How Many Times Can History Repeat Itself as Farce?

I used to write some PA blog  articles on the general theme of "capitalism gone mad.  Today there was a news event which  raised my satirical sensibility.  Donald Trump for President? 

I first came across Donald Trump more than three decades ago  when his real estate business was buying up properties and sometimes forcing out tenants in condo conversions.  Then he became "The Donald," married to a woman named Ivana, of Czech background, who was as close to socialism as Mrs. Gorbachev(who impressed the Reagan administration when she showed them she had a credit card). 

 Then he married someone else , whose name a forget and don't want to remember, but who was young,  blond and beautiful and something of a trophy. And then he filled the gossip columns and built casino hotels in Atlantic City. (A relative of one of my family members worked for  one of those casinos – not Trump's to the best of my knowledge – got cancer, was fired, lost his health coverage, and died miserably.)

 The Donald got divorced, created a mountain of debt,  saw his firm go bankrupt, survived and became the center of a TV show that I have never watched for more than a few minutes, where people grovel before him in order to get a lucrative job.

Trump likes  to call himself a business man and he is of sorts – the kind of business man who has run the U.S. economy into the ground.  Not that I have any affection for the Rockefellers and Carnegies of yesteryear. But they did build an industrial base, used their capital to create great productive capacity. Trump's real estate and casino hotel empire increased the cost of urban property to the detriment of workers and more productive small capitalists and created  some service jobs connected to legalized vice.

But Trump is running for President and appealing to those who believe that President Obama was not born  in the U.S. Is this a publicity stunt?  In a sense, Trump has spent the last three decades as a living publicity stunt. Can Trump forge an alliance of gamblers and showgirls with "tea party" xenophobes to take the presidency and have legalized gambling in the white house? Will Camp David become a Casino hotel? Will the buildings in the federal district be turned into condos? 

Perhaps Trump will sponsor a rightwing revival of Caberet with Glenn Beck as the Master of Ceremonies and  a chorus line of stockbrokers singing "buddy can you spare a billion." Maybe he will propose to Sarah Palin as a way to unite the Republican party.  Maybe he will pledge to appoint Chris Christie Secretary of Agriculture  as the best example of what a consumer of U.S. agricultural products should be.

Important things are happening. The civil war in Libya continues; the war in Afghanistan continues; President Obama's  progressive speech on the debt  in terms of vision is still not connected to anything progressive in terms of policy. But the press is running with the Trump story.

To paraphrase Karl Marx, history does repeat itself but not exactly, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.  But what about the third and fourth and fifth times.? After Reagan and Bush, and the "Moral Majority," and the "Tea Party," and Palin, can history, or at least the history of U.S. politics, be farce without end, paid for by credit of course.

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  • Trump's antics are designed to promote his "reality" TV show where he loves to fire people. That ought to resonate well with working Americans who have lost their jobs or who fear losing their jobs in this recession.

    Posted by David, 04/21/2011 8:03am (4 years ago)

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