We Should All Thank Donald Trump
How the world’s most inadequate human being has revealed the truth about representative democracy
In the fairytale, representative democracy is a shining achievement of humane values, an approach to self-governance that by involving nearly everyone is superior to the arbitrary rule of kings and emperors and dictators. In the fairytale, representative democracy is the apotheosis of enlightened governance, the ne plus ultra upon which we can rest peacefully throughout all time to come.
Despite the dire outcomes generated by representative democracy over the last two centuries, this fairytale is believed by nearly everyone on the planet. Even dictators and tyrants paint their regimes in the colors of democracy to provide spurious legitimacy, much in the same way as some religionists sects lay claim to the word “science.”
Journalists, whose business is sensationalizing the tiny details of each day in order to grab the eyeballs of the easily entertained, lack the perspective necessary to understand the root cause of the many disastrous events they broadcast. Ordinary people simply accept the fairytale at face value, because this is the easiest thing to do. Academics, bound tightly within the confines of Political Correctness, either laud representative democracy uncritically or provide pseudo-critiques derived from tedious old discredited mythologies like Marxism.
Nobody, apparently, is capable of seeing what’s been under their very noses for decades.
And this is why we have to thank Donald J. Trump, the world’s least adequate human being. Indeed, Trump is so infantile, so mentally retarded, so repellent a creature that it is difficult to regard him as fully human. He appears almost to be parody of a person, an exemplar of every disgusting and shameful trait that humanity evinces while possessing not a single redeeming feature.
Trump clearly has a low IQ and he’s incapable of forming a single coherent sentence. His infantile nature is on display every time he opens his weak little mouth to bluster out some fatuous lie. He is a whining sniveling sycophant who adores supposedly “strong” men like Putin, Xi, Duterte, and other tyrants because he himself is a spineless coward who invented imaginary bone spurs in his feet in order to dodge the VietNam draft when he was young.
In a mere three and a half years Trump has dramatically weakened the USA while proclaiming to his equally low-IQ supporters that he’s “making ‘Murka great again!” His early goals were very simple: do the opposite of whatever it was his predecessor did. After that, his policies have been exclusively aimed at self-aggrandization: military parades on 4th July, absurd claims regarding his non-accomplishments, and diverting budgets to his pet projects regardless of their total lack of utility.
And at every turn, with every lie, his mindless drooling howling supporters have lapped it up. They are his irreducible core, his unwavering bloc of support that almost certainly will guarantee his re-election in November this year. With nearly forty-three million uncritical imbecile voters at his back and a craven supine Republican-led Senate unable to muster even a whiff of resistance as its supposedly long-cherished ideals are urinated on by the orange buffoon, Trump has become almost accidentally the USA’s first dictator. He can literally do whatever he wants without any fear of impediment or personal consequence.
Trump has broken countless laws and has broken even more political conventionalities. He has used the US Constitution as his personal toilet-paper. He has sent Federal thugs into cities against the express wishes of elected officials where they have performed illegal kidnappings and assaults. He has used the White House for partisan political events and he has violated the emoluments clause countless times for his own financial gain. Now he’s overtly stating that he will not recognize any vote that goes against him.
Commentators and Democratic politicians, perpetually clueless, fantasize about a future in which Trump is defeated and leaves the White House escorted by Secret Service agents. In reality, Trump will remain in the White House simply because he wants to and there is absolutely nothing whatsoever to stop him. Nobody with a memory capable of reaching back further than yesterday afternoon can have any confidence in the flabby sputterings of Republican politicians because they will continue to abdicate responsibility in the face of Trump’s howling supporters. Furthermore, the ultra-right Supreme Court, with either a 5–3 or a 6–3 majority, will endorse whatever course of action Trump chooses to take.
And this is why we all owe Trump our sincere thanks.
Democracy didn’t fall to a cunning and highly intelligent person executing a fastidiously thought-out plan over the course of long and careful years. Democracy collapsed quickly and completely when faced with the world’s least adequate creature, a stumbling infantile halfwit who’s failed at every serious endeavor he’s ever attempted. Trump has effortlessly shown what a complete and utter disaster representative democracy truly is. Reality has clashed with the fairytale and, as always, reality has won.
To understand how such a pathetic creature as a Trump could trample with such ease over every supposed pillar of representative democracy, we need to look at how the system works.
At its base is the concept of universal representation. The unspoken premise is that once a person has reached a certain age they will have the intellectual capacity necessary to vote in a coherent manner. Whereas in every other walk of life we require people to demonstrate competence before granting them authority, in representative democracy we simply make a blithe assumption of competence and never bother to question whether or not this assumption has any validity.
This is equivalent to making an assumption that whoever talks their way into the cockpit of a commercial aircraft is competent to fly it safely. It’s equivalent to making an assumption that whoever proclaims themselves to be a “great driver, the best driver” is competent to drive a motor vehicle on the public roads. It’s equivalent to making an assumption that whoever dresses up in scrubs is competent to perform neurosurgery simply because they self-certify to that effect.
The reason we don’t make these, and an uncountable number of equivalently foolish assumptions, is because of the immediate harms that would result. An incompetent pilot will crash the aircraft and kill everyone on board. An incompetent driver will cause a road traffic accident in which many will be harmed. An incompetent surgeon will kill the patient.
