“You know what I’ve noticed? Nobody panics when things go ‘according to plan.’ Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it’s all ‘part of the plan.’ But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!
Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I’m an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It’s fair!” – The Joker in the 2008 movie The Dark Knight.
Heath Ledger gave, arguably, the greatest movie performance of last decade in his portrayal of Batman’s clown nemesis. It’s one of those – when you see it on cable, you can’t turn the channel. You can’t stop watching that character. Ledger, better known as a handsome leading man, was unrecognizable as The Joker, perhaps so immersed in the coherent insanity of that role that he died of a drug overdose shortly after the movie’s release.
It’s a tad too cute, maybe, to say that Trump is doing to politics what Ledger’s character did to Gotham. But he is giving the best performance of this decade and, just like Ledger, you can’t turn the channel when he’s on. Trump, at a minimum, has created some constructive chaos and for this all Republicans, at least the conservative ones, should rejoice.
Think where we were just a few months ago. Did anyone really doubt that we were sleepwalking toward an inevitable Clinton-Bush contest where, whoever came out on top, the real winner would be the establishment? Changing things is messy and bad for business.
Everyone was going through the motions and playing the parts. There would be some twists and turns on the campaign trail but that too was all part of “The Plan”. In the end, like every time since 1988, the Republicans would roll out the establishment candidate in hopes of winning that great unwashed middle. Should that candidate win the general election, he would pay lip service to the conservative cause while negotiating away any political capital in the name of compromise. All of it, part of “The Plan.”
And there was no greater protector of “The Plan” than the press. The ground rules limited all speech to a closed language that made conservative arguments impossible. Anything outside of that language and you were either crazy or involved in some clandestine war on something sacred. Abortion is wrong = war on women. Balanced Budget = crazy. Immigration a problem = war on Hispanics. Police allowed to defend themselves = war on blacks. Honest people having guns to defend themselves against armed criminals = crazy.
To cut it some slack, let’s assume that there is no intentional liberal bias in the mainstream media – which is likely the case. The press is centered in New York, Washington D.C. and California and is perhaps only reflecting what it believes to be the national norms based on local dialogue. All politics is local, after all.
Trump’s brashness and the massive rallies that have followed have already changed all of that. Through blunt talk and downright incivility, Trump and his early adherents – the only adherents turning out in the tens of thousands – have proved that the accepted dialogue does not reflect the nation and the press has blinked. And just that blink has opened the floodgates, maybe long enough to get in a few arguments based on logic instead of political correctness, even if Trump isn’t the one making the logical arguments yet.
Can you imagine if the Climate Change alarmists would actually allow an honest debate instead of just claiming the debate is over? If there really is nothing to debate, how long would that take? They would have a better chance of winning over the skeptical half of the public with a comprehensive exchange of facts. But what’s the point of winning over that half when you already have in your half the ones that can force policy through moral coercion and guilt, which is what the press has become? So it has been with every issue.
Trump is the singular figure able to change that. He was a reality star for a decade before reality TV existed, and then he became a TV reality star. He has fostered the character he plays in real life for thirty years. He has success outside of politics – intimidating and overwhelming success, much greater than any member of the press could hope to achieve. Normal politicians only have success on par with media anchors. Who else could tell reporters to “Sit down and shut up?” Any other candidate would be forced out of politics within a week.
I’m not on the bandwagon yet, but, probably like many conservatives, I’m running along the side cheering for now, hoping that all the ballyhoo can transform into actual policy. Deporting all the illegals doesn’t seem likely. Balancing the budget will take more than “good people”. There’s plenty of time to fill in the blanks so we can all just enjoy the show for awhile.
If the policy never comes, there are several candidates waiting in the wings to reap the benefits of the service Donald Trump has provided this country. Through cracking the establishment façade, honest debate is developing. Illegal immigration a problem – well, maybe. Let’s talk. Government spending a problem – that’s certainly possible. When the Republican candidate opens his or her mouth in a future debate (with Joe Biden), the moderator likely won’t be on a side, and for that he or she can thank Trump.
Feel free to argue the other side without the language constrictions of the past, national liberals. Make sense of twenty trillion of debt, a quarter of the work force choosing not to work, killing babies for spare parts, a country without borders, and buddying up to countries who brutalize women and want to kill us. I’m guessing you’re going to feel very free to make these arguments, almost unprotected.
Maybe he is more the Joker than the Dark Knight, who knows? But there is no arguing that Trump upset “The Plan” in the summer of 2015 and injected a little chaos into the system. And do you know the thing about chaos? It’s fair.