I tucked this Moore audio into a post last night but it deserves its own thread. Listen to it below and tell me that Trump isn’t right to want to show it off. It’s not an endorsement, but the thrill Moore enjoys at the thought of the working class taking revenge on “the system” by electing Trump, however imperfect a vehicle he may be, is visceral. Trump’s a nationalist, sort of, and Moore’s a socialist, but those philosophies find common ground in revanchism towards the elite. You can see here why Trump thought early on that he might be able to siphon off some Bernie Sanders voters from Clinton even though she’s further left than he is. He didn’t always represent the working class — his base in the GOP primaries was actually better off financially than the average American — but he’s become the champion of whites without a college degree in the general. If he or his party had a turnout operation that could go out and find the 47 million members of that group who typically don’t vote, we really would be on the verge of the biggest “f*** you” in political history.
Don’t be misled by the clip, though, into believing that Moore is a closet Trumper. I’d compare what you’re about to hear to a preacher luxuriating in the promise that the terrors of hell will be visited upon the wicked in the afterlife. To Moore, the rich are the sinners and Trump is the devil; Moore’s not pro-devil but he is pro-punishment for those who have sinned. And I don’t use that comparison lightly. Read this interview he gave recently to Rolling Stone and you’ll see that he really does view Trump as a malignant, literally sick figure. None of that comes through in the clip, but man, does it come through in RS:
I hope he goes down. I want a 50-state sweep. I want both houses of Congress back in Democratic control and I want all the “nasty” women and men to show up November 8th. Now you see what he’s done by his behavior. It’s no longer just Donald J. Trump on the ballot. Misogyny is on the ballot. Racism is on the ballot. White privilege and elitism are on the ballot. It’s not just about defeating Trump. First of all, be for Hillary. But secondly, we need to defeat not just Trump, but whatever it is he springs from; the dying dinosaurs that exist in this country who miss the old way where the white man was going to run the show. Last month, we just got the second year in a row where the majority of kindergarteners in school in this country were not white. So welcome to the new America…
But it’s not that he came in and destroyed the Republican party. He’s the natural extension of everything that they have believed in for the last 30 years. And it’s like the gene pool has got more and more depleted and you end up in a science fiction show like the one we’re in with this creature. It’s like somebody went to Dr. Frankenstein last year and said, “I need a candidate who is the embodiment of every awful male trait, every awful white man trait and every awful rich guy trait and roll that all into one candidate.”…
[H]e’s not well. I would not want to pick on him anymore. We need to stop him. You can’t have a sociopath in the White House and some will disagree with me and say, “No, Mike, you’re wrong. He is a psychopath.” I’m not educated enough to know the difference. But he’s not a well person and he needs help. And once you realize that he has a mental illness, at that point, if you’re a human being with a soul and a conscience, you want him to get help.
At one point he describes Trump voters, insofar as they want to blow up the system, as “legal terrorists,” which makes the Trump/Moore alliance … awkward, shall we say. But even if things don’t pan out for Trump next month, you can see some potential here for a more politically deft populist figure to build on what Trump’s already built in the years to come. The populist left is as receptive to anti-establishment rhetoric as the populist right; a candidate who could exploit that common ground while downplaying the cultural differences between them would have an intriguing national base. But that assumes that Trump’s base really is motivated mostly by economic grievances, not by cultural grievances. Was Trump a phenomenon because he bucked Republican conventional wisdom on protectionism? Or was Trump a phenomenon because he bucked liberal political correctness? I think the latter was a stronger factor than the former — probably much more so. If I’m right, nationalists and Berniebros are going to have a hard time getting water and oil to mix.