Moving right along: I think I may have figured out the Trump phenomenon.
In the great 1978 hit movie Animal House, a rogue fraternity (Delta House) took on the corrupt administration of Faber College, a small college somewhere in New England. After all the members of the fraternity are expelled for their hijinks, they decided to engage in an act of vengeance – a comical take-down of the school’s Homecoming parade. They were incited by the brilliant John Belushi as “Bluto” in a speech that has become iconic:
In this election cycle, the American people are the rogue fraternity; the Imperial City’s ruling class are the administration of Faber College.
Donald Trump, of course, is Bluto.
For at least twenty years now, the Imperial government has layered on more taxes, more regulations, more interference in the lives of the American people who, like the Delta House members, are just trying to go about their business and have some fun along the way. Things have gotten steadily worse, until the folks who pay attention to the constant erosion of our liberties have begun to wonder if it’s all over.
Then comes Trump, who stands up and shouts, “Nothing is over until we say it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”
He has been shouting long enough now that some voters – a strong plurality if one looks at recent polling – are beginning to react by metaphorically shouting back, “
Bluto Trump’s right! Psychotic, but absolutely right! We’ve gotta take these bastards!”
And so the 2016 election may well be just what Delta House member Otter claims – a really futile and stupid gesture, on the part of the American people against Imperial overreach – but futile and stupid gestures sometimes draw attention to real problems.
And the world’s got no shortage of windmills to tilt at.