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Trump’s Presidential Campaign Is Straight Out of Hollywood


Trump’s Presidential Campaign Is Straight Out of Hollywood

Neal Gabler

Perhaps there was a time when politics and popular culture inhabited two entirely separate spheres, but those days are long gone. Back in 1995, when John Kennedy, Jr., launched George magazine, he acknowledged that politics had crossed over into the world of pop culture and vice versa, and that you had to begin thinking of pols the way we thought of celebrities and entertainers.


I would love to see a graph of IQ vs. percent of Trump supporters. That would be Huge!


This doesn’t happen by mere caprice:

“Then you have another form of idealization and another American type: the hero. European films aren’t usually focused on a strongman hero. They are more likely to feature a heroic community rather than an individual, but American individuality being what it is, our movies tell us that almost any problem can be vanquished by a man (almost always a man) with a lot of grit and muscle. After all, the most popular genre in film today by far is the superhero movie, which is the hero movie on steroids.”

Leon Uris’ once popular novel, “Armageddon” traces Germany’s idolatry of the male super hero to its conditioning of the population to embrace Nazism.

In order for a society to become militarized with enormous funds (not to mention, homage) directed at its professional KILLER forces, it must glamorize soldiers, war, and the use of weaponry.

As many know, I refer to this process (and outcome) as Mars Rules.


Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristics of Trump supporters is that they are poorly educated. This means that most never went to college where their ideas of what the learned in high school was challenged. Their ability to understand the world is therefore relatively limited and they are much more likely to a adopt the comic view of super heroes of Hollywood than highly educated people who know that the world is very complex and simple answers rarely apply. It makes sense that Trump does very poorly with college educated voters. These voters may have spent time grappling with ideas of the philosophers going all the way back to ancient Greece and spent less time watching the many mindless movies and TV shows thar are readily available to viewers…


IQ has little to do with it. HRC supporters may have higher IQs but still fall for the same BS as Trumpets. Harvard grad Obama is a perfect illustration. Recall Hope and Change becoming: Got any spare change?


Please do not paint me with an HRC brush–I’m allergic.


“Republicans decided that compromise was a sin against Republican principle.” Republican principle, now THERE is an oxymoron. If elected, Trump will be an appalling president, a fitting climax to the trends that Gabler correctly writes about. What a pathetic deluded country we have become that this narcissistic egomaniac could even be considered for the Oval Office by tens of millions. It is likely that his presidency will resemble many of his business “deals” - an abject failure based on bullshit and lies.
For more on the Trump phenomenon look at the latest Bill Maher critique about Trump being like a spoiled 5 year old. You can find a link on today’s Salon.


Do you have a source that indicates a college grad is less likely to spend free hours in front of the boob tube than, say, a mindless carpenter or farmer?


No source. But I think most farmers today have college educations. And I didn’t say carpenters and farmers are mindless, only that shows are mindless. I think the biggest difference between being college educated and not going to college is that what has been taught in high school is not challenged if you go straight out of high school into the work world. For example going all the back to Plato and Aristotle they were asking whether democracy is the best system of government. I believe Aristotle thought democracy was the best but Plato thought there should be a philosopher king. There have been many thinkers after the Greeks including those during the Enlightenment. And these thinkers had a big influence on the Founding Fathers of this country. Trump seems detached from all this. It is as if his views arose from GI Joe or Marvel comics or something like that.


All the Presidential campaigns, except for Bernie’s, are nothing but a dog and pony show; a kabuki theatre, straight out of Hollywood, financed by the Wall Street oligarchs and its corporate state.


Okay. I guess our difference is that I don’t see college grads as “highly educated.” As far as I can tell, the school systems are graduating war criminals engineering land and resource grabs and pollution that will very soon eliminate most warm blooded animals, including human college grads.


I think compared to a high school graduate a college graduate should be highly educated. But I think that I am mostly talking about college graduates which have taken at least some humanities courses. Those that have only taken vocational courses in college probably in many ways are not any more college educated than someone who did not attend college.


Yes. A general liberal arts education does yield a higher percentage of clear thinkers able to penetrate obscurantist propaganda. Indentured servitude imposed on the young in exchange for an education has eliminated this route to productive citizenship.

The young today map out the fastest course to a job that can afford the college loans. They refer to the various programs in dollar figures.


