Donald’s Diner

It’s all about anxiety.

The rise of Donald Trump. The reaction against him. The fear that he will bring down the Republican Party and poison “true” conservatism. It’s all about a slow, methodical unraveling of white Christian privilege in America and the fear and uncertainty that comes with that dawning reality.

Let me start with Anus Mouth. Donald Trump’s success, so far, has been based on crassly and confidently, if not coherently and consistently, addressing the cultural angst that many white conservative Christians feel. I have written about this angst for many years now. It is palpable. It is real. Even if it is un-Christianly.

So, a rather un-Christianly Donald Trump comes along—Mr. “Two Corinthians”—and figures out a way to feed the beast of collective white conservative Christian anger and resentment that has now become the dominant force in Republican politics. It matters not that he feeds the hungry beast a smorgasbord of megalomania and mistruths or that he offers the beast a feast of bewildering bigotry and baptized balderdash or that he serves all-you-can eat dishes of toxic demagoguery and dissonance to this famished and unfortunate creature.

What matters is that the beast has been starving for attention, hungering for a conservative cuisine that satisfies its most basic, and basest, instinct: fear of the Other. Fear that the Other is winning. Whites are getting dirtied by malicious brown people from Mexico and the Middle East. Christianity is under attack from within—Obama is a Muslim! The War on Christmas!—and from without—ISIS is just steps away from pulverizing American churches just like they did that 1400-year old Christian monastery in Iraq!

Donald can fix it all. Make America White Again.

Now, there are those on the “true” right starting to figure out that Donald’s Diner, affectionately known as the Buffoon’s Buffet, perhaps needs some health inspectors to come in and shut the place down before too many conservatives are poisoned and the movement dies. The most recent conservative health experts joined forces in a lengthy critique of Trump’s conservatism that was published by National Review, a magazine founded by William F. Buckley and that was, once upon a time, a place where thoughtful and interesting conservatives could make intellectual war on liberalism. These days National Review is publishing pieces by trolls like Glenn Beck and Erick Erickson. Talk about cultural decline.

In any case, reading some of these critiques oddly reveals just why there is a beast hungry for the kind of junk food that Trump cynically serves. Sure, one writer criticized Trump’s “nativism and his promise of one-man rule” and his “racial and religious scapegoating.”  Another isn’t sure if he is a “boor” or a “creep” or a “louse,” but is sure that he is a “con man” and “has demonstrated an emotional immaturity bordering on personality disorder, and it ought to disqualify him from being a mayor, to say nothing of a commander-in-chief.”

But when you dig a little deeper into these latest critiques of Trump, you find that at the heart of many of them is a validation of the anxiety and fears that Trump is exploiting. One writer said that Trump is embracing “Barack Obama’s authoritarianism.” Another wrote of Obama’s “withering assault” on “religious freedom.” You see? The subtext is validation: The Scary Negro is a tyrant tearing down the scaffolding that supports white Christian privilege. He’s letting into the country brown immigrants from Mexico. He’s welcoming Muslim refugees from Syria.20160120_151250

Another writer, again published by the once-reputable National Review, did manage to call Trump a “know-nothing demagogue.” But in the same paragraph he called Bernie Sanders a “Marxist,” Hillary Clinton a “leftist crook,” and said, “all are competing to see who can be even more like Mussolini than is Obama.” Mussolini? Really? And you wonder why there is an appetite for the kind of ignorance and hate that Donald Trump piles on his buffet table and sells the Republican electorate?

An old Reaganite, Ed Meese, criticized Trump for his vigorous and vitriolic attacks against fellow Republicans in the race. Then he ended by calling President Obama “one of the most divisive and incompetent presidents in history.” Again, we see the validation of one of Trump’s central messages: our leaders are incompetent and ruining the country and The Donald is so much smarter and much more cunning—he loves that word—that he will make great deals and build great walls and win great wars. Thus it is that even when the conservative health inspectors are trying to claim the food Trump is serving is bad for conservatives, they are authenticating the recipe.

