Donald Trump has a new chief advisor, Paul Manafort, which sounds like “man the fort,” but that’s another story. Manafort promised that the Republican front-runner would show more “restraint” while campaigning.
And then Trump spoke.
“You know, being presidential’s easy—much easier than what I have to do,” he told supporters in Bridgeport, Connecticut. “Here, I have to rant and rave. I have to keep you people going. Otherwise you’re going to fall asleep on me, right?”
Hardly. I would never fall asleep at a Trump rally, nor at a Bernie Sanders rally. Bernie was in the Bronx recently and drew thousands of people, not all of them white, which seemed to surprise media types who like to go on and on about race. That, too, is another story.
I like both Trump and Sanders, which makes me an anarchist. I am just not sure whether that’s a left-leaning or right-leaning one. Steven Pinker, the Harvard professor, has placed Noam Chomsky on the left-leaning anarchist side, and I like Chomsky. On the other hand, having taught at a university for years, I am fed up with Marxist critical theory, which is only critical of everything that is not critical theory. Where am I, then?
Maybe like many of you, I am in between. So I have decided to be both. I am backing Trump-Sanders for president and vice-president. One is rant, the other rave. Since the Bern is cooler, he’d have to be rave, or at least attend one. And since Trump would never be second, he’d have to be president. I think they could balance each other, get in each other’s way, and drive each other crazy so that the rest of us could go on with making this country great again. Or keeping it great. Or forgetting about greatness altogether and moving to Brazil. I like Brazil. Dilma’s a third story.
There is a problem, of course, which is that it doesn’t matter what people want. Thousands turn out to hear Trump? The party will do everything it can to stop him. Sanders wins state after state, whether primary or caucus? The headlines focus on his lack of “superdelegates,” whatever those are. The people? Sorry, but it’s reruns from here on out. Corporate reruns. Get used to it.
If the world around you is full of spin, it is easy to succumb to ranting and raving. And it isn’t just in the United States. Again, Brazil is a good example. Dilma Rousseff, the president, has a two-percent approval rating and is implicated in a corruption scandal involving Petrobras, the state-controlled petrochemical conglomerate (#28 on the Fortune 500 list). Hundreds of thousands rally demanding her impeachment. Yet, the media talks about how these people have been controlled by–not get this–the media. The underlying message is that the people are not to be trusted. They’re easily manipulated.
Insulting? Sure, but in the new world order what counts is the appearance of democracy, not actual democracy. It’s all about marketing. Just look at what Chris Hedges and Ralph Nader (remember him?) have called “Brand Obama,” which has actually won marketing awards. It doesn’t get better than that.
Rather than give up in disgust, I have decided to campaign for Rant and Rave. So far, they have not returned my phone calls, but, as they say repeatedly at Fed meetings, I remain “cautiously optimistic.”
Bernie promises a future to believe in, and I believe him. How could I not, especially when Trump promises that, “Everything I say I’m going to do, folks, I’ll do.”
I think we’re all in for a treat.
Note to self: Overheard on campus from a male student: “Sure, she’s kinda pretty. I mean she’s from LA and stuff.”