Years ago, the late Merle Miler, who wrote the book “Plain Speaking” the book that redefined Harry Truman into an everyman noncollegiate great president wrote another book “Only You, Dick Daring” about movie script writing that said the standard movie plot was about a reluctant hero who is the only one in the whole world with the “right superhero stuff” to take on the problem, only you, Dick Daring can save the day.

Trump hasn’t expressed the least bit of reluctance, but that’s the role his supporters have cast him in. All the anti-Trumpism is helping him by feeding into the B-movie plot of the Trump candidacy. Dick Daring facing opposition from people who don’t believe he can be the one to be “The One” to be the hero so they try to stop him, but the popcorn munchers watch knowing he’s a real hero and cheer when he overcomes the opposition and weighs in to dispatch the villains with his unique skill set.

No other candidate, especially "now it’s women’s turn’ Hillary has a back story to match the Trump sags. That’s why I think it will be a truly novel last minute surprize plot twist to keep him from assuming the position.


One of the universal themes in the book “An intimate history of Killing” , is how soldiers disassociate themselves from the act of Killing as it occurs.

This effect obviously started after WW1 when war movies became ever more popular and continue to this day. What a large number will claim is that as they are killing, they feel disembodied as if watching from afar. They describe it as being very much like sitting in a movie theater watching it on a screen.

While doing that killing they tend to have the feeling that they some great hero setting right all wrongs , the very theme so many of those movies promote.

One described a feeling of power and of sexual excitement coursing through him as he manned a machine gun and killed attacking troops by the dozens.

When I see a lot of those gun rights activists marching, I can not help but feel they acting at playing grown-up based upon movies they have watched. If it were just a matter of gun rights one would think a gun and normal clothes would be enough but these actors have to outfit themselves in costumes in order to “play the part”.


This does seem to be the trend. Even kids without loans are looking mostly for jobs based on financial return. The big four careers are medicine, law, financial industry, and consulting. English major used to be a very popular major but I don’t believe it is still that way.


I don’t think it’s that weird as everyone says that Trump is doing so well. Think about it. At the start of the contest, when there were a gazillion Republican candidates, Trump was mediocre in the polls. Then in one moment, two of the more morally negotiable major news networks, CNN and FOX, showed Trump jumping to the top of the polls, even if it didn’t show in all the other polls. But soon after that, his popularity and poll numbers spiked all across the board. His thoughtful discourse and deeply introspective political philosophy certainly couldn’t justify that. So it seems like a fair bet that he was artificially nudged to the top of the standings.

If he’s propped up on purpose, I certainly have my guesses as to why. It’d say it’s because Hillary quite simply must be President, and given her record her candidacy would seem the most plausible if she’s standing opposite a rude supremacist bigot who subsists on money and name recognition.


The author is incorrect saying Trump is the first or a unique example. Recall Ronny Raygun (1966 CA Governor campaign, 1980 Presidential campaign), Arnold Terminator (CA Governor recall campaign 2003). Same script, different proper nouns.


There’s not so much a majority of Trump supporters that are uneducated, there are a lot of Obama haters that have carried that hate Trump has promised.
We have a huge majority of GOP card-carriers that hate anything the Democratic Party has put forth. That hate has been amplified by Fox News, in almost everything that has been proposed.
As we know, there are great advantages to promote by mob thought, by “misery loves company”, just look at the success of Don Imus and Rush Limbaugh. We can promote the love of hate and bring many supporters.
The hatred we see this campaign cycle is one of misconception by the GOP and one of hatred of the abuse within the system by the Democrats. Trump shows hatred of everything against him. The people not getting immediate change in their lives love it. The people with festering hatred that a black man made it to the Oval Office love it. The Trump supporters hate as Trump hates and those supporters never look at Trump’s complete flip-flops on issues and follow his continued spewing of false facts of the economy, security, international issues, environment, and his own campaign security.
This campaign of the GOP has been reduced to hate. Hatred of anything in office, the Obama administration, the environmentalists, real science, anything against fossil fuels, and even each other.
I don’t believe in hate. I believe in action and solutions.


Yes, and it’s too bad the voting populace can’t ask themselves questions that answer what they want in a candidate. Only want to follow the majority of polls. My mother is like that, she wants to be sure she votes with a winning candidate, not the one that reflects her real opinion on what that office should have.