He did, but not in the malicious or deliberate style most Democrats or bitter Republicans might have you believe.
Trump was the real deal for a few seconds there in 2015 and 2016. He rode into town like a madman and a lot of us on the Right bit. Some of us bit just enough, some didn’t bite and a whole lot bit more than they could chew.
Trump did fuck up the GOP but only because the GOP self-marginalized behind the unpopular rantings of the new commander-in-chief.
We finally had a man representing us who spoke like us, who reacted to the insanity of modern America like us. Essentially a man, a real American President, who defied the burgeoning culture of platitudes and conspicuous virtuosity. So antithetical to mainstream culture were his sane words that those of us who celebrated his ascendance fell into a trap laid inadvertently by the Left (which controlled the hallways and whispers of social media and mainstream news outlets) in which Trump, relegated to outsider, asocial fringe status, drew us in with him. We rapidly took up cultural residence in the new “outsider” paradigm the Left created with its skillful high school practice of ostracization.
The more Trump ranted and blathered, the more he captured our fancy and charmed our frustrations. We recursively enveloped our own dialogue and all context was blurred as new conservative factions formed enclosed echo chambers of insanity wrapped in sanity. We refuted the mainstream in favor of Donald and the Plan. Those who bit the hardest began creating esoteric narratives similar to what a 10th grade loner might concoct in order to give himself a sense of belonging, credibility and sanity. These narratives multiplied and grew in strength and complexity. So intricately woven they became self-sustaining models that were able to account for all cultural and political phenomena within the distorted and unrepresentative boundaries of their own bubble. We neglected an important fact: politics is a game of adaptation and usurpation. By corralling our mightiest voices and advocates into a reclusive hiding spot where we would always be right, always validated by the Tweets of our demagogue, we failed to implant ourselves in that most noxious of environments: mainstream Left culture. Where we can wreak the most havoc.
Trump’s allure, his powerful mythos and vast body of celebrity, allowed us the confidence to extricate ourselves, at our own peril, from that society we needed to immerse in order to affect. The further we retreated into the fantastical Trump domain, the less concrete our influence and deeper the holes of self-alienation we dug. The nature of Trump as outsider and independent lunatic worked fine for him, but not for the GOP’s nameless denizens across America. Trump was in this for himself and we were all in for him, too. This was the problem. We needed to be in this for the party, for the broader conservative movement, not for Trump.
Every social miscreant is only as relevant as his ability, or desire, to play the predominant game. Or perish into invisible lunacy.
hope springs eternal