Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Some Delusions Are More Harmful Than Others: a The Case of Donald Trump vs Florence Foster Jenkins.

"Every voice deserves to be heard." is the tag line to Meryl Streep's latest opus, FLORENCE Foster Jenkins. That may be true for matters of art, but is it true for elections and the electorate?

People might say that it all depends upon the voice.

Florence Foster Jenkins was deluded in thinking that she was a great opera singer. She received boos and laughter, while telling people that some people were mere "hoodlums" sent by "rivals."

Jenkins was the very first camp artist: her singing was so bad that it was considered good entertainment. Her "life's achievement" at Carnegie Hall was sold out in advance because celebrities (including Cole Porter) wanted to be entertained by a woman with an indomitable spirit. 

The timing of the movie couldn't have  been more perfect: juxtaposed against Trump and his campaign, it gives a picture of a much more benign delusion than Trump's

Who's Voice?

As far as deserving to be heard, in politics it not only depends upon the voice, but what/who is causing it to be used. Who thinks it's THEIR VOICE?

In Trump's case, the delusion is on both sides: The fact that Trump's hardcore fans blithely dismiss his gaffs, inexperience, contradictions and even his fraudulent behavior shows that they are deluding themselves that they are worthy of a voice.

It is self-delusion fueled by mass delusion. 

As numbers drop for The Donald and climb for Hillary, one wonders what a monumental waste Donald Trump has been to America. True, part of America found its "voice" (like Jenkins ) but is it a part that's reasoning or just reactionary?

It may sound elitist and discriminatory, but does that kind of voice deserve a chance to be heard to the extent that a boldly unreasoning, uneducated and exceptionally bigoted voice deserves to be heard in a level equal to the rest of the populace?

Simply put, do fear, hatred and bigotry DESERVE to have a voice and be heard?

Trump rallies celebrated their "voice" with contempt for everything outside their limited ken and environment. They only proved that if an undignified, crass and clueless lot screams loud enough, it will be heard just as offensive (and earsplitting) music from a boombox has to be heard by unwitting passengers on a crowded bus. 

A Singular Voice for a Singular Person

The wall between Trump's narcissism and his patriotism is exceptionally thin. He is quick to call all critics "losers" and keeps on attacking them long after the situation is gone. Criticism of anything he is associated with is personal. When asked what he wanted people to take away from the convention, he said simply "that people like me." No mention of the Republican platform or any issues. To Trump, the election is simply a popularity contest. 

What drives Trump's delusions has been a matter of debate for years,* but it is clear that his delusions drive other delusions, forming a very toxic mess.

Too Far Gone?

Along the campaign trail, Trump's critics have tried to point out when he has gone too far on issues. The "I alone can fix..." the ills of the country, as Clinton, said, raised all sorts of red flags, leaving his stalwart fans looking delusional themselves. Are they too far gone in their zeal for an ideal of bigotry and isolation? Are they now totally blind to Trump's blind vanity?

Back in June, George Will called Trump a "bloviating ignoramus" and Trump shot back with his usual "Loser" response. 

Such a response is undignified to say the least. But Trump's converts don't like dignity, they don't like responsible reasoning and they like the talk, as unreasoning as it sounds. 

Below is a recording of the real Florence Foster Jenkins singing (Florence Foster Jenkins Massacres Mozart) accompanied by some unbelieving and distraught cats. 

As a reasoning human  being, which would you rather hear again - Jenkins or Trump?

*Some of Jenkins' delusions could be attributed to the fact that she contracted syphilis at an early age, and that the toxic combination of mercury and arsenic along with tertiary syphilis were far too much to bear. It has not yet been determined if Donald Ttump also suffers from tertiary syphilis, because his delusions of greatness started very early on in life and his business career.

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