I have no insights into Trump. Whatever the sources of his appeal, I am utterly blind to them. Whatever he’s offering, I don’t even have receptors for. Most of my family is conservative, but they all hate him. My inside informants into the conservative mindset are therefore useless here. To me, he seems like a charlatan and a fool, in a way that is immediately, overpoweringly obvious. I know we are all rightly suspicious of universals in this day and age, but I suspect that anyone, regardless of cultural background, is fully capable of recognizing Donald Trump as a worthless blowhard.
We are dealing with a phenomenon to which I radically lack access, even indirect. And so to those commentators who say that this should come as no surprise, that this is a natural outgrowth of America or whatever other too-knowing-by-half bullshit is filling all the column-inches, I feel I must say: please, just shut up. A cartoon character, a literal professional wrestling contestant, is one economic downturn or one scandal away from becoming the president. We’re allowed to be surprised, we’re allowed to be afraid, and we’re allowed to reject the cold comfort that at least Donald Trump is a total nihilist and hence his presidency would be an exciting throw of the dice.