September 12, 2015

Trump isn’t a political candidate … he’s a political fireship

Filed under: Politics, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Grant McCracken explains why revelations of faults and gaffes not only don’t cost Donald Trump any support, they often increase his appeal to voters:

The answer, I think, is that his supporters don’t want a president. They want a fireship.

Fireships were instruments of destruction when the world was ruled by wooden ships. The idea was to pack a ship with flammables, set it ablaze, and send it in the direction of enemy ships in the hope that it would set these enemy ships ablaze. Fireships helped defeat the Spanish armada gathered in the English Channel.

Donald Trump promises to make a very good fireship. He lacks the subtlety, intelligence, breadth, and leadership we look for in a candidate. And that’s precisely what makes him such an effective instrument of political disruption.

Reckless, boorish, self centered? Perfect. Trump’s flaws make him a unassimilable. Washington is its own empire with formidable powers of hegemony. Many reformers go to Washington. Virtually all are claimed, colonized, incorporated. The Trumpians believes they have found a candidate so full of himself not even the Borg can absorb him. (If you can’t have incorruptible, unassimilable will have to do.)

But that’s just Step 1 of the Trump disruption, the passive play. Step 2, the active play, is a candidate who thinks he’s smarter than the system. Most Trumpians know that Trump isn’t smarter than the system. They just want him to act as if he is. That guarantees the destructive chaos they’re hoping for. I don’t think anyone doubts that Trump is a bully and a blow hard. They just want him to knock lots of things down when he throws his weight around. (If you can’t have cunning, clumsy will have to do.)

Trumpians don’t want a candidate. They want an agent of chaos. They don’t want to reform Washington. They want to burn it down.


  1. Can’t entirely disagree with the fireship angle, but I see his “candidacy” as more of a service to the GOP in the literal sense of a rodeo clown. The rodeo isn’t for or about the rodeo clowns, it’s for the riders, but the clowns perform the necessary service of keeping the bull off of a downed rider.

    Every minute the MSM spends expounding on how much they hate Trump, is one minute they can’t spend attacking a genuine GOP candidate. Trump is keeping the MSM bull off most of the GOP’s real riders.

    Better still, when Trump says anything remotely negative about one of his GOP “competitors,” the MSM is cleverly put in the position of defending a real GOP candidate. This morning, I witnessed the proverbial “man bites dog” story as CNN spent more than five minutes defending a capitalist, conservative, woman, GOP candidate, Carly Fiorina.

    We all know how quickly the so-called feminists threw Palin under the bus in ’08, condoning, if not actually participating in describing her with various NSFW expletives. Does anybody believe that Fiorina wouldn’t already be getting the same treatment, if not for “front runner” Trump being “mean” to her?

    Trump can’t afford the cut in pay he’d take by taking the POTUS job. But if he can push the GOP establishment even 0.5% back toward genuine free-market capitalism, and help them re-take the White House, that would likely add another billion per year to the bottom line at his day job.

    Comment by Tom Kelley — September 12, 2015 @ 04:58

  2. Tom, yours is one of the most positive takes on the Trump phenomenon I’ve seen. Trump is a master of arresting attention and drawing all notice to himself. If he were a normal political candidate, he’d have to either start defending his newly acquired turf and fend off all the negatives as attention changed to focus and investigation. Unlike every other candidate, he’s pretty much immune to surprise revelations of his past misdeeds … because that’s already part of his public persona. It’s apparently impossible to get the man to feel any shame at all, and the media are suddenly weaponless against him.

    I kept expecting him to peak in popularity and then evaporate as soon as he lost interest, yet here he is approaching an outright majority of support with no slowdown in sight (if you believe the polls, anyway). These are the “crazy years”.

    Comment by Nicholas — September 12, 2015 @ 09:15

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