But it’s not only such authentication that serves to undermine the conservative case against Donald Trump, a case prosecuted not only by the writers at National Review, but writers and pundits and politicians elsewhere in the right-wing world. Perhaps what really undermines the seriousness of their arguments against him is best illustrated by what Eric Erickson wrote to begin his anti-Trump essay:

I would vote for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.

That sentence pretty much explains why it is that so many people, empty buffet plates in hand, stand in long lines and fill large arenas to hear a hateful demagogue repeat stupid and hurtful things on the campaign trail and why those same people don’t pay much attention to National Review writers or others trying buffetto take down Trump. In the end, right-wing criticism of Donald Trump is hollow, unless it is followed by, “Donald Trump is dangerous and I will not vote for him—and neither should you.”

Until we hear more of that kind of talk from conservative Republicans, there is every reason to believe that fearful and anxious white Christians will continue to flock to the Buffoon’s Buffet and feed on the poisonous pottage that Chef Anus Mouth serves them.

24 Comments

  1. Anonymous

     /  January 22, 2016

    BRAVO! Nicely stated! Glad you’re back Bro!!!

    Like

  2. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN??? I’ve been anxiously waiting for you to chime in on the Great Circus before us these days….🙂

    Like

    • Sorry, Dawn. Your comment got lost in the spam file and there is so much spam on WordPress these days, I just now found it. Good to hear from you!

      Early last year a neighbor of mine was suffering from the final stages of cancer. He had no family around and needed attention and care. I and another neighbor took care of him till the bitter end, and I do mean it was bitter. Watching him suffer and die made me rethink how I wanted to spend my time. Blogging about politics, at least the way I was doing it, was very time consuming (trying to get facts right), with little to show in terms of changing minds. Thus, I took off some time to reevaluate. But this crazy primary season has tempted me to get back in. It is really stunning how fast the GOP has been disintegrating.

      In any case, I will hang in there as long as I can! Thanks for writing!

      Duane

      Liked by 1 person

      • So sorry to hear about your friend. But glad to see you back. While I agree that the GOP is disintegrating, it is probably for the best (I hope). In our home we are hoping that some very good, productive changes will come from an honest reevaluation of the party. Hey, a girl can hope….🙂

        Like

        • I wish I was as hopeful as you. But I remember that infamous party autopsy they did after the 2012 presidential defeat. That was supposed to be an honest evaluation and in some ways it was. Problem is that the only one who paid any attention to it was Marco Rubio, who helped author and then pass comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate. Then when he got push-back from right-wingers on radio, television, and in print, he quickly returned to his 2010 Tea Party form and came out against his own bill! Today they are all trying to out-Trump Trump on immigration and xenophobia and seem to have no remembrance of that reevaluation of the party. 😦

          Liked by 1 person

  3. cbdoodle

     /  January 22, 2016

    Trump’s a phoney. Even a dog can see that. The whole GOP field is a sham. None of these idiots will win the nomination. Paul Ryan (I’d like to bite him on the ankle) will be drafted at the convention and the corporate media will have little time to devote to finding out what a jerk he really is. It’s the only chance the GOP has. If they nominate Trump or Cruz or Rubio or any of those losers the Dems — Bernie I hope, or even Hillary — will run the table.

    Like

    • For the first time in my lifetime, there does seem to be a possibility that a clear winner may not emerge from the chaos that is the GOP primary. Usually pundits talk about such an outcome with little probability of it happening, but this time one can see how it could unfold. I very much doubt, though, that the delegates at the convention would go outside of one of the candidates running. I can imagine a complete revolt and meltdown by the Trump and Cruz people if that were to happen. Heck, I can see such a meltdown if anyone but Trump or Cruz is picked, and we all know that the so-called establishment Republicans (I don’t know if that term means anything anymore) does not want either of them. It appears to me now that Rubio is emerging as the “establishment” default candidate, as weird as that sounds. Rubio is about as right-wing as you can get, but these days he is being cast as a reasonable Republican. That shows you both how inept many journalists are and how reactionary the GOP has become. Of all of them, Rubio makes me cringe the most when I see him. He is just as much an opportunist as Trump or Cruz, with no real interest in doing his day job and never has had.

