Alongside Berlusconi, Putin and the Le Pens, the Republican candidate represents a new Communist International; only this International isn’t one of communism but of vulgarity and pomp.
In the English dictionary the word “trump” is a synonym for “triumph.” Given that it seems likely Donald Trump will become the candidate of the Grand Old Party — the party of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan — in the next U.S. presidential election, we must ask ourselves: in what way and for whom would it be a triumph?
A certain portion of the U.S. population, furious over eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency and with a thirst for blood, springs to mind. Furthermore, for the white supremacist, nativist, segregationist portion of the electorate, a group represented by ex-Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, whose open support Trump avoided rejecting last week, Trump may be the only candidate.
When one tries to take seriously the little that we know about Trump’s platform, the feeling that arises is one of a country that is in the process of detaching itself, shutting itself away and degrading itself with the expulsion of Chinese, Muslims, Mexicans and other groups who contributed to the huge mix of ingredients that the most globalized country on the planet converted, in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, into great riches.
I see the face of this Las Vegas croupier, of this vulgar fairground clown pumped full of Botox and with his hair perfectly combed, jumping from one camera to the next with his mouth always half open and I am left clueless as to whether he has eaten or drunk in excess or if, in fact, I am next in line to be eaten.
I hear his profanity, his gaudy rhetoric, his pathetic hatred toward women whom, depending on the day of the week, he describes as dogs, pigs or vermin. I hear his obscene jokes in which the cautious language of politics retreats before a supposedly authentic and more common form of speech – talk even of genitalia. The Islamic State group? We’re not going to defeat them; we’re going to “kick its ass.” Regarding Marco Rubio’s comments about Trump’s small hands? The other thing isn’t quite so small, “I guarantee you.”
Furthermore, a devotion to money and a disdain toward others who have it have, in the eyes of this multimillionaire con man with various bankruptcies and possible Mafia connections in his locker, become the epitome of the American dream. This is junk food for the mind, full of greasy ideas that mask the more subtle cosmopolitan flavors of the plethora of traditions that shaped the great American ideal. As for his small hands, even the untrained eye can take something from the famous line from e.e. cummings that, “nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands.”
Confronted with this jump into the vulgar and the banal we are reminded of Silvio Berlusconi, Vladimir Putin and the Le Pens, both father and daughter. What comes to mind is a new type of Communist International, not one of communism but of vulgarity and pomp, one in which the entire political universe is reduced to the dimensions of a television set. One in which the art of debate is reduced to simply shouting risqué phrases and in which people’s dreams become delusions. One in which the economy is grotesquely shaped to the will of the rich who insult and mock those who want to make something of themselves and fulfill their potential. One in which those same people’s efforts are degraded by the nonsense taught by Trump in his now extinct “university.”
It is just that: an Ego International with a capital “I,” the globalization of the corruption in the worlds of the likes of Putin, Berlusconi and Trump. In them what we see is a caricatured version of humanity, one that chose the low road; the most base, prelinguistic road as a means of ensuring victory.
What we have here is a universe of lies which consigns to the history books the toil and endeavor of those exiles, emigrants and other travelers from both sides of the Atlantic who forged a true human aristocracy that formed the bedrock of a great country comprising Hispanics, Jews, Europeans, Italians, Asians, Irishmen and, of course, Brits who still dream of bringing the Oxford-Cambridge boat race over to the Charles River.
The inventor of this caricatured version of humanity was Berlusconi, its sexist element was reinforced by Putin, and now other European demagogues want to add it to the most hatefully racist of bandwagons. As for Trump, what he did was put up a tower, one of the ugliest in Manhattan with its colossal imitation architecture and 80 foot-waterfall to impress tourists, a twisted Tower of Babel of glass and steel where all the languages of the world will be reduced to just one.
But beware; the language of this caricatured humanity won’t be the language of a United States that dared to dream eternal, of a U.S. that at times breathed new leases of life into previously deflated cultures. It will be the language of a truly “manly” country that opted to say goodbye to books and to beauty, a country that thinks that Leonardo da Vinci was a soccer player, a country that forgot that nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands.