FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

On the Devil, Trump and Getting Schlonged

Donald Trump reminds me of ethnographer Jose E. Limon’s portrait of the Devil in South Texas. He — Satan is always a man –appears when sectors of the population feel threatened by the brutal machinations of the capitalist modernity gone wild. In his book, Dancing with the Devil: Society and Poetics in Mexican American South Texas, Limon collected stories from his Mexican/Tejan@ informants of the Devil appearing at cantinas throughout South Texas during weekend dances. This particular Tejano avatar of the Prince of Lies was inevitably described as handsome, nicely attired, a good dancer, well endowed, a favorite of the ladies, and a man’s man, a real Chingon.

Enter Donald Trump into the media-managed US presidential campaign stage replete with candidates: lifelong opportunists who are elite, white, right, and uptight. Cruz and Rubio are the anemic browning of that template and not much more than that. The Devil or Donald Trump vamps on white working and middle-income fear and insecurity and revels in displaying the shit-stained undergarments of the political and media elite who have been the principle cheerleaders of destroying the economics arrangements that after World War Two produced one of the largest middle-classes in the history of the world.

The Devil and Donald Trump delight in the putatively “lower” regions of human anatomy: fecal materials, menstrual blood, penises, vaginas, etc. In fact, the economic policies of the elites in this country are creating the naked conditions that bare these bottom matters. Reality TV is the pixelated comedic opera of these deadly arrangements: the winners, the losers, the wannabes, and the aides-de-camp populate this engrossing universe of tropes and half-truths.

Another name for the Devil is Lucifer — the one who carries the light. Trump’s evil genius is that he sheds light on the actual existing system of choosing presidents and how media elites consolidate their power. His vulgarity is key to scandalizing the media elites’ upper middle-class sensibilities which never seem to extend to the criminality of the corporate lobbyist-fed political oligarchy that runs this country. Their horror rings false in the ears of the many — the non-credentialed rabble. Trump’s assertion that he would be happy to kill some journalists massages the homicidal anger that is just under the skins of many who attend his rallies and sympathize with his revanchist, populist message.

Now, let’s talk about schlongs. There is nothing wrong with schlongs or getting schlonged. Well, it does depend on whose schlong it is and the sophistication of the schlonging, I would argue, but that is another story for another day. What Trump did in his probably off-the-cuff remark was to blow a very powerful dog whistle: the matronly moralist, Hilary Clinton, was scholnged by a Black man. Consider the racist, sexist, and misogynistic registers that are mobilized by such a throw away line.

The Devil has no boundaries since his desires are as capacious as the drunken erotics that make cantinas and populist rallies cathartic spaces for those who feel dispossessed and reeling from a dignity-robbing economic system. The horror that the media and political elites emote at Trump’s pyrotechnics only consolidate his base. The Devil is working overtime these days. Trump is riding his fiery wake as far as he can.

Hillary Clinton will probably win in 2016, but Trumpism may become a fixture in US political discourse and that will have damaging consequences. God, I miss Charlie Daniels. Well, we still have Jack Daniels to soothe our political nerves and to fend off the Devil that has no need for details, just the fire of hatred and the brimstone of popular despair. That’s a stiff drink to swallow. Stiff indeed.

More articles by:

Edgar Rivera Colón Ph.D., a cultural anthropologist, teaches at Columbia University’s Narrative Medicine Program.

December 11, 2018
Eric Draitser
AFRICOM: A Neocolonial Occupation Force?
Sheldon Richman
War Over Ukraine?
Louis Proyect
Why World War II, Not the New Deal, Ended the Great Depression
Howard Lisnoff
Police Violence and Mass Policing in the U.S.
Mark Ashwill
A “Patriotic” Education Study Abroad Program in Viet Nam: God Bless America, Right or Wrong!
Laura Flanders
HUD Official to Move into Public Housing?
Nino Pagliccia
Resistance is Not Terrorism
Matthew Johnson
See No Evil, See No Good: The Truth Is Not Black and White
Maria Paez Victor
How Reuters Slandered Venezuela’s Social Benefits Card
December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
Ajamu Baraka
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Time to De-Colonize Human Rights!
Andrew Levine
Thoughts on Strategy for a Left Opposition
Jennifer Matsui
Dead of Night Redux: A Zombie Rises, A Spook Falls
Rob Urie
Degrowth: Toward a Green Revolution
Binoy Kampmark
The Bomb that Did Not Detonate: Julian Assange, Manafort and The Guardian
Robert Hunziker
The Deathly Insect Dilemma
Robert Fisk
Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Joseph Natoli
Tribal Justice
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Macdonald Stainsby
Unist’ot’en Camp is Under Threat in Northern Canada
Senator Tom Harkin
Questions for Vice-President Bush on Posada Carriles
W. T. Whitney
Two Years and Colombia’s Peace Agreement is in Shreds
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Ramzy Baroud
The Conspiracy Against Refugees
David Rosen
The Swamp Stinks: Trump & Washington’s Rot
Raouf Halaby
Wall-to-Wall Whitewashing
Daniel Falcone
Noam Chomsky Turns 90
Dean Baker
An Inverted Bond Yield Curve: Is a Recession Coming?
Nick Pemberton
The Case For Chuck Mertz (Not Noam Chomsky) as America’s Leading Intellectual
Ralph Nader
New Book about Ethics and Whistleblowing for Engineers Affects Us All!
Dan Kovalik
The Return of the Nicaraguan Contras, and the Rise of the Pro-Contra Left
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Exposing the Crimes of the CIAs Fair-Haired Boy, Paul Kagame, and the Rwandan Patriotic Front
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail