Danny Cardwell's picture

    Donald Trump: The King Who Could Be President?

    French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Jacques Lacan wrote that, “A madman isn't just a beggar who thinks he's a king - he's also a king who thinks he's a king.” His point being that anyone who has bought into our artificially created social structures enough to believe that their birth or social standing makes them a king is living the illusion the beggar is trying to create. We enter into the world blank canvases that society paints on. None of us chose our first language, our parents, the economic circumstances we were born into, or the inherent biases and privileges associated with our gender, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. We all got here the same way, but societal hierarchies guarantee us different paths to death. Being born to a single mother in the Appalachian Mountains doesn’t necessarily mean one can’t attain a place among the “elite” of society, but that path is markedly different from someone born in Manhattan to a corporate lawyer and an investment banker.


    When Jacques Lacan died in 1981 Donald Trump was a 35 years old real-estate developer getting his first taste of fame. 35 years is a long time to experience anything. Someone subjected to verbal and physical abuse daily for 35 years would have a different outlook on life than someone who has spent the last four decades on the VIP list. Donald Trump is a manifestation of the king who believes himself to be a king. He has spent so much time surrounded by people who have a vested interest in making him feel special that he has an altered view of himself and the world around him. When he makes grandiose statements about being the “smartest” or having the “best temperament” he believes it. Being surrounded by “Stans” for so long has convinced him that not only is he qualified to be president, but that he deserves to be the president.


    If you look at pictures of the wealthiest Americans some of those faces might be familiar to you because of the media coverage they’ve received over the course of their lives, but there are a lot of faces that won’t be easily recognized by a large portion of our society. These fortunate people still have anonymity. Yes, they get the best tables at the hottest restaurants, but when they go out- more often than not- they are treated like everyone else. They can fully participate in the hospitality industry at all levels, but they have to pay for the VIP experience. This matters because they aren’t fully isolated from the American experience. Michael Jordan is nowhere near the wealthiest American, but he can’t go to the mall without a security detail; whereas, Steve Schwarzman can put on an old ball cap, a Yale sweatshirt, some faded Levi’s and buy the mall without being noticed.


    Donald Trump is, in a warped way, a victim of the way our society idolizes wealth and fame; he, like the Affluenza twins Ethan Couch and Brock Turner exist in a society that places a disproportionately high value on their lives. Donald Trump like many advantaged kids of his generation avoided Vietnam because their lives were deemed more valuable. While his strongest base of supporters (white males over 60) were dealing with the existential crisis associated with being drafted or fighting in Vietnam he, George Bush, Mitt Romney, Dick Cheney, and a slew of conservative icons were partying in frat houses and “summering” in some of the most exclusive enclaves in the world.  


    America is attempting to come to grips with the reality that the entitlement culture we hear conservatives talk about actually works better for those who are connected. This election is taking place at a moment when working class whites, across the political spectrum, are looking for someone to champion their causes. Donald Trump has filled that void for many, but sadly he hasn’t demonstrated the actionable intelligence to understand or remedy what ails them. We live in a country that weaponizes black and brown skin while it ignores white skin attached to poverty. The socioeconomic strife many Americans call home is fertile soil for the rise of a Trump like figure. Donald Trump is the answer (for some) to Black Lives Matter. Bernie Sanders tried to be a voice for the economically disadvantaged, but he lacked the sufficient amount of demonization of the cultural other for his message to resonate with some voters who feel their lot in life has been made worse by Blacks, Mexicans, and Muslims.  


    Donald Trump is the king who thinks he’s a king, but (at some level) we are guilty of crowning him. America has done a poor job of acknowledging the class structures that allowed an empty suit to get this far saying so little. Donald Trump’s current political standing says more about us than him. Too many Americans are looking for easy answers to complicated questions. This election has been part reality show, part bad joke, and part eye opening experience. This time last year we were all waiting for the serious season to start and guess what: we're still waiting.







    Your account does an excellent job of underlining how absurd it is that Trump is perceived by many as a working class hero.

    I will have to think about how much "demonization of others" is required to be a voice that is listened to for the economically disadvantaged. Sanders was not shy in indicting a certain class as the source of our problems. Clinton has a perfect piñata to swing at with the arrival of Trump. Demons are half priced at Walmart.

    We have different groups loading up their donkeys with all the sins of the Republic to send into the desert in order to achieve redemption. I propose the method makes for strong feelings but is not a path toward a polity of shared responsibility.

    Thanks for taking the time to engage this post. I appreciate your comments. The demonization is my attempt to show how absurd and misplaced this anger is. The loudest mouth won the argument. 

