This is a minority view but I’m increasingly convinced that Trumpism will disintegrate when Trump leaves office.

As enlightened as it seems to see Trumpism as “systemic”—as inextricable from America itself—it may be a mistake.

The news could be much better than that.
I keep thinking about how Covid-19 is not an especially evil or crazy disease. It’s just *new.* The novel coronavirus.

Our immune systems have plenty of shortcomings but they also cannot be expected to recognize (& clobber) a pathogen they hadn’t encountered before.
As Richard Rorty always maintained, systems don’t change because someone wins an argument at a seminar table or in a courtroom or on a podcast.

People keep spouting the same old nonsense (Q! Russia Hoax! Etc!) while the system changes under their feet.
Because Rorty used memes as the cultural answer to genes, he thought memes (say, QAnon or “voter fraud” or MAGA) spontaneously mutated & were either selected for or not.

Trump & Trumpism to him would have been a meme & a meme factory.
On this logic, new memes hit the culture with strategic surprise. Just as viruses or gene mutations do. Then they’re adaptive or their not, selected for or not.

The Trump meme factory—everything from MAGA to “lock her up” to Trump’s hair and ties—was a huge shock to the system.
There really has been, across the country and world, something like Trump Derangement Syndrome.
I’ve been worried that the Trump memes would be hardy & adaptive. Like Reaganism. Even those of us who strenuously oppose him wd start to say, “Well, he might be vulgar but he a good thing with taxes/the wall/putting down anarchists/etc.” The whole “Nixon did open China” thing.
To push the metaphor of the body politic (as Rorty did): the “derangement” would just get in our plasma & we’d soon call it stasis & mental health.

I was once horrified by Reaganomics & his hawkishness. But I came to see it as a legit GOP view. Not my own. But not inadmissible.
In this case, though, one term seems to have been enough to have inoculated a substantial majority of the country against Trumpist memes. He was a shock to the system; he brought derangement; but most of us, we rallied.
So of course some people are still synced with Trump’s janky coup. Many are still using the gibberish memes. But the world is changing under their feet. & a vast majority are deaf to the Q / Giuliani memes that are really just too hard to follow.
We just don’t get in the ring with them. They’re like flat-earth arguments; inadmissible. Even Trump voters don’t find them as compelling as they once did the rousing memes “build a wall” or “lock her up.”
In addition to the Trump flags in my town are also tattered black POW/MIA flags. What do they even stand for? Do people go to 8chan to obsess over all the brainwashed POWs still in Vietnam (or Korea?).

That mishegoss became so hard to follow it just collapsed as a meme set.
In replies I’m seeing people say Trumpism is the same old thing—GOP, same as it ever was. Or white supremacy, same as it ever was. I don’t think so.

I think Trump was a novel pathogen & shocking & we’ve never seen anything like him before.
As for “memes don’t kill,” that’s the point. They kill when they have the whole US arsenal at their backs. When the people shouting “Jews will not replace us” shout it while carrying guns and draped with ammo and plowing cars into crowds.
...which is why the ACLU no longer defends protestors who march with guns. Memes are memes. But armed memes are lethal.
Which is why, when Trump lacks an army & secret service & is no longer commander-in-chief—when he’s out of office in January—his memes will be a lot, lot, lot less compelling.

He’ll be raving about his 1000 Year Reich & even those who voted for him will turn the channel.
And 80 million Americans also have the antibodies to Trumpism. Even among those who voted for him just this month, one-fifth are not buying his bullhorn claim that the election was rigged.

So 20% of Trump VOTERS have already dropped TrumpISM.
I expect the wingtip redhats like Graham to accept Biden soon & distance themselves from Trump as quickly & irrationally as they Velcro’d onto him.

In 2y tops Graham will say he never supported Trump, & maybe add some face-saving thing like “at least we got Kavanaugh.”
To FINALLY wrap up: I was once a Clintonist. I thought the impeachment was a scam & his enemies ginned up “bimbo eruptions.” Then I stopped talking abt it. Then I privately rethought it. Then I dropped Clinton like a hot potato. Now ask me & I’ll say he was always terrible.

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More from @page88

21 Nov
Newly convinced that the proof of Trump's radioactivity is not in his own actions but in the actions of other people when they go anywhere near him.

In Sabermetrics, he's a player who makes other players on the field rabid.
His own ravenous will to power is just stock alpha-male stuff. Other ambitious monsters like Cruz should easily have kept him in check.
But what's unique to Trump is that the mere idea of him leads people to forfeit their ambitions, dignity, self-respect, self-interest, & will to compete.
Read 4 tweets
18 Nov
I was listening to strange sheriffs, witnesses & private investigators say crazy things on @TexasMonthly’s podcast Tom Brown’s Body.

I noticed that the only time I relaxed was when the host @skiphol speaks.

A great & disciplined reporter, Hollandsworth has the story in hand.
Then it hit me: there’s no one I trust more than THE MEDIA.
And maybe it’s because reporters like @skiphol get things so RIGHT, — & bc trained reporters with fact-checking, travel, interview subjects & storytelling skills really make very few mistakes — that people have had to cultivate this weird “I don’t trust the media” pose.
Read 8 tweets
16 Nov
My nightgown caught on fire this morning — lighting birthday candles.

And even though I stopped dropped and rolled, my right leg is a mess. Long cold bath till I turned blue. Lying here icing nothing to do so I thought I’d ask Twitter for burn stories or advice.
Thanks to everyone.

Sent pics to my doc & she advised just a day of ice-cold cloths on it, Tylenol and neosporin/lidocaine. It’s a big swath of skin but no skin is coming off, just blistering. C ffr
The shock of the fire has also kind of worn off, I think. Or maybe not. It was way more emotional than I expected. Shock, adrenaline, blinding pain, strange euphoria of the ice and bath. Im still in an altered state. (Don’t worry - family around.)
Read 4 tweets
14 Nov
A word about intellectual diversity and dissent. theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/…
When I was in graduate school at Harvard, I failed the oral exams on the grounds that I was too “digressive.” And “your style makes you difficult to test.”

The exam is usually considered pro forma & it’s rare that anyone fails it. This was a demoralizing moment.
This failure me feel like I wasn’t wanted at Harvard, that my ideas—or maybe “style”—didn’t belong.

Naturally I concluded the this Ivy League department that claimed to want a diversity of views & styles was actually a bubble of hideous groupthink.
Read 13 tweets
8 Nov
If we had a Dickensian name in Trump, we have a one against in Biden.

Has anyone ever waited so long and worked so hard and bided so much time before getting the job he has desired for at least 50 years?
I noticed with guests on @realTrumpcast that it was reflexive to use expressions with the word trump — this trumps that, etc.

Clearly we’ve thought of almost nothing but winning/losing in a zero-sum for 4 years.

Maybe we will be influenced by Joe’s name to think of patience.
Bide-a-Wee
Abide in me, and I in you.

And of course:

The Dude abides.
Read 4 tweets
7 Nov
Our GOP is just a bunch of losers, traitors and suckers! The generals are scum! Years at Yale & West Point just to learn how to hold a knife & fork! What I should have done is liquidate them, as Stalin did!

— Downfall (2004)
My Dear Leader...Eric & little Don couldn't mobilize enough people to believe the fraud story. Barr wasn't able to carry out his SCOTUS assault.

Everybody has been lying to me.
Even the Proud Boys!
I alone have conquered America!And I’ve been hoaxed and treated very badly from the very beginning!
EVERYONE will pay. They'll pay with their own blood coming out of their whatever!
Read 11 tweets

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