Paglia on Trump: and Fiorina, Oh My
July 30, 2015 5 Comments
In her recent Salon interview, Camille Paglia said this about Donald Trump, and the campaign in general so far:
So far this year, I’m happy with what Trump has done, because he’s totally blown up the media! All of a sudden, “BOOM!” That lack of caution and shooting from the hip. He’s not a president, of course. He’s not remotely a president. He has no political skills of any kind. He’s simply an American citizen who is creating his own bully pulpit. He speaks in the great populist way, in the slangy vernacular. He takes hits like a comedian–and to me he’s more of a comedian than Jon Stewart is! Like claiming John McCain isn’t a war hero, because his kind of war hero doesn’t get captured–that’s hilarious! That’s like something crass that Lenny Bruce might have said! It’s so startling and entertaining.
It’s as if the stars have suddenly shifted–because we’re getting a mix-up in the other party too, as in that recent disruption of the NetRoots convention, with all that raw emotion and chaos in the air. To me, it feels very 1960s. These sudden disruptions, as when the Yippies would appear to do a stunt–like when they invaded Wall Street and threw dollar bills down on the stock exchange and did pig-calls! I’m enjoying this, but it’s throwing both campaigns off. None of the candidates on either side know how to respond to this kind of wild spontaneity, because we haven’t seen it in so long.
Politics has always been performance art. So we’ll see who the candidates are who can think on their feet. That’s certainly how I succeeded in the early 1990s. Before that, the campus thought police could easily disrupt visiting speakers who came with a prepared speech to read. But they couldn’t disrupt me, because I had studied comedy and did improv! The great comedians knew how to deal with hecklers in the audience. I loved to counterattack! Protestors were helpless when the audiences laughed.
From Salon, and yes, I going to have more to say about this interview later.
Basically, I agree with her on this (and some other things), she tends to be one of the most satisfying writers around, and this is no exception. Why? Because she thinks!
Trump is doing necessary work, in helping to blow the cover off the Democratic Party and its alliance (or perhaps tryst is a better word) with the old media. But Trump would not be a viable president, even if he got elected, not to mention the fact that he’s been (arguably) a conservative for about five minutes. People change, and most of us have, but usually fairly slowly, and over time. Trump is for Trump, and that’s his entire program. He spent most of his life supporting Democrats, especially the Clintons and is an exemplar of what a crony-capitalist, working through mob connected, corrupt unions can do. That history is not going to save the country.
Now, the other day, Carly Fiorina gave a speech at the Reagan Library. She’s an impressive lady. It’s much too soon to be deciding (for me, at least) on a candidate. but her blend of resume, experience, not excluding foreign affairs, and leadership, and a willingness to talk straight, is very appealing. It’s also low-key and pretty much devoid of histrionics while invoking both Reagan and Thatcher. I particularly like the way she handles questions here.
So, enjoy, and I’d be interested in what you think, as well.