Donald Trump and the Rise of the ‘F*** You Presidency’ - Encounter Books

Donald Trump and the Rise of the ‘F*** You Presidency’

By Ben Weingarten | November 19, 2015

National Review columnist Kevin D. Williamson is not one to mince words–so it should come as no surprise that, regardless of your political stripes, you will likely get a kick out of his latest Encounter Broadside, The Case against Trump.

I had the chance to sit down with Williamson at Encounter Books’ offices in New York to discuss The Donald and America. In one particularly fun exchange, I posed the following question to Williamson:

You conclude your book by writing…“the bile is the attraction here, not the policy.” My question is, is that more of a reflection of Trump, or the state of America?

Here is how he responded:

I think Trump is someone who manages to be simultaneously the symptom and the disease, although much more the symptom than the disease I think. I mean he is someone who furthers that kind of view of the world.

There’s a lot of social resentment in the United States, and it’s partly related to what I was talking about before. The U.S. has always — we’ve always convinced ourselves we don’t have a class system here. And you know we’ve just got money. And to some extent that’s true, but it’s not entirely true.

Trump is someone who manages to be simultaneously the symptom and the disease

You know, I come from a pretty modest background in Lubbock, Texas, and have lived in New York and Washington and those places, and for various reasons moved in different circles than the ones I grew up in. And we do have a bit of a class system here.

And, there are people who want to just scream insults at the people they imagine are sneering at them, and looking down at them, and running their lives as well. And to an extent they’re right to do that: There’s a lot of bad people in government, in our elite institutions, and things like that.

I’ve often argued at National Review that our problem isn’t elitism — and when conservatives complain about elitism is kind of dumb I think — our problem is that we’ve got bad elites. Our elites don’t serve the social function that elites are supposed to serve. And that is a problem.

So I think of Trump as being a little like President Camacho from Idiocracy, you know shooting the gun off — and Terry Crews is genius in that role.

Idiocracy - President Camacho's entrance - YouTube (Warning: Language)

 

There’s an element in our culture that just wants to stand up and raise the middle finger and scream at the people they think are ruining and running their lives.

I can picture, 20 years from now, as this phenomenon continues and it becomes more polarized, and there’s gonna be a guy who’s gonna be you know, maybe an athlete, something like that. Someone who’s super famous, and he’s gonna run for president and his platform is just gonna be “F*** you!” I mean that’s just what he’s gonna say. And “We’ve got a problem with China? F*** you China.” And people are gonna respond to that. People are really gonna respond to that.

You’re welcome Encounter Books by the way for that burst of profanity. I’m sure Roger Kimball will approve.

But that really is where we’re going. And there’s an element in our culture that just wants to stand up and raise the middle finger and scream at the people they think are ruining and running their lives. They tend to overestimate the influence those people and institutions have I think, but they’re not entirely wrong.

Listen to our wide-ranging interview below:

And click here for more on The Case against Trump.

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BEN WEINGARTEN is a writer, podcaster, and Founder & CEO of ChangeUp Media LLC, a media consulting and publication services firm. He regularly contributes to publications such as City Journal,The FederalistNewsmax and PJ Media on national security, economics and politics. You can find his work at benweingarten.com, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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