Quote of the day: Why Trump won the presidency


From the venerable American editor and writer Lewis H. Lapham, writing in Counterpunch:

Trump won the election because he didn’t try to sell the Gettysburg Address. Upfront and fascist in his scorn for the democratic idea, he declared his candidacy on June 16, 2015, a deus ex machina descending by escalator into the atrium of Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, there to say, and say it plainly, democracy is for losers. Money, ladies and gentlemen, is power, and power, my friends, is not self-sacrificing or Democratic.  Never was and never will be; law unto itself, and the only one that counts. Name of the game, nature of the beast.

The mogul could afford the luxury of truth because he was really, really rich, un-bought and un-bossed, so selfishly and fearlessly rich he was free to do and say whatever it came into his head to do and say, whatever it took to root out the cowardly incompetence in Washington, clean up the mess in the Middle East, plant well-paying jobs in the American heartland. His was the greatest brand on earth come to make America once again the greatest show on earth, revive it with the sweet smell of his signature men’s colognes, Empire and Success.

Trump didn’t need briefing papers or policy positions to refine the message.  He embodied it live and in person, an unscripted and overweight canary flown from its gilded cage, telling it like it is from the inside looking out. Had he time or patience for messing around with books, he could have sourced his wisdom to Supreme Court Justice Lewis Brandeis, who in 1933 presented the case to Franklin D. Roosevelt at the outset of the New Deal:

“We must make our choice.  We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

In the world according to Trump, as it was in the worlds according to Alexander Hamilton and Ronald Reagan, democracy is a tip on a dead horse. An idea as far past its sell-by date as FDR’s straw hat, not up to the task of keeping America safe or running the trains on time.  Too long-winded and slow, soft in the head and weak in the knees, no match for the barbarians (Mexican and African, radical Islamic and leftist academic) at the gates of Westchester County and Palm Beach.

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