    I cannot argue with you there. It looks like the Right is having the meme of taking individual responsibility out to be cleaned.

    A working class hero is something to be;


    It's understood that Leisure Class Liberals are detached from reality and certainly from the Working Class but where, except in your own strange imagination, do you see anyone hinting that 'You're Fired' Donald Trump is a working class hero?

    Trump, a Business Class leader has simply promised people to do what the business class is supposed to do create jobs and prosperity something none of the parasites/politicians nor their elite funders in either party seem at all interested in.

    War in foreign lands and austerity at home is not progress but that is all that the Clintonites and their neocon friends plan to offer once in power and their soothing election season lies can be flushed down the memory hole.

    His supporters see him as a working class hero.  What do you think they mean when they say they like him because he "tells it like it is.?"  It is the 2000 equivalent of the "guy you'd rather have a beer with," (because DUBYA was such a regular Joe --!--). They see Donald making fun of people, cursing, and never apologizing as proof that he is just like they are.  And the fact that he is so "successful" just proves that they could be too.      

    Do you disagree?  

    I try to avoid telling other people what I think they think, it's unseemly. arrogant and i'm sure unwelcome but some Clintonites make it  their duty to project their opinions  onto the unwashed masses.

    The Horatio Alger myths fed to the lower classes about rising above one's class have been pretty well beaten about the head and buried in the last forty years and have been replaced with another myth, winning the lottery.

    Trump makes fun of the powerful and their quislings and they deserve ridicule so everyone should enjoy that roasting. Crooked Hillary, Low Energy Jeb and That Indian are priceless jabs at elite posers.


    I try to avoid telling other people what I think they think....

    Your very words betray you:

    It's understood that Leisure Class Liberals are detached from reality and certainly from the Working Class but...

    Sounds to me like you are opining about what you think "Leisure Class Liberals" think, and you don't like it much --  arrogant?  Yep.  Unwelcome?  Who cares?

    where, except in your own strange imagination, do you see anyone hinting that 'You're Fired' Donald Trump is a working class hero?

    I gave examples.  Did you read them?

    Apparently Trump even seems to be losing his appeal with the working class.

    Trump was winning white working-class voters at better than a two-to-one clip in some surveys (66-29 in a July CNN poll, 65-29 in a July ABC/Washington Post poll).

    That could be changing. A new NBC/Wall Street Journal survey showed his lead among non-college-educated white voters drooping to 49-36. Similarly, McClatchy/Marist pegs it at 46-31. These are not world-beating numbers. And you have to wonder: If Trump is losing his special appeal to the voting category that has long been his campaign’s signature “base,” where is he supposed to make that up?

    I'm not surprised you like name calling and trash talk since you spend much of your time doing just that. What I don't understand is why you like it. Most of us engaged in trash talk as children but most of us grew out of it when we graduated from junior high school. The best that can be said for name calling is that it's errata. It's at least evidence of a juvenile mind or an attempt to appeal to juvenile minds. Trump is one such person but it's not exclusive to republicans. While many liberals were cheering Alan Grayson for pushing liberal ideas I never liked him because of his insulting rhetoric.

    I'm interested in a politician's policy ideas. I want to know where they stand on climate change and what plans they have to deal with it. What are their tax plans? Where do that stand on abortion rights? Calling Trump dickhead Don wouldn't make Hillary's plans any better. It wouldn't make any argument against his plans. Name calling is just obfuscation designed  to move the conversation away from rational debate into irrational meaningless trash talk.


    I do have a strange imagination but learning of Trump's efforts to identify himself as a a part of the working class has required only listening to what he has said. The anti-elitist pose he strikes is not as a captain of industry but as one who shares an identity. MG Oprea's piece: How Rich Guy Donald Trump Speaks Working-Class Language points to how his inability to debate policy in an informed fashion has not undermined his followers faith in him.but has actually increased it. How a message is delivered is also a message.

    One big problem with your notion of Trump as a Business Class leader is that it does not account for the divisive nature of his rhetoric where some people are Americans and many are not. The demons Cardwell talks about are Trump's stock in trade. Your list left off a few of their names.

    You may recall the first widely seen Trump admirer the Clintonites tried to disparage as an empty headed low class southerner, she was the attractive young mother who's baby Trump kissed. The liberal media and Clintonite ankle biters had a field day behaving like snotty elite liberals. A few days later someone actually interviewed her and found an articulate university graduate and professional woman who explained she was caught up in the moment when Trump picked her baby for the national honor of first baby kissed by the candidate. This same petty elite behavior continues which is actually a good thing because it shows anyone listening or watching what kind of behavior Clintonites are prone to display towards their neighbors who don't agree with them.

