How to correctly admire Donald Trump

Trump is not upon us because he’s rich or because he had a rich dad. He’s not upon us because he gamed the system or moved anyone’s cheese. His smashing success only appears sudden. In reality, it exists because he became durable.

Trump has been around the block dozens of times, and that indicates something about brands and personal branding we all fear to admit. Without staying power, branding is nothing. And staying power is unattainable without patience and time — the two things we feel too nervous, unstable, lonely, and generally panic-stricken to believe.

But wait. It gets worse. Trump has endured from a time that’s now, for more and more of us, an irretrievable prehistory — the time before identity branding took over the internet. In fact, Trump’s exercise in endurance predates the internet. When it comes to Trump’s sensationalism, new media functions as a delirious force multiplier. But today’s internet and today’s society can’t make Trumps.

Embrace the nightmare. Trump resonates with our world to the point of emanating daily shock waves because he is not of our world. He has endured for so long that a new society, our society, has risen up around him. And this one, this foreign one, is the one he can tyrannize.

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