Donald Trump is the perfect American presidential candidate.
I write that without irony, for I mean it sincerely. He is perfect for us because of his perfectly American values. He does not so much reflect those values as he does incarnate them: he is Very American of Very American, as St. Athanasius might have written, had he been trying to define the Christology of the American Republican Party, rather than that of Constantinian Rome. For Donald Trump is everything that we are: our bodies, our selves, our minds, souls and hearts.
He is arrogant, believing that he alone can rescue America from its descent into a Hell where marauding bands of Mexican rapists impregnate the pure wombs of our blonde, blue-eyed daughters; where dark Muslim prayers invoke a God who is worshipped with the blood and flesh of innocents blown apart by suicide bombs; where there are no allies anywhere, but only freeloading losers, plotting to undermine our currency or steal our jobs or inject murderous drugs into our childrens’ veins. He utterly without moral awareness, incapable of even the smallest act of contrition. Confronted with the record of his previous statements or actions, he attacks those who would dare to confront him with lies of such monstrous absurdity that, in any other context, would be taken for satire.
Like him, we believe that we are always right, in every dispute with any other nation. We may behave in whatever way we choose, because we are acting in righteousness, and righteousness must never be restrained. If we torture our enemies, it is only because they refuse to answer our just questions. If our police kill unarmed citizens, it is only because of the threat to public safety those citizens posed. If we committed war crimes or used weapons of mass destruction, they were necessary to save lives. We do not invade other countries to annex them, as the Russians or the Germans do, but to liberate them from dictators and despots. If we committed genocide against aboriginal people, we did so to protect them from an even worse fate or to insure their salvation from pagan error and guttural, primitive utterances.
If the 20th Century was the American Century, then this is the Trumpian Age, where the skulls of his vanquished enemies and ex-spouses are crushed beneath his feet. We proclaim his glory day and night: “There is no God but Trump. He himself will save us, and his Tweets will endure forever.”
When Donald Trump rises to his full, towering height above us, it is easy to imagine him as Lord Sauron or that he is from some other planet, one with values far different from ours; or to blame him on “the media” or “the conservative movement,” or “the failed two-party system.” It is much harder to look at that tragic, angry mound of a man and see that we, the People of these United States of America, have created a Presidential Candidate in our own overweight, angry, nativist, arrogant and unrepentant image.
He is perfect for us.