    Trump is running for POTUS so of course he must articulate the needs, desires and concerns of the people he needs to vote for him and people from all classes have responded in the millions because that is what a real leader is suppose to do. He attacks the elite just as FDR had to attack them and no one thought he was trying to appear as working class.

    Trump's proposed restrictions of foreign Muslims immigrating may be an inconvenience and somewhat harsh  but our background check system had just failed and many citizens had died because a woman slipped by the faulty checks. His call to deport all illegal immigrants may be harsh but many people agree with that position and it will be difficult for Trump to outperform Obama on that task while the wall, which is already extensive will save lives, two immigrants die every day on that border. These people don't vote except possibly in democrat districts so their needs and concerns are secondary to those of citizens and legal immigrants.

    I don't recall at all the liberal media or the Hillary supporters ever disparaging the mother of the first baby kissed by Trump. I searched for a link and could find nothing. I admit my search skills aren't the best but, nothing no matter what search terms I used. Can you supply a link to back up your claim.

    You make a good Trump supporter because everybody in your account is accounted for. Everybodys' motives are worn like badges on their shirts. The confidence in the narrative is interesting but there is one matter that should be addressed before indulging in a conversation about the psychology of yours or mine political opponents.

    Many of the options Trump is proposing to use in order to address the problem of non-citizens are presently against the law. The government has the option of requiring different standards of entry from each country it deals with but Trump is asking for much more than that. It is not just about being "harsh" but a matter of polity that concerns all of us, regardless of political persuasion. The matter of equal protection under the law is supposed to be much more established than any person who happens to have the job of POTUS.

    As far as I know our Constitution and Mr Kahn's rant about equal protection only applies to US citizens and legal residents in the country but has nothing to do with foreigners seeking to enter the country. Foreigners are regularly refused entry into the US for various reasons some rather questionable but these foreigners have no constitutional remedies to seek in these cases, because they're foreigners. Illegal immigrants in the country do seem to enjoy some limited equal protection because they reside here but that doesn't seem to change the outcomes of their hearings very often.

    BTW I'm not a Trump supporter.

    The matter of how much protection is due to aliens versus citizens is not just a matter of constitutional guarantees but international laws that ban discrimination on the basis of religion such as the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief

    If a President Trump carried out his idea of killing the families of terrorists, he would probably be charged for war crimes under the terms set forth in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Consider the provision concerning people in authority:

    "This Statute shall apply equally to all persons without any distinction based on official capacity. In particular, official capacity as a Head of State or Government, a member of a Government or parliament, an elected representative or a government official shall in no case exempt a person from criminal responsibility under this Statute, nor shall it, in and of itself, constitute a ground for reduction of sentence."

    The element of Trump's anti-Muslim speak that does directly concern our equal protection laws are the hints he drops that intelligence services would be more actively involved with connecting aliens and citizens than they are now.

    I should not have referred to you as a Trump supporter. Your valiant defense of him makes me wonder where you part from his company.

    Mr Kahn wasn't waving the UN charter at Trump and your trying to use the ICC as a diversion from his ignorance about our Constitution  is ludicrous.  The ICC is a Eurotrash kangaroo court set up to punish selected and mostly African leaders of former colonies and the occasional Serb. The US is not a signatory to this European imperialist tool and it has absolutely nothing to do with any countries' immigration policies.

    Obama has made it a policy to kill family members of selected, on Tuesdays, so called terrorists and he will never face any court for those crimes they  refer to as bug-splat. Obama has continued the policy of  surveillance of the whole US Muslim community and his minions regularly entrap susceptible Muslims to show the public how necessary this  anti-Muslim program remains. What can Trump actually do to make these already extensive programs more heinous?


    You brought up Mr. Kahn not I. The idea of equal protection existed before he spoke. It is odd that you refer to his few words at a political rally when you have decades of other words to appeal to.

    I clearly stated that the matter of international law is not a matter of constitutional law. You are advancing against an undefended position.

    We will have to agree to disagree over the value of the ICC but I didn't bring it up as relating to immigration but in regards to laws pertaining to Trump's proposal to kill non-combatants to influence terrorists.

    As to what Trump could do that would exceed the measures being taken now, you will have to ask Trump. He is the one that keeps saying that he would go much further than Obama has in that direction.

    I am still interested in hearing where you and Trump part company.


