Jeff Goldstein does a better job than Scott Adams in unpacking the hermeneutics of Trumpism, and while Adams seems to hint that we ought to smile and enjoy the ride, Jeff Goldstein has a much better solution in mind.
In Richard Brautiganâ€™s Sombrero Fallout, the titular Mexican hat appears inexplicably in the center of a small town, having recently descended from the Heavens like some empty, woven-straw signifier. To those inclined to map teleological import to such an event, the hat is much like a Jesus-faced pancake or a Central-American statue of the Virgin Mary weeping blood; or perhaps itâ€™s the mark of an alien visitation, a gift from some far-flung taco-loving race of slightly zany oversized hat-sharers; or else itâ€™s part of some sinister government psy-op to gauge how a town, confronted by such a conveniently fraught occurrence, will react to an epistemological crisis made frighteningly immediate by the appearance of an unclaimed, unmanned Bandito bonnet. It is, in short, to them a sign rather than a signifier â€” and as such, it must be reacted to, made to mean something. The plan of the townâ€™s political bosses is to control the framing, to own the narrative it must first invent and then defend. The pols seek to determine meaning and browbeat recalcitrant apostates into joining in a united front proclaiming the portent of this sudden sombrero â€” the hope being that to define the event is to control it and somehow constrain its trajectory.
â€” Which may just be the perfect metaphor for the Trump â€œmovementâ€ and the current RNC campaign to validate it â€” from Reince to Newt to Noonan to whatever program it is that runs the Hannity talking points generator FNC props up all Max Headroom-like on the TV screen most nights â€” save the nagging regret that Trumpâ€™s YUGE Skull Island Kong Wall, had it been built just a little sooner, would have kept the filthy, rapey Mexican hat out of an American street to begin with. Because Trump, like that sombrero, is an outsized blank slate dropped in front of a gawking crowd, a gibbering physical signifier to which the hopes of needy and largely pig-ignorant voters have been pinned, the whole mess then punctuated with a signature red ball cap.
Read the whole thing.