2015? What was your impression of him?
(For what it's worth, I actually wrote a really long reply to avatar's post within 12 hours, but then I couldn't decide whether or not to post it, temporarily rejected it, and then forgot for a while. Later today, I'll pull it out of storage, dust it off, and see if I feel any better about posting it now. Sorry, av.)
I'd never seen anything other than promotional material for The Apprentice, and I feel like he popped up in a lot of Cracked.com articles looking like a melodramatic sleazy con man. I was aware of his previous explorations of presidential ambitions. I wrote him off 'cause he never declared for president. I wrote off the tweets as old grandpa and the Internet. It never occurred to me that he would come to dominate the platform - the most successful massmedia publishing system invented.
But, the second he declared (like he did), and went for the R nomination, I knew he would sweep the floor with the rest of them. He kept saying all the quiet parts loud that all the others had spent their whole lives pretending wasn't a thing at all. They never stood a chance. Then in a general election, because of our binary choice, winner takes all system, he's gets to be a coin flip away from the white house.
After years of hacking the system to get their way, Rs got hacked by Trump using their own playbook. That he ended up president is otherwise an accident. He pretty clearly from the record never thought he would win.
But he did, and he is who he is, and now we are where we are (and McConnell continues his own agenda unabated, as do the State Leges) and the thing that continues to baffle me day and night is that Twitter continues to publish his unhinged, unfiltered, often violent musings because... reasons? If he was mailing this stuff to the NYT or WP they wouldn't just continue publishing them. Why does Twitter not flex on this? I really feel like they could get away with it. Is Dorsey that much in his head about the freedom land utopia that he thinks he's brought everyone?
In any case, this is fascinating. Very much calls to mind the conflagration that the popularization of newspapers caused at the founding of the republic.