    You seem to be as confused about what a UN Resolution is as you are about who our  equal protection clause protects. A resolution is not a law and therefore it cannot protect anyones equality although it tries to set a standard for treatment of people 'inside' member states. Delaying the entry of Muslims from certain countries, during a war, until proper background checks are performed doesn't violate any law national or international and that was all Trump was proposing in his emotional response to an extremist immigrant who slipped past proper background checks intent on becoming a mass murderer.

    Trump's 'kill their families' rhetorical threat aimed at the IS was a response to the same mass murder and because Obama does this every Tuesday it's a policy he might continue if elected but the ICC has no jurisdiction over any Amerikan high or low so your projection about this being illegal, if Trump does it, is meaningless. I might think differently about the ICC if they filed war crimes charges against Tony Blair who's country is a signatory to the Rome accords.

    The reasons i dislike Trump are, i don't like capitalists or rich pricks and i certainly will dislike some of his policies but compared with a grifter parasite/politician and already bloody warmonger i think i can live with his faults.

    "Kill their families" was what Qaddafi was threatening to do to Benghazi protesters, when Hillary worked with other western leaders to stop it (including of course her boss who signed off on it). Perhaps you like the Kissinger attitude to give carte blanche to governments to kill their citizens. Or else you have no method to your reasoning and just like pissing on whatever.

    You seem to swallow this Borg propaganda hook line and sinker but even if it were true the only mandate the UN gave was for a no-fly zone and some vague words about protecting civilians. This limited mandate almost immediately morphed into an all out attack on loyalist Libyan forces and other targets assisting the rebels and not seeking the cease-fire it claimed was its goal. Many civilians died because of this targeted and planned aggression that was based on the lie of only seeking a cease-fire and protecting the civilians that ended up as bug-splat on Clinton's pantsuit.

    Yes, and many more civilians died in Rwanda by doing nothing, and many civilians died in Syria despite helping rebels and not knowing which side of bastards to back - Russian/Syrian, anti-government rebels, crazed fundamentalist rebels, ISIS, Turkey bombing the Kurds instead of ISIS, or Kurds???? You don't have any answers, and this one is best for you as you get to complain about the US/exploitive regime no matter what in this fucked up situation.

    Complaining and concern trolling are Clintonite traits, I attack root causes of our malaise which can often be traced back to  US exceptionalists/hegemonic policies that your R2P whining tries to cover up and transfer blame onto the less exceptional Other..  Instead of 'doing nothing' which conveniently  ignores our history of interference in Africa and elsewhere, you support more killing to stop the killing our earlier policies often triggered and that is sold as progressive thought!

    I also look at results not just the rhetoric/whining used to sell policies such as Liberal Intervention and the Libya bloodbath showed clearly our policies are not about saving civilians or ending conflict but reflect our more mundane/mercantile goals of installing US satraps and market penetration. Libya didn't work out as planned so Bloody Hillary couldn't us it  as election fodder and even had to remove references to it from her book.

    There was little stomach for going into Rwanda because of the US experience in Somalia. Somalia began as a humanitarian effort. It expanded into nation building. Black Hawk Down with desecration of soldiers was the end result.Would you have advised no humanitarian support in Somalia? Would you have advised no response to Islamist terrorists? How would Peter have advised the President on Somalia and then Rwanda?

    We didnt interfere in the Congo Civil War of 1998-2003/3 that killed 5.4 million. We didnt interfere in the 20 year Sudanese Civil War that killed 2 million (following the previous 20 year civil war that killed 400,000), nor the South Sudanese Civil War that killed up to 300,000 more. We famously didnt interfere in the Rwandan massacre where the Hutus killed 600,000 Tutsis, nor the previous year's massacre in Burundi where the Tutsis killed 800,000 Hutus. We didnt interfere except to send aid in the Ethiopian famine and Civil War that killed another 400,000 - half or so from political stupidity. We didnt interfere in the killings in Nigeria, nor the massacres in Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Liberia. In short, there are so many places we didnt interfere in Africa yet the body counts of millions and millions is tons higher than the deaths from mistakes and rebel actions we largely couldnt contain in Libya. (and it was Britain responsible for Kenya atrocities, Belgium responsible for earlier Congo atrocities, and France responsible for 1 million Algerians dead on the way to independence.) 

    You simply dont know what you're talking about, so you slather on lots of innuendo over the barest minimum of facts, with a foregone conclusion in every case. Simply pathetic, useless to even debate. I didnt much like helping overthrow Qaddafi and thought it would set a bad precedent, but I at least understand the background and the regional situation and history to not just throw stupid charges on top of it. Total casualties are in the range of 10-20,000, not the typical African hundreds of housands or millions dead, many more displaced. Pick up a Wikipedia and read it for once - it ain't that tough.