      Like

    • Paul Ryan as a draft pick at the convention? Interesting idea, Doodle. It could happen only if Trump’s numbers falter, but they show no sign of doing so, despite predictions to the contrary. I think this reflects wide frustration, even fear, with political polarization over the last seven years. Doesn’t matter that this is the fault of the Tea Party.

      People get dug-in to their own political identity and it’s all confirmation bias after that. The only thing that changes political polarization, historically, is war. That’s satisfying because it gives the feeling of progress (but not the substance). Think shock and awe. This is why, I submit, we get the bellicose rhetoric about ISIS from likes of Cruz, Rubio and Trump, and that is what I fear most. Without conscription it is just too damn easy to press the war button these days. These birds act as though religiously-motivated terrorists can be defeated in a few months with air power and tanks.

      I like Bernie but he is not the answer. The GOP’s would have a field day with his socialist label. Emotions and labels win elections, unfortunately.

      By the way, I’m glad to see you’re back Duane. 🙂

      Like

      • Bernie makes good sense to my humans. There’s a big difference between Scandanavian Democratic Socialism and the the policies of Mao’s China or Soviet Russia. If Americans are too lazy to deal with the difference they deserve the six different kinds of hell they’d have with any of the GOP candidates in the Oval Office. Why would “progessives” balk at informing US citizens of the real democracy that comes with democratic socialism? Dog! Why would even semi-intelligent humans be so willfully ignorant? The US, by definition, is currently an oligarchy. That can’t be good. The idea of living in a country run by fat cats is abhorent to me. I’m sure that’s no surprise.

        Like

        • But what do you do if you actually catch the car?

          Like

          • I’m no car chaser. I do have a standing vertical leap of 38″ — and i’m only 22″ tall at the shoulder. I’m an athlete. And a mom. And I can smell fear. There’s a lot of it in this room. I just hope it doesn’t turn into cowardice.

            Like

            •  

              In your earlier comment, you said:

              There’s a big difference between Scandanavian Democratic Socialism and the the policies of Mao’s China or Soviet Russia. If Americans are too lazy to deal with the difference they deserve the six different kinds of hell they’d have with any of the GOP candidates in the Oval Office.

              Believe it or not, I understand that sentiment. Sometimes I feel it myself, especially here in Hooterville, Mo. Sometimes I wish the people around here, most of whom are financially insecure and poor and Republican, would get the kind of world the right-wing promises to them. No more subsidized lunches, Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, and so on.

              But then I think about what that reality would mean for so many innocents, including those who supported Democrats and the children of those “too lazy” Americans who supported Republicans. It’s just not worth the risk of putting those folks at risk, if you know what I mean.

              Finally, your keen sense of smell–“I can smell the fear”–is admirable. My dachshund can smell well, too. If the wind is right, he can sense a pile of doo-doo from some considerable distance. It really is amazing. And, if I read him right, he senses a pile of Republican doo-doo at the end of the road, should we nominate someone who cannot win.

              Duane

              Like

              • Bernie can win. Robert Reich has a great MoveOn video debunking the 6 arguments timid “progressives” make to downgrade Bernie’s chances. If the same ol’ people vote in 2016 American humans will stay in gridlock — or worse. Bernie is the candidate of the people (and dogs). He gets it. He’ll get out the vote from slacker Democrats, disillusioned (non Tea-Party) Republicans and Independents. That’s what the US needs to thrive anyway. Bernie is the thrive candidate. Do we want to thrive or take a dive? Does your dachshund like elk antlers? I’m working on one right now. Delish!

