Trump’s One Public Service
He is in fact no one’s voice and has nothing to say; like Orwell’s O’Brien, he believes only in power. He has ripped open the carcass of democracy and exposed the rot, which may have been Trump’s only act of public service. View full article at Salon.com.
Andrew O’Hehir’s article in Salon is an excellent final overview of the Trump disaster. As many people have realized, the damage caused has no known fix. Our language has been debased to the point that our descriptions of the problem provide no clarity. By every measurable standard we now exist in two distinct universes that are mutually exclusive. O’Hehir’s well written article perfectly reflects this as it is, I’m sure, nearly incomprehensible to this who appear ready to vote for Trump. At the same time his erudite, post structuralist, semiological analysis struggles to describe the problem with no hope of explanation.
I had always understood Kuhn’s paradigm shift to be primarily triggered by changes in language and metaphors of physical description. This was, after all, the process of scientific change. So much for the past and a simple scientific revolution. 400 hundred years later we’re dealing with combined social, cultural, technical, and scientific revolution. It’s obvious now that I, at least, totally misunderstood the profound intensity and danger to our species of this kind of shift. And this is the cause of the opacity that O’Hehir describes as the overwhelming problem of which Trump is a crude and insulting symptom. This made me realize that a paradigm shift far larger than Kuhn was describing has already happened. The language of the old paradigm is the language of Trump’s followers while the rest of us find that language nearly incomprehensible.
About all we can say is that our existing range of shared political, economic, social, and cultural metaphors for understanding and communicating have failed. So the process of clearing the rubble and building a new world hasn’t even begun. And could be blocked next Tuesday.