From David Ernst at the Federalist:
If politics flows downwards from culture, then it was only a matter of time before a politician mastered the role. Love him or hate him, Donald Trump cracked that code.
Tony Soprano, Walter White, and Frank Underwood: The fascinating antihero who has no illusions about the elite virtue signallers who deplore him:
At least I don’t pretend to be decent; you people, on the other hand, have the gall to pretend that you’re any better than I am. Let’s dispense with the fiction that you would have treated me with any less contempt if I had bothered to live up to any of your standards of decency in the first place, and acknowledge that they have nothing to do with decency per se, and everything to do with power. Your presumption of any moral superiority is a willful, bald-faced lie, and I’m going to keep calling you on that crap until it puts me in the White House.
Post-modernist ethics is merely consumer choice on steroids:
Provided that the postmodern man believes in nothing and values nothing, one wouldn’t be unreasonable in concluding that he cares about nothing. But anyone who knows postmodern man also knows that nothing could be farther from the truth.
The striking contrast of Melissa Harris Perry and other commentators mocking Mitt Romney’s family for adopting a black baby, then tearfully apologizing for it shortly thereafter, smacks of a person who isn’t so much contrite as she is ashamed: she and her colleagues weren’t really thinking when they made fun of the Romneys, and let their true sentiments show. How else could someone who unmasks the implicit racism in something so trivial as Darth Vader’s character make a mistake like that? It shows that all the righteous fury that these folks direct at other people for doing things just like this is an affectation: a contrived performance put on for other purposes.
And those purposes are?
The answer is that the postmodern man ultimately finds satisfaction in the only thing that is left for him: power. Moral superiority is an undeniable source of power over other people, and postmodernism’s moral imperative offers it cheaply to anyone who accepts its premises. The power to shut others up by merely insinuating that they are a bigot is subtle, but its potency is difficult to overstate.
But that potency is difficult to overstate only if, like the RINO squishes, one agrees to be the sucker.
Most importantly of all, Trump understood that postmodern America loathes nothing more than a self-righteous fraud. Hence his reputation for “counterpunching” when confronted with breathless expressions of “offense.” Such was evident in his response to Clinton’s “penchant for sexism” remark by bringing up her husband’s history of sexual assault. Rather than doing what was expected and taking the high road, apologizing, and moving on, Trump opted to call his accusers out for the most certain fact that their professions of moral outrage are cynical power grab and nothing more. More.
Reality check: This sounds about right. It helps explain Trump derangement syndrome. The derangees thought they owned the antihero brand but it is Public Domain. More troublingly, Ernst’s analysis shows that their fanaticism can only grow and seek new targets until their reign of terror is halted. It will not stop by itself. It can’t.
See also: Is Trump derangement syndrome about something bigger?