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Friday, October 21, 2016

New Yorker article on Trump supporters


New Yorker - making peace with Trump's revolutionaries. It's amazing, from a sociological perspective. Most of these people are basically doing the 21st-century equivalent of speaking in tongues, as if there's some weird spirit inside them that they sometimes let take over their bodies, but which they don't even recognize as part of their identity:

In 2011, I moved with my family to Cairo, Egypt, although we came back for regular visits. This past summer, we returned to live in Colorado full-time. The transition has been so recent that I haven’t changed my business cards, and, when Bill Pope finally appeared at his gate, I decided to give him a trigger warning. I explained that I had just returned after working in the Middle East, and I flipped over the card and showed that the back was printed in Arabic.

“I have to kill you, motherfucker!” he said. “I don’t like Muslim cocksuckers!”

But he smiled broadly—saying these things seemed to make him happy.
and
And I realized he was right—if you were to analyze the mood of the event, without thinking about the actual principles of the campaign, it felt friendly and open. People were eager to talk to strangers, and, even when they complained or criticized, there wasn’t any sense of anger, at least not until Trump appeared.
and
After the rally was finished, a nice-looking blond woman made her way down the fence, shouting, “Journalism is dead! Journalism is dead!” But, when I stepped forward and asked her to explain what she meant, she immediately calmed down, and we had a pleasant conversation.

It's really just a rework of 19th-century big-tent Christian snake-charmer revivalism, with the content replaced.

And how does it survive?

As the veteran had told me on the college campus, a real revolution requires commitment—if you’re determined to overthrow Mubarak, then you have to stay on the square and fight his minions until it’s finished. But there’s no way to fight the vast international conspiracies of the Jews, the Turks, and the Americans.

So really it's just one great Game of Thrones fantasy world that these people let themselves inhabit, once it a while, just to rescue themselves from the boring bullshit of their everyday lives.


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