                Like

                • Elk antlers? Too exotic for my wiener-y pup.

                  We’ll just have to disagree about Bernie’s wider appeal. I don’t see it. Heck, Nancy Pelosi has had to come out opposing his tax policies because of the threat they pose to House Democrats in this year’s elections. But, I will tell you, I hope I am wrong, if he gets the nomination. And no one would be happier than I and my wiener, if Bernie became president (dachshunds, I’ll have you know, are socialists). It’s just not gonna happen, despite what Robert Reich (one of my favorite economists and pundits, by the way) says.

                  Like

                  • We’ll see. Nancy likes dogs. But she’s as inspiring as Hillary Clinton and not very good at math. (Big yawn. Big stretch). Interestingly, Independents and young Republicans to the right of Clinton have indicated interest in Sanders, but NOT Clinton. He’s authentic. She’s — well — a Clinton.

                    Like

                    • Well, we agree on at least one thing about the Sanders/Clinton race! He wins, by far, the authenticity contest. If that were enough to win, he would trounce any Republican at any time. Unfortunately, it is what he is authentic about that will leave himself and his general election campaign vulnerable to vulgar demagoguery that will scare a number of independents away and energize Republicans, even if they don’t like their eventual nominee all that much. Right now, Republican operatives are praising Sanders in hopes of a Clinton defeat. If he wins, he will become the anti-Christ. And don’t hold your breath that young Republicans will come to his aid.

                      I just don’t think enough Americans are suffering, like, say, when FDR was elected four times, to give Bernie the momentum to win on the relatively radical platform he is presenting to us. Hillary, who is not my favorite Democrat, does have a Clinton problem. But Bill had that problem too and he not only managed to get elected twice, he remains fairly popular today.

                      Like

      • Thanks, Jim. It is good to be back, even though I don’t know how long I can stay sane through all this. My how have changed things in the 9 months since I last wrote!

        As usual, I agree with your reasoning here. Not only with your quite rational fear of the fearmongers, but with your assessment of the Bernie Sanders phenomenon. About whom I will write more later.

        It’s good to hear from you, my friend. I have mostly been offline for some time now and I have a lot of catching up to do!

        Duane

        Like

  4. Welcome back. You have been missed. I get the impression you don’t particularly like the Donald (he said with tongue in cheek).

    Like

    • Funny thing is that I have written about him many times before and never once did I imagine that a) he would actually run and b) anyone would take him seriously. Even I underestimated how far the GOP has fallen! Not to mention how shoddy television journalism has become, since it is television journalists (really it is their corporate owners) who have turned him into the primary monster he is.

      Like

  5. Well said. As was your latest.
    Malan

    Like

  6. Ben Field

     /  January 25, 2016

    Good to see your take on the election, my friend. Now Sarah Palin has endorsed him, that should be the kiss of death as he said she was Cabinet material.(Certainly as dense.) The GOP has hit absolute rock bottom when it fears their leading candidate, and it’s second choice is detested by half of its members. The statement Trump made, that he could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue, and his supporters would still back him defied belief. Then I recalled Geoffy Caldwell and the other cowards that fear losing their blinders to see the world as it is, not as they want it to be. Good to see you back!

    Like

    • Thanks, Ben!

      Sorry about the delay in posting your comment. WordPress has deteriorated since I’ve been gone. So much spam and nonsense in the comment section it is hard to find the legitimate ones! (I presently have more than 6,800 comments in the moderation box!)

      In any case, yes, the GOP has fallen further than even I imagined it could have. And the Geoff Caldwell’s of the party are largely responsible for it and deserve their fate. As Joe Arpaio endorses Trump today, we can only hope that, coupled with the Sarah Palin and Jerry Falwell, Jr. endorsements, independents and those misguided Democrats who like Donald Trump will see him for the freak he, and his newly-adopted party, is.

      Duane

      Like

%d bloggers like this: