Though I’ve never mentioned it before, I enjoy A Song of Ice and Fire novels, as well as the show they’ve spawned. While the HBO series (now in its sixth season) has greatly diverged from the books, I don’t really mind. After books 1-3, the quality definitely declines, and I’d say the show is better at this point. But rest assured, I don’t intend to turn this into a Game of Thrones post. Rather, courtesy of an old clip from season five, I think I’ve stumbled upon one of the major reasons why so many people are flocking to Donald Trump. I know this might sound outlandish, but bear with me here. For now, check out the clip below, and skip to the 1:06 mark.
Tyrion is definitely onto something when he claims Daenerys is the “right kind of terrible.” He’s tacitly acknowledging that the world is a rotten and oppressive place, where there’s no alternative to predatory elitism. Therefore, the ideal ruler is an elite who can stick it to other elites – who can fight fire with dragonfire.
That’s why, in some bizarre way, the Donald is America’s Daenerys Targaryen; only instead of dragons, he has billions of dollars and a combative personality. As much as pundits like to zero in on the racism and ignorance of Trump’s supporters (real or perceived), I suspect that many white Americans like the Donald because he too is the right kind of terrible.
Growing numbers of frustrated and despondent whites find the current status quo intolerable, but also subconsciously recognize that nothing can really challenge oligarchic rule. With that in mind, why not support an egomaniacal billionaire who’s at least somewhat on your side, and who can put other egomaniacal billionaires in their place? For all of Donald Trump’s faults, he – unlike venal and sycophantic politicians like Hillary Clinton – is not (as) beholden to the donor class. Only a plutocrat like the Donald can tell the patrician Koch brothers to go fuck themselves, some might think.
Just to reiterate, I’ve always been a bit skeptical of Trump, and believe that he’s not quite as independent and intrepid as he makes himself out to be – at least if his pandering to the AIPAC crowd is any indication.
Putting that aside, regardless of Trump’s political fate, our elites must (however grudgingly) act as better stewards of the nation and give the increasingly angry white masses a reason to invest in the system. Otherwise, more and more will seek out Trump-like figures who are the right kind of terrible, and the anger rearing its head in this election will seem tame in comparison.
Unless there is a fundamental overhaul of our decaying society, winter is coming to the United States.