Matt Taibbi was just on BookTV talking about his 2017 book INSANE CLOWN PRESIDENT. Among the interesting things he said was that Fox News under Roger Ailes has done one thing to change the world of US politics: to make it impossible to compromise on anything, or to be friends with anyone who doesn’t agree with you politically. He made the comparison with asking Minnesota Vikings fans to not be Minnesota Vikings fans anymore. “Not going to happen.” Interesting that he mentions the Vikings, who were cruel and “very, very” unusual too. His point is what I’ve been saying all along, in attempts to promo the Coffee Party, (which actually does exist—and which no one ever mentions—believing 100% that the two-party system will be around until America falls off the Flat Earth around 2019, due to melting ice caps and Yellowstone exploding to levitate us toward the edge…see The “History” Channel or Youboob.) Hey, Matt, a more accurate book title might be GAME SHOW PRESIDENT. Trump is not insane, he’s a narcissist and borderline sociopath pretending to be a Christian of the Creflo Dollar ilk. (God wants you to be rich now…Jesus never really liked poor people much anyway, or as Trump interprets it, “losers.”) Taken together with other books mentioned on Book TV, including by Hunter S. Thompson and Neil Postman, if you add Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World you have the answer: we have moved from desiring the goodness of being liked to the goal of being top dog in the dog fights everyone bets on and shouts about. “Losers” are those who are eaten alive, twitching in pools of blood. (Like the movie 300 or the UFC.) If you’re not rich by whatever means (including war) you “lose,” meaning you DESERVE death. This is also Putin’s view, mixing up his version of Jim Jones Koolaid for anyone who disagrees. Trump has also said this: “The point is to win. You say and do whatever it takes.” Being honest or good? That’s for sissies and “nut jobs.” BTW, there are no tapes, folks. Trump is going to say “I never said there were. What I said was ‘you better hope there aren’t.’” It’s a game show, for ratings. You cherry pick whatever works, deny the rest, and watch as your brand gets more valuable. (Kinda like the Kardashians, while wearing furs ripped from living animals.) Once everything is a game (and it all is, now, sadly) the most important thing is to bludgeon the other side in a quivering mound of crimson flesh…and then turn on ESPN… While preaching how righteous you are, meaning those on “the other side” of the gridiron deserve the concussions you have administered. —Ryback Solomon
Matt’s book from the publisher: In twenty-five pieces from Rolling Stone—plus two original essays—Matt Taibbi tells the story of Western civilization’s very own train wreck, from its tragicomic beginnings to its apocalyptic conclusion. Years before the clown car of candidates was fully loaded, Taibbi grasped the essential themes of the story: the power of spectacle over substance, or even truth; the absence of a shared reality; the nihilistic rebellion of the white working class; the death of the political establishment; and the emergence of a new, explicit form of white nationalism that would destroy what was left of the Kingian dream of a successful pluralistic society.
Taibbi captures, with dead-on, real-time analysis, the failures of the right and the left, from the thwarted Bernie Sanders insurgency to the flawed and aimless Hillary Clinton campaign; the rise of the “dangerously bright” alt-right with its wall-loving identity politics and its rapturous view of the “Racial Holy War” to come; and the giant fail of a flailing, reactive political media that fed a ravenous news cycle not with reporting on political ideology, but with undigested propaganda served straight from the campaign bubble. At the center of it all stands Donald J. Trump, leading a historic revolt against his own party, “bloviating and farting his way” through the campaign, “saying outrageous things, acting like Hitler one minute and Andrew Dice Clay the next.” For Taibbi, the stunning rise of Trump marks the apotheosis of the new postfactual movement.
Taibbi frames the reporting with original essays that explore the seismic shift in how we perceive our national institutions, the democratic process, and the future of the country. Insane Clown President is not just a postmortem on the collapse and failure of American democracy. It offers the riveting, surreal, unique, and essential experience of seeing the future in hindsight.