Fear & Loathing, Twitter, Self-Inflation, and the Demise of the Two-Party System

Narcissism cannot be sustained. Eventually the self-inflation mechanisms of the narcissist will fail. It is reasonable to conclude Trump’s decades of televised antics are proof of Narcissistic Personality Disorder—he certainly seems to go out of his way to exude the symptoms of a classic case—but in truth, such narcissism cannot be sustained.

What if this behavior is a guise? What if it’s more devious … and brilliant … than any average horrified American onlooker could imagine? What if the intent is not to bring the GOP to total power and destroy the party of liberal democrats as so many of our talking heads fear, what if it’s something else? What if the two-party system has lost its usefulness?

For the better part of the 20th century, the two-party system dominated while a couple other “independent” groups flailed into notice every now and then. Prior to WWI, the Democratic Party was associated with white “Christian” Confederate sympathizers, and the Republicans with socially-progressive reform. We sometimes hear the talking heads on political news shows speak of the tide turning with the turn of the century. Debatable as that topic is, I’ll hold off for now.

As the decades passed here in the U.S., one obvious trend emerged that is not debatable—presidential campaigns got more and more expensive. Regardless of the expense, a member of each major party was always standing for the election. Democrat vs. Republican. Every four years. That’s a lot of millions.

I’ve often wondered where that kind of money comes from. Sure, the average American tosses in a few bucks with their tax returns. The occasional upper-middle-class Joe might go to a fancy dinner thrown by a governor, rent a tux, get his picture taken, and it only costs him a few grand. All in all, average voting Americans contribute a respectable amount. But the real money, well, that comes from an entirely different set of folks. The kind of people that have their own private security staffs, their own airplanes. People that cannot fathom the reality most of us deal with—whether to go into debt for a new car, or deplete the savings account to keep the clunker going for another couple of years. The choice between paying off medical bills and decade-old student loans, or moving to a part of town where the kids don’t have to walk through metal detectors to get to class don’t come up.

The types of people who contribute substantial dollars to presidential campaigns don’t diddle over such things. They dial up their investment managers on encrypted phones while their private jet floats toward a night in Paris with global oil and gas buddies. These are not people who trouble themselves with religion unless it suits their momentary goals. These are not people who stay awake at night with concerns of racism, ageism, patriotism, liberalism, republicanism, socialism, communism, health care for the poor, bad cops, safe and legal immigration, or the tragic circumstances of our returned veterans. Make no mistake, though, these are the people behind all the decisions about all the things we worry about every single day.

What club does Trump belong to? The Clintons? The Obamas? Daddy and son Bush, etc., etc.? Whatever national good any politician has done since the turn of the century has not been out of the goodness of their heart for the benefit of “the people”. Any good change has piggybacked on an agenda financed by the deep pockets funding lobbyists who stalk and schmooze politicians in every corner of every capital of the U.S. Look at what it’s gotten them—we, the people, are down here in the real world fueled and fired up on all sorts of propaganda tearing each other apart. We’re taking a stand, drawing a line: Democrats vs. Republicans, good vs. evil, black vs. white. Or, we’re just trying to get through the week without the lights being cut off before we can pay the bill. The point is, we’re not looking at what’s really going on.

Will we be looking when the liberals and conservatives that aren’t in on the joke burn each other to the ground? When the divide between parties becomes wide enough for another to walk right through? And when that other party emerges amidst all the vitriol and disgust and spreading poverty, chews through the fat calves of Congress while we’re staggering under valid threats of world war and starvation, will they look like honest to goodness saviors tossing crumbs from their towers built on the vast inaccessible acreage of formerly protected federal lands? As they end public trade, as they take control of communication and global banks, will we be grateful enough to serve them?

Maybe that’s all a few decades in the future. Maybe it’s not.

Our two-party system hasn’t made impactful change in decades. Our independent and libertarian parties couldn’t scratch together enough money to buy a majority percentage in a pro sports team, so we can forget them affording a go at a long-term bid for presidency. It’s been so long since, as a nation, we’ve encountered a real civil servant, a genuine candidate for the people, we wouldn’t recognize one if he or she walked right up and bit us on the ass.  (Of course, a good civil servant wouldn’t do such a thing. I guess.)

Is it far out to suspect our current clown in chief of such a conspiracy? A true narcissist needs to please someone in order to keep them feeding his narcissism. Who would Trump seek to please? The poor? Bah. The middle class? No. The Caucasian hate mongers that call themselves Christians behind their multi-million-dollar pulpits? Not even them. What would a billionaire trade the shreds of his dignity for? Trillions? What is he doing when he’s not tweeting? Signing documents that we didn’t even know existed.

I’d wager that the Elites know every change accessible by Executive Order, even if we don’t. Heck, most of us don’t even know the ins and outs of the federal constitution, our individual state’s constitution. Who’s your State Representative? What laws have your state passed in the last decade that directly impact your job, health care, income tax, mortgage or rent? Why is your local law enforcement agency and public defense system bankrupt?

I don’t know a lot of the answers to these questions either, but I’m starting to pay closer attention.

(To be continued …)










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