Trump’s Incarnation of the Racist State– George Elerick
“… [this] sense of futility that comes from doing anything merely to prove to yourself that you can do it: having a child, climbing a mountain, making some sexual conquest, committing suicide. The marathon is a form of demonstrative suicide, suicide as advertising: it is running to show you are capable of getting every last drop of energy out of yourself, to prove it… to prove what? That you are capable of finishing. Graffiti carry the same message. They simply say: I’m so-and-so and I exist! They are free publicity for existence.
Do we continually have to prove to ourselves that we exist? A strange sign of weakness, harbinger of a new fanaticism for a faceless performance, endlessly self-evident.”
― Jean Baudrillard, AmericaFor many, Trump embodies prima facie the Freudian Id. Which are, in simple terms, the uncontrolled impulses we all have. If I am hungry, then I eat and etc. He is not sublimating the urges,; however, I think this reading only begins to scratch the surface, in that Trump is a mirror of the culture from which he arises. If he is xenophobic, it is not only because he himself is xenophobic but is also a direct reflection of culture itself which fears the other. If he is racist, it is not only that he is racist, but that he represents the ideology prevalent across the United States.To think this mirrored reflection emerges from a one-sided group of people would be exceptionally anemic in that, to have racism, you imply the lack of it. Each group would want to stake that claim and make themselves saviours and saints. But, what Trump stands as is a reminder that both the Left and Right embody the very things they reject. As Slavoj ZIzek poignantly points out that the political-correctness found from the Leftists, so while its convenient for the Left to scapegoat the Right, both sides rely upon on an embedded form of systemic racism. If racism were not so enjoyable, then people would not be racist. Both sides don’t really want to change otherwise they would look for an alternative outside of the simplistic duality of a two-party system that defines the parameters and responses of each side.The pleasure principle is that which is looking for a way to release the tension. Trump is essentially the pressure point upon which this pressure is being released. Trump acts a mediator for this pressure to be released. Hence why he is so popular. He is materializing the fear-based ideologies erupting across our television screens. A recent poll showed that there was a 17% more trust in Trump as telling the truth over Hilary. However, no one wants to claim that this truth is not Trumos to own, that he speaks for a system that he is embedded in.Idealism is a short detour from fascism. Idealism is the system of thought that seeks out a totality. A whole. To bring fragments into one. In an extremely pop-culture example, it would be what occurs in a romantic-comedy, where we meet two different people who tend to be from opposite backgrounds and in the end come together and create a happily-ever-after. I know this does not deal with all of the philosophical implications of idealism, but for the sake of this article, Idealism seek to unite differences into a whole. Freud speaks of dreams being distorted by the a person when they recall them. Is this not what is happening when Trump promises to make “America Great Again”? He is attempting to remind others of something they lost. As if there was a primal loss due to former government leaders. He then promises to give them that thing that they lost. This abstraction of what is lost is concretely personified in nothing more than Trump’s persistent rhetoric of xenophobia towards anyone who is not white, male, or upper-classed.Some on the Left see Trump as being a voice of Truth and anti-establishment, but as any good postmodern knows, to be anti-establishment, you have to first be a promoter of it. The paradoxical claim that Trump is somehow a truth-teller and exposes the pseudo multi-culturalism so prevalent across America today negates the events that are already occurring in reality that do the work of Trump without Trump embodying some form of messianic knowledge-giver. The tension between the Black Lives Matter movement and the police (who use excess pornographic violence) is but one of many ongoing examples of the reality that America has not rid itself of racism. What we are witnessing is the rise of a Second Civil Rights Movement. We hear the same infantile rhetoric emerging out of the the vilification of refugees, immigration and the marginalization of the other. We don’t need Trump as a truth-teller because the events are already speaking before he opens his ill-informed entertainment-laden mouth. His development of fear against the other is an attempt to erase the other. To treat the refugee as a ghost, as a monster who lives under our beds and should not be taken seriously and forgotten.Donald Trump does not materialize anything new. He only confirms what many cannot find a way to explain. Like for example, there is a pandemic fear of government, a concern that political correctness is a farce, and that we’re all really racist and afraid of one another. Trump is simply a vessel that incarnates the systemic disparities and antagonisms that have been intrinsic to the American Political Machine since its inception. America, according to its most idealistic version of self-narrative escaped religious tyranny and the homogeneity of an old feudal system still intact. However, it, much like the repetition in the Israeli cyclical narrative of become victim then oppressor, America finds itself in a latent form of Stockholm Syndrome, whereby we identify with the very system that enslaves and uses the language given to us by the system to justify its oppressive existence through its willing leaders.To find a way out of this deadlock is to discover that we need to demand new linguistic coordinates, new ways of speaking about one another. However, this change cannot just begin and end in changing how we speak of one another, but also how we think of one another, then how we treat one another. There is a contingency.Most of our reality is mediated for us. This mediation is an enemy to progress. It was Gilles Deleuze that said, “desire desires its own repression”, and in this we discover that to truly absolve ourselves of mediating objects like governments, leaders, structures we need to change the way we desire. Change the way we speak of it, change the direction of where its pointing. Be open to the coordinates of the impossible. This is the first step.