The Icebreaker Cometh (Or Why Donald Trump May Be Doing Us All a Favor)

Right now, at this moment, what is great about Donald Trump is that the grievance industry doesn’t stop him. He may break through the blockade.

Say what you will about the hyperbolic nature of Trump’s recent pronouncements on the felonious proclivities of illegal immigrants, what he is managing to do relates to no small matter and is no small accomplishment. The grievance game is one of the left’s most effective tactics — it enables them to win battles of great importance without delivering, let alone developing, even the vestige of a rational argument — and he is upending it.

The playbook is predictable: You’re a racist. Through a million fantastical contortions of thought and language the left marshals a sense of outrage among the brainwashed hordes and elicits a sense of confusion, disempowerment, and shame from its cowering target by saying the same idiotic thing it has been saying since Obama got within a Potomac mile of the Oval Office: You’re a racist.

Of course, it’s ridiculous. Not Obama, not Al Sharpton, not whishisname, the creepster Congressman from Illinois, none of the leaders in the grievance game actually believe the people whose characters they’re attempting to assassinate are racists. The whole ploy — and it is a ploy — is an effort to manufacture and mobilize voters by appealing to the righteous indignation that runs just a split second faster than the cerebral cortex while at the same time distracting those vulnerable or gullible enough to believe the ruse from the rather diabolical goals the left has in store for the country.

Implicit in the pointing finger of the grievance industry is two assertions: 1) You’re a bad person; and 2) You’re stupid. Neither of these assertions, which again and again become ingrained against their targets as facts in the cultural data repository, can be sustained unless the targeted person shuts up. Donald Trump is not a racist; he is not stupid; and he has refused to shut up. Shortly, if you ask me, he will be winning.

Trump has refused to allow the grievance industry to push him out of the town square, making him into an outcast and erasing him from society, by steadily pushing back against them with a peculiar combination of logic and hysteria. While the left — their officials in high places, their tentacling networks of nonprofits, their media meisters, and their corporatist colluders — work to assassinate his character and neuter his agency through sleight of hand, conflating his references to illegal Hispanic immigrants, as exaggerated as they might have been, with generalized accusations directed at all Hispanics everywhere, he has doubled down on his exaggerations while exploiting the fantastical platform he has created to steadily infiltrate the public consciousness with the truth, which is that illegal immigration sucks and that it is damaging the country.

We live in an era of performance art — it has stolen the show. The GOP has for six years insisted on reciting — in rather monotonous tone, I might add — the facts relating to whatever topic is at hand to a crowd of revelers who are at home drinking a beer and enjoying a demolition derby. Perhaps what is making Trump so effective at just this moment — and the polls show that he is, right now, quite effective — is that he is using the game to play a better game, exploiting the ends-justify-the-means routine in a weird sideways-shifting curlicue movement in which he dangles a carrot over a pile of cynical discourse dung to beckon us out of the stench. Weird, I know.