Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Dramatic Reading: Triggered: Donald Trump Jr: Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Cracks in the Foundation

“I love the poorly educated.”  ~Donald Trump

Lil D is very concerned with the manner in which Democrats are tending to the inherent flaws of their political “foundation.” Which he defined as:

“It built a political party on a foundation of Jim Crow-style racism, support of the KKK and slavery, and stark opposition to Abraham Lincoln. Every few decades they added a floor to that foundation. Those floors included a widespread welfare state, hindrance of businesses both big and small, political correctness, Soviet-style socialism, and Antifa. They are the party of dependence. Without that, they have nothing.”

This is hard. This is harder than I thought it would be. I’m stealing moments away in quarantine to do it and I really thought there’d be more here. 

I want to avoid making jokes like a late night host or Chapo Trap House. I’m convinced that the look-how-stupid political analysis model is beneficial to the right and has been since George W. Bush. I’m also convinced that’s the reason for the presence of the bad jokes in this book.

Chapter 3 has something like a three act screenplay structure with a flashback comprising the entirety of the second act. Act 1 is Lil D recounting his project management of the International Trump Hotel & Tower in Chicago. From this venture, he learned that foundations are important and faulty foundations are bad, like the Freedom Tower in San Francisco. 

“Today, they call it the ‘leaning tower of San Francisco’ and estimates are that it’ll take more than $100 million to fix -- not the best news for people who bought condos in the building, which have depreciated in value $400,000 on average.”

Cue the wavy screen and we’re off to, I assume, an amalgamation of summers he spent in Czechoslovakia. It was here as an adventuring five-year-old he learned the true horrors of a command economy. Apparently, the houses and buildings are very drab. There’s bread lines. Grandma and Grandpa are last in line because Grandpa won’t join the party. Also, their apartment was small. And the TV channels sucked. And…

“In Czechoslovakia, the government gave the people everything they needed to exist (barely) and then asked for a small amount of labor in return. People worked in careers that would maintain the status quo and provide for the state, and everyone made roughly the same amount of money. No one could make a higher wage just because he or she worked harder. There were no incentives, so there was no economic growth.”

I have very few tools to refute this analysis of Czechoslovakia’s economic movement. Plus, there’s very little incentive for me to do so. Personal growth? I guess. There’s certainly no monetary reason presented. See, I think when you hover between the bottom three tax brackets, money really is the most powerful motivator around. Most of the time.

Also, when people do the kind of long form video essays, like on Youtube, on topics like Lil D's book, all they do is go find someone or somewhere that has the expertise necessary to refute or clarify the statements and quote them. I bet that’s more persuasive if you've been to college or beyond. If you’re somewhat familiar with things like the scientific method, peer-reviewed journals, the differences between conjecture and theory, and keyhole essays. I believe it’s possible to view, without knowledge of the aforementioned, one person says one thing and one person says something different. As though discourse itself were made up of facts and alternative facts.

“Stupid” may be an identity. It’s possible that taking pride in a lack of formal education has become a badge of honor -- worn especially in the anonymizing mists of the internet. It’s possible that the liberal tears that are so often sought are the tears of frustration at being confronted with a deluge of inaccuracy. The conservative countermeasure to being wrong or transparent in their greed, racism, homophobia, or economics is to present so many shoddily constructed ideas that the liberal or “leftist” on the other side steams up and goes red-faced. It’s possible this is where the political game is now. 

The game forces someone into unpleasant feelings until the only refuge is numbness. Engagement may be the beginning of the losing. Because people who went to college are programmed to disabuse someone of their ignorance as quickly and efficiently as possible without regard to emotional stresses. Because that, perhaps until very recently for most, is how college gets down. It’s all about overload now.

That’s all I really have. Lil D then launches into his third act featuring the dangers of AOC, Bernie, The Squad, and Teen Vogue. Last one is not a joke. Apparently, it’s leftist propaganda for the young. I let my subscription lapse, so I can’t really comment. 

I would, however, leave you with this:

“I would help my friends pluck and butcher them--I butchered hundreds of chickens in my childhood.”

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