    And let's be clear, Peter - if we didnt help overthrow Qaddafi (in a coalition in tandem with other western countries with local rebels leading), you'd be complaining of us propping up a dictator Kissinger realpolitik style. If we'd captured Qaddafi instead of the rebels, you'd complain about our show trial, and if we'd scotted him off to retirement in a neutral country, you'd complain about the lack of justice when it involves American "friends". There's no end to ways you can keep complaining without offering a single actual step towards solution or tamping down crises. Yes, they happen all the time, and if we're not in there h elping and screwing some things up, someone else will be anyway, often to worse results.

    I doubt that ethnic minorities would find comfort with Donald Trump.

    I don't know what confusion about equal protection you are referring to. All I meant was that making special provisions to deal with Muslims differently in this country is a violation of the principle. You say as much youself in regards to your description of Obama's actions in that regard. The argument that Trump could no worse is not a disagreement of any kind.

    I take your point that the ICC is not consistent in who it goes after. It should be noted that the matter of jurisdiction is not just about who signed the Rome accords. Pinochet was arrested in London, not Chile. The matter of "universal jurisdiction" is one of those things they are working on and could unravel the whole enterprise if not figured out. It is true the ICC does not have the power to remove him from the United States. But it is also true that Trump proposed is a war crime.

    When I listened to Trumps "rhetorical threat", it seemed to me like he was threatening actual people. The people who cheered afterwards seemed to be cheering because he was threatening actual people. I don't know how may of his "supporters" share your temporizing interpretation of the speech. I wonder if there is a way to find out.

    I also didn't mean to imply the UN Resolution had the force of punishable law but since we are signatory to it, the use of religious identity to filter people allowed in the country is an example of a "member state" acting in violation of that principle.

    The reasons i dislike Trump are...

    I know I shouldn't ask this, but...is there anyone on Planet Earth that you do like?  Is there anyone who isn't beneath your contempt?  I really am curious.

    Substitute....a Peters a wonderful thing...?


    ...egocentric...conceited, universal contempt a wonder to behold.

    On the surface, there should be no reason for poor whites and blacks to be on the same end of the political spectrum. Race is the dividing issue. Poor whites feel they are poor because minorities got advantages. Even well off whites hate the "advantages" blacks receive.Abigail Fisher sued UT-Austin because she was not accepted. She blamed affirmative action not her own stupidity. There were 47 student with scores lower than Fisher admitted to university. Fourth-two were white and five were black. 168 black and Latino students with better grades than Fisher were not admitted. Some whites still feel that Fisher was cheated. Facts are unimportant.

    By the way, Fisher was admitted to LSU. She could have transferred to Texas in her sophomore year and graduated from Texas. She decided to stay at LSU. Don't worry. she is making a good income in financial services.

    Trump gives out a message that appeals to whites who feel that fellow citizens are to blame for the failure experienced by disadvantaged whites. Trump encourages the white supremacists. Trump is suggesting that the election is rigged. This flies in the face off courts in 6 states ruling that voter suppression is targeting minority communities. Facts do not matter. Conservatives will yell election fraud.

    Blacks did not crown Trump. Blacks are trying to do everything possible to keep him from reaching the White House. Until the hearts of Conservative whites change, we will face more Trumps in the future.

    Link to the Fisher saga


    Link to voter ID cases


    Edit to add:

    The voter ID link above deals with 5 states. The link below includes Michigan making a total of 6 states.


    I think some of the "Stans" are feeling like Bill Cosby fans. There is a harsh realization that Cosby was not Heathcliff Huxtable and that Trump is an idiot. 50 Republican National Security officials came out in opposition to Donald Trump stating that he would be the most reckless President in American history


    Susan Collins another "Stan" notes why she cant vote for Trump.



    I just read this and MSNBC is reporting this on Lawrence O'Donnell.

    I always kind of liked Susan but she caucuses with the wrong folks.

    Anyway, what do I know about the right folks?

    Well Senator Collins is right on this issue for sure!

    I just came across this at KO's.

    I am speechless, really.


    There is 'code' of course in this communique.

    But damn, Trump is telling some of his way-out backers to kill the next President of the United States!

    DD I saw the same thing at the Daily Banter. If Ryan, McCain, Priebus, Michael Steele and others continue to support Trump, they are telling the country that the GOP places party over Patriotism.


    What does the word 'Traitor' mean anymore?

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