Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Where The Sun Don’t Shine

A man called Geoffrey Nunberg has been working on a Unified Theory of Assholes. We’re talking the vulgar epithet used to describe a certain type of individual, of course.

After all, assholes have been around for ages—even if the word’s figurative use is modern. (It was soldier slang during World War II.) But something has changed. Consider Donald Trump, an unquestioned asshole in the eyes of James and Nunberg. The attention our culture pays to self-absorbed buffoons is for James evidence that assholery is on the rise. “Our narcissistic age thus might help explain why assholes seem to be everywhere of late.” Nunberg takes it a step further, noting that every era has its emblematic scoundrel: Once it was the cad, later it was the phony, today it is the asshole.

Nunberg identifies their defining characteristic, on top of the obvious self-centered amorality, to be an inflated sense of entitlement. He comes to the conclusion that not only are they increasing, but they’re taking over the world, using their influence in business and politics to corrode the institutions society needs in order to function.

“Society becomes awash with people who are defensively unwilling to accept the burdens of cooperative life, out of a righteous sense that they deserve ever more.”

The result: Living standards rise for only a few; political power is concentrated in the hands of a minority, whose members change the rules to protect their own interests; and “liberty,” “opportunity,” and “prosperity” devolve into platitudes.

Indeed.

As an aside, it’s remarkable how many “self-made entrepreneurs” who insist on pulling the rug from beneath everyone else and delare that people must pull themselves up by their own bootstraps turn out to have been beneficiaries of large inheritances. One wonders just how far many of them would have got had it not been for Daddy’s money. I can imagine some of them not lasting long in jobs that involves saying “Do you want fries with that” before their sense of entitlement gets them fired…

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A Second Term for Barack Obama

I’m greatly relieved that Barack Obama has been reelected to serve a second term as President of the United States. True, he’s been disappointing in many ways, such as his failure to close Guantanamo Bay, his use of drone strikes in Pakistan, and his failure to reform broken financial systems. But his opponent Mitt Romney would have been worse on just about every issue, beholden to a party where the extreme right wield far too much influence.

There is a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth in right-wing circles this morning. For example, it’s hard to believe Donald Trump’s Twitter feed is for real.

Actually, Mr Trump, we’re not laughing at America. We are laughing at you.

Those election night tweets have been compared to the final rant of the villain-of-the-week in Scooby Doo just before he’s hauled off to jail. “We would have achieved everlasting hegemony if it hadn’t been for those meddling liberal voters“.

Given the sort of insults the right used to throw about during the Cold War, the irony is that the plutocrats, theocrats and Galtiopaths would probably feel right at home in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. I wonder how many of them will actually relocate?

Of course the real reason Romney lost is because the hard right of his own party was a big turn-off for moderates. Every time he tried to tack towards the political centre, a troglodyte from the far right would pop out spouting some medieval drivel more appropriate for the Taliban. The likes of Todd “Legitimate rape” Aiken or Charlie Fuqua probably cost him the election.

One interesting link – If Muslim-Americans voted the way they did before 9/11, Romney would have won.

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