We’ve spent the last 4 years on the butt-end of Trump Derangement syndrome, a very real psychological phenomenon affecting millions of people worldwide, not just Americans. They’ve been conditioned to vacillate and quiver by a constant stream of emotionally-charged “information” (using that term loosely, because as I have pointed out, most news is false even when the journalists aren’t lying, which they often are).
What I think we forget is that these things can go the other way as well, not so much in “Democrat derangement syndrome” but in viewing Trump as something more than he is. To most of us on the “right,” he’s been a disappointment, as the vast majority of his agenda he did not enact. There were few pardons, no declassifications, and no wall, and he even bombed Syria. Still, the amount of hyperbolic scrutiny he receives is enough that a typical person would have committed suicide years ago, so he has my respect for toughing it out.
And yet partially because of that intense, hyperbolic non-stop attack, some Trump supporters have come to view him as something actually approximating the God-Emperor of memedom legend – a modern-day Caesar or Sulla. After all, if your enemy says he is the greatest threat to them, perhaps he is. This has led lots of people in the right-wing sphere to talk about Trump metaphorically “crossing the Rubicon,” not just as a vague jest (like the memes from the 2016 election, which many older people will simply not “get”), but as a valid expectation.
To give you an idea of how illusory the idea of Trump declaring martial law and re-ordering the state is, consider the evocation of Caesar’s famous “casting of the die.” Gaius Julius Caesar was a feared and respected battlefield commander with literal legions of hardened soldiers that had bled for him throughout his campaigns, in addition to being one of the richest men in Rome. He was such a powerful military foe that he crossed the Rubicon with a single legion and it was enough to send his political enemies fleeing.
This is not Trump. He’s an outsider, and hated by the permanent, non-elected members of the state (which is most of the state), along with most of the elected members of congress. He has no army of world-class soldiers who are personally loyal to him and organized into an invincible fighting force. He’s got guys in MAGA hats. If he wanted to seize the state and become master of Rome, who would obey him? He couldn’t even keep a consistent cabinet for six months. When he ordered troops home, the command chain disobeyed him and kept fighters in Syria and elsewhere.
So, the events of January 6th, as strange and entertaining as they might be, were the result of conditioning just as strong as TDS, it was TMS – Trump Messiah Syndrome. The outcome of real-life /pol raid of the capital was that the legitimate contesting of the election was quickly swept under the rug as for a few hours it became politically tenable for republicans to betray the man some thought of as Caesar. The Republicans, who always hated Trump, got to suddenly abandon the base (for whom they have equal disdain) and ignore the very real possibilities of significant election fraud.
People were quick to blame the Donald, but it was evident to me he did not expect things to go the way he did. He wanted to make a big show, but not that big.
Who is really to blame? The media, mostly. When you (metaphorically) march a man through the streets of Jerusalem, hurling insults and taunts at him, it’s only natural that he will be viewed as a messiah.
For my part, perhaps I didn’t take the cult of personality seriously enough. Even throughout the last 2 months, after the events of November, I’ve seen numerous people proclaiming the absolute certainty that Trump would prevail and that all would be set to right, for he was that powerful. I consider most of a version of the “vision of the anointed” (to ape Thomas Sowell) that put Obama on a kind of pedestal, just a standard part of persuasion over a large population. He was such a huge contrast to the standard limp-wrist republican, at least in terms of rhetoric, it’s hard even for a cynic like me not to root for him, so it’s easy to see how people who have spent 30 years waiting for Superman to save them could view him as just that.
I’m reminded of some conversations I had with author Brian Niemeier on my channel. He said (and I feel the same) that we never thought Trump would be a savior, but that he would buy us time and shift the Overton window to the right. Unfortunately, viewing him as a Messiah isn’t conducive to thinking of what comes next – and that’s always imperative.
While we ponder, let us also consider that there is but one true Messiah, Jesus Christ, and he gave us our ultimate deliverance – one which cannot be revoked by any state, so long as we have faith. Today is the celebration of his birth in the Orthodox church, which used (coincidentally) the Julian Calendar. Let us give thanks.
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You can tell MAGA has devolved into a personality cult because in the same convo they’ll call him the God-Emperor and a helpless prisoner of the White House.
A lot of cognitive dissonance there.
I think you sell Trump short a bit. He bombed Syria, and vaporized Solemani, but otherwise has kept us out of wars that would have certainly happened in a Hillary or a Jeb! administration. He not only bought us 4 years of time, but he also forced the mask off of the uniparty, with the tech fiefdoms. You probably know more about the reality of the wall, but from the news stories he funded the wall with the money he had control over, and it looked like it was being spent semiproductively. He also changed asylum rules to keep immigrants in Mexico.
But yeah, he seemed genuinely surprised by the events of Jan 6th. If there is a grand Q plan, he is not in on it. And if he was, I’m convinced that he would not be willing to play his role in it.
I’m thankful for Trump for lots of reasons. No new war is definitely one, but I appreciate that he woke up some normies, too.
Very good observation. I still think that especially around 2016 he was a pressure valve for the right but in turn he drove the left straight over the edge to utter madness.
I told people that Trump isn’t the horror they’re describing but by treating him and thus his voters as one they will make sure that one will follow him at some point. Time will tell.
I’ll admit I enjoyed watching the salt flow, but most of us didn’t really think past him, to what we needed to do next.
Guilty as charged here too.
Late to the party now, but: Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
Thank you for this alternative take. I seem to only find folks taking a black pill about Jan 6, or the Vox Day crowd doubling down on the “rubicon” business. It’s nice to hear your take on these things.
I appreciate this take, David.
One thing I’ve been thinking about over the last couple of months (and what I thought this post was going to be about) is how the reaction from the right to Trump’s loss has mirrored the reaction from the left to Trump’s win (and Hillary’s loss).
I could elaborate, but I’d like to hear your (and others’) thoughts on it before I poison the well with mine.
As an aside, this is my first comment on any of your stuff (the blog and YT), thought I have been following along for a few years now. A few weeks ago I deleted my YouTube app for a variety of reasons, and I find myself missing your content. Thanks for doing what you do.
This is weird. I could have sworn that on your Youtube channel, on an older video, you said something about how you used to love “skeptic” Youtube channels that did takedowns of theism (of any sort) and I’ve always had a slight defense up when watching your videos especially when your political or religious opinions were involved.
I noticed that throughout all the recent videos I can remember, you’ve been very fair to Christianity, while not outright proclaiming to be a Christian, so I figured you’d become more lenient, perhaps in light of the madness of the left, but looking at this, I highly doubt you went from gleefully watching “Bible take-down” videos to being a born-again Christian, so I guess I must have just been thinking of someone else.
I think Trump did two things that were very important. He showed everyone you can have a spine, brush off the attacks, and talk back to the global “left” (I’m leaning toward just calling it “the Sinister” from now on). And he helped expose just how evil our world has become. I don’t really want to think about what may be coming down the road, considering what they’ve already done to him, the Gab founder, Parler, the bakers, the florists, many online personalities, and of course the many people whose livelihoods have been destroyed by the purported “pandemic response”. But I think many people who have been deluded into thinking there will be some grand peace with neat benefits like UBI from now on will be sorely disappointed.