Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Vox Popoli: The trend is bigger than the man

As I've observed, pointed out, and argued repeatedly, the trends are much, much bigger than individual men or even individual movements:

He must have known what was coming. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, a pillar of the cowardly GOP Establishment, announced he would not be running for re-election on Tuesday [Republican Sen. Corker announces he won’t seek re-election, by Richard Lardner and Erik Schelzig, Associated Press, September 26, 2017]. Corker’s departure is widely being interpreted as a sign of the Establishment’s inability to control the GOP base, as the election of President Trump, the rise of nationalism and the emergence of alternative media outlets (such as Breitbart and make it harder for cuckservatives to Republican primary voters in line [Sen. Bob Corker’s retirement is notable for when it’s happening, by Amber Phillips, Washington Post, September 26, 2017]

And now, we have the ultimate proof in Alabama. Judge Roy Moore, one of the most persistent targets of the Southern Poverty Law Center, is now the Republican nominee for the Senate. And he defeated incumbent Senator Luther Strange despite Strange being endorsed by President Donald J. Trump himself.... Even before Trump’s inauguration, when there were troubling signs the new President was surrounding himself with the Republican Establishment, it was clear that the President’s supporters would need to rise against Trump in his own name. The victory of Roy Moore is the best example so far of how this insurgency will play out.

And most importantly, it shows how the populist and nationalist movement is larger than Trump himself.

Trump’s advisors seem to know this. In the Fox News interview referenced above, Dr. Gorka claimed “no one voted for Trump, we voted for his agenda.” And during his speech in support of Moore, Bannon referenced Jeff Sessions, not Trump, as the “spiritual father of the populist and nationalist movement.”

But does Trump himself know this? Already, the Main Stream Media is trying to present this as a devastating defeat for the president personally. The New York Times kvetched about Moore’s social views and sneered that his victory “demonstrated in stark terms the limits of Mr. Trump’s clout” [Roy Moore Wins Senate G.O.P. Runoff in Alabama, by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, September 26, 2017]. Jason Le Miere at Newsweek suggested Trump had suffered his first major political defeat at the ballot box and hinted his political weakness could trigger his impeachment. [How Alabama Senate Election Results Could Trigger Trump’s Impeachment, September 26, 2017]

This wildly overstates the case. Trump had hedged his bets, suggesting at one point he made a “mistake” in endorsing Strange [Trump supports Strange, but says it may be “mistake,” Washington Post, September 25, 2017]. He also said he would “campaign like hell” for Moore if Moore won [Roy Moore: ‘I can’t wait’ for Trump to ‘campaign like hell’ for me, by Sean Langille, Washington Examiner, September 25, 2017].

It’s hardly a devastating defeat for President Trump when his supposed enemies are fanatically loyal to him and his “allies” can’t wait to stab him in the back.

People get caught up in the heat of the moment. It's easy to forget that the battles of last week, last year, and last month were, at the time, seemingly every big as important as whatever the battle du jour happens to be.

You can only ride the trends, you can't reasonable hope to control them. This is why it is foolish and futile to attempt to brand and spin and otherwise attempt to control a trend as narrative, because that is a category error. The main reason Alt⭐️Hero is going to be successful is not due to the quality of the storylines, the artwork, or the characters, but because it is in line with the winds of the zeitgeist at a time when Marvel and DC Comics are trying to fly directly against them.

If Trump is wise, he will not only recognize that he is not bigger than the movement, but that the movement is not bigger than the trend.