Is there really such a thing as Trumpism? Or is the man, the administration, and the thrust of his presidency purposely and aggressively indefinable, an ambiguous, amorphous fog, made up of mere visceral reactions to both impulse and the momentary influence of stray voices passing through his mind? Lacking disciplined approaches or the need to develop constructs of vision, the man who neither reads nor even trusts that which has been proven by consensus and subsequently recorded as fact, much prefers hypotheses to conclusions, and possibly represents the very pinnacle of reactive thinking.
Agog with affection in the presence of authoritarian leaders, he lacks the stone and substance with which to emulate their brand, coming off, instead, as little more than the reflection of a spoiled and petulant adolescent. Seated, his posture is oddly defensive, arms crossed so tightly about him at times, he looks to be romancing himself… while his facial expression betrays the possibility that the affection can never be returned, much like a man who possesses a powerful, even passionate love/hate relationship with himself, but one in which the component of disdain has utterly and irreversibly overcome the struggle. Having no confidence and no rigid core of character within him, perhaps he is a liquid human tide subject to the influence of superior suggestive forces within his orbit.
If indeed there is such a thing as Trumpism, perhaps it does not emanate from this one man…
….but from an amalgam of individuals, a collective perhaps, a coalition of names… like Jared and Stephen and Vladimir and Kim. A pastiche of somewhat unusual men… like Bolton and Bannon, Pompeo and Flynn. Cohen and Cohn, Mussolini and then… Hannity, Coulter, Limbaugh and such… Don Junior and Eric, Ivanka, of course… Pence and Mnuchin and Betsy DeVos. The list goes on and on and on and must also include every angry voice in the crowds of adoring, MAGA-hatted fans… and passing thoughts from Twitter feeds… indeed, every passing voice that somehow strikes a serendipitous chord within the molten, mercurial mass of what passes for thought in the primordial presidential soup behind that often vacant stare from the man who is ultimately in charge of the future of our nation. This man who somehow… and perhaps quite by some fluke, some paradigm shift in the fabric of the universe, a glitch in the foundational laws of probability… now finds himself at the very helm of global history.
What is Trumpism? I believe we’ll only get the answer when we finally understand the question or when his epoch has ended… and if that sounds like I’m at a loss to describe Trumpism definitevely and with confidence? You get an “A” for the course.