But with representative democracy the harm is at arm’s length and separated from the act of voting by time. We humans, with our tiny ape-brains, are extremely poor at dealing with cause-and-effect. We reliably attribute causes where there are none (which explains religious beliefs, astrological beliefs, enneagram beliefs, Tarot card beliefs, etc.) and we fail to attribute causes when they do exist. We also have practically no real notion of the future and so events caused by some act a year ago seem to us today to have sprung into existence sui generis. At best we attribute cause to some entirely unrelated incident that recommends itself to us simply because it occurred a short time before the event in question.
Because of these fundamental cognitive limitations, our brains are utterly inadequate for assessing the outcomes generated by representative democracy, which is why we continue to believe in the fairytale. It’s as if we keep burning our hand on a hot surface but lack the physical receptors to notice what we’re doing. Only later, when we happen by chance to notice the burned tissue, do we begin to search for how it happened — and then we reliably ascribe an entirely erroneous cause — perhaps we are wearing an “unlucky” color of shirt, or we sneezed a few minutes ago, or some other such nonsensical explanation.
Thus we never learn, and so we keep burning our hands over and over and over again.
The second profound flaw in representative democracy is that there are no qualifications required in order to stand as a candidate for election. This guarantees that those who know the least will be the least constrained in the promises and claims they make and thus will have the strongest appeal to the great mass of ignorant unthinking citizenry. While everyone likes to imagine themselves to be well-informed, the harsh reality is that the average person knows nothing and understands nothing beyond the confines of the ersatz entertainments they spend hours each day avidly consuming.
Representative democracy therefore is the ignorant and foolish voting for the mendacious and incompetent.
We then pretend otherwise. We inflate those we elect and project onto them our hopes and false beliefs. We mythologize and romanticize, just as we do with ephemeral pop personalities and members of royal families. We see the illusion we want to see, not the squalid dysfunctional reality.
Representative democracy also triggers many of our worst instincts. We humans have a hardwired need to belong to a group because for all of our evolutionary history, being outside of the group meant death. As the evolution of political Parties is inevitable (300 individual voices create a cacophony but 300 voices chanting the same slogan can be effective) this means people automatically identify with political Parties just as they identify with sports teams. This identification becomes part of a person’s self-identity, which results in a blind unthinking loyalty to whatever group one happens to be affiliated with. So instead of voting based on rationality and plausibility, people vote according to their emotional attachments.
It’s not difficult to see that this is an appalling way to manage the complex business of governance in a technological world in which every nation is connected to every other nation by a complex web of interdependencies.
The appeal of mindless slogans like Brexit and Making ‘Murka Great Again is that they seem to offer safety and comfort to those adrift in a world of change. The illusory appeal of returning to the Good Old Days is strong for the great mass of people who don’t understand anything at all and who feel anxiety about how the world continues to change. Simple-minded fairytales about how good things will be once we’ve returned to the 1950s have a far more powerful purchase on the minds of the ignorant and stupid than any attempt at reason or presentation of facts.
The problem isn’t that people are foolish and ignorant. That’s simply the human condition. The problem is that we’ve accidentally constructed a system of governance that is based on the least helpful aspects of human nature. Instead of having systems to mitigate our incapacities we’ve designed a system to amplify them. And instead of recognizing the reliably terrible outcomes we instead spend our time repeating the same old fairytale in order to avoid facing up to reality.
Representative democracy is a system where we do one thing but pretend we’ve done another. A system by means of which we create endless self-harm but keep claiming we’ve enjoying tremendous successes.
Reminds you of someone, doesn’t it?
Trump is the apotheosis of representative democracy, not its nadir. He’s the inevitable outcome of a hopelessly dysfunctional approach to governance that ignores every single aspect of human behavior. Just as Marxist communism could have worked if people were completely and utterly different from the way we actually are, so representative democracy could work provided that we are completely and utterly different from the way we actually are.
Most people who attempt to think about the mess we’re in fondly imagine that if only voters were more educated on matters of importance, or if only the irresponsible mass media didn’t endlessly distort and sensationalize everything, or if only their favored candidate could get elected, everything would be well.
Which is no different from imagining that although we’ve consistently failed to fly by strapping wings to our arms, if only we paint the wings a different color or teach children to flap from an early age or follow the example of our favorite would-be aeronaut, we’ll all be able to fly by means of these wings strapped onto our arms. Never mind the fact we lack the enormous pectoral muscles, hollow bones, and the dozens of other essential evolutionary adaptations that enable birds to accomplish this feat and preclude humans from doing the same. One day we’ll find the right color of paint and we’ll flap at just the right speed and our favorite aeronaut will take to the skies and show us all how it can be done…
Meanwhile we have the edifying spectacle of the world’s most inadequate creature, Donald J Trump, flapping his arms and shouting about how he’s the greatest flyer, the best flyer the world has ever seen, nobody does flying like him.
All while plummeting to Earth as his mindless drooling howling know-nothing supporters cheer wildly, convinced that he’s soaring above them in a display of magnificent superiority that gives them a tenuous sense of meaning in their empty and vacuous lives.
This is why we all owe Trump our thanks: he’s made it unmistakably plain that representative democracy is a complete disaster without a single thing to recommend it.
If we can’t see this despite all his efforts then we deserve no better, and we deserve all the horrors to come.