America created Trump but now it can't control himby Diane Roberts / October 15, 2015 / Leave a comment
Published in November 2015 issue of Prospect Magazine
The great Tom Lehrer once said that Henry Kissinger’s 1973 Nobel Peace Prize “made satire obsolete.” Happily, Lehrer was wrong. Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and the UK’s “Etonocracy” continue to provide an embarras de richesse for political comics. If Donald Trump remains the Republican front-runner all bets are off. Satire may be made redundant. Trump is a cornucopia of frenetic egotism. You can’t parody him. The best you can do is quote him. He’s not a joke: though his poll numbers are slipping somewhat, he still beats “serious” candidates such as Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio, and has a few billion in the bank to spend on his campaign. He still draws restive crowds who are convinced that Barack Obama is a Muslim, Mexican rapists are marching across the Rio Grande and that the government is coming for their guns. Trump reflects their rage back at them; the rest of us look on in fascinated horror, the way one might watch a python devour a wildebeest.
Donald Trump is the untethered id of white America, the embodiment of the lurking fear of a world where women, blacks, Latinos, gays, welfare-scroungers and the “politically correct” get special privileges while decent, honest, white Christians suffer. When Trump says he will “take America back,” he means back to the time when white men ruled…