VAL 2016 | Tror Donald Trump på vad han själv säger? Eller är det bara ett sätt att skilja ut sig från mängden och få gratis uppmärksamhet?
Frågorna blir aldrig riktigt besvarade när Michael Wolff träffade Trump för The Hollywood Reporter.
Men rubriken på hans artikel – ”Politics’ ‘Dark Heart’ Is Having the Best Time Anyone’s Ever Had” – säger en ungefär var Wollf landar i sin bedömning av Trump.
”The biggest thing is the theme. It’s what he always wants to come back to. Bigness is unavoidable and inevitable. Bigness always wins”, skriver Wollf.
Det skulle förklara varför Trump alltid pratat om sig själv. Ju mer vi pratat om honom ju mindre utrymme blir det för Hillary Clinton.
Detta kan möjligtvis kallas en valstrategi. Men en framgångsrik sådan? Knappast. Väljarna röstar inte på politiker bara för att de är fascinerade av dem.
If there’s any pattern to his conversation, it’s that he’s vague on all subjects outside himself, his campaign and the media. Everything else is mere distraction.
I broach his problems with women and Hispanics and the common wisdom that he’ll have to do at least as well with these groups as Mitt Romney did in 2012. The ”pivot” is the word more politico pros are using to refer to his expected turn to the center. ”Unless,” I offer, ”you think you can remake the electoral math.” He says he absolutely can. So no pivot. ”It’ll be different math than they’ve ever seen.” He is, he says, bigger than anything anyone has ever seen. ”I have a much bigger base than Romney. Romney was a stiff!” And he’ll be bigger with the people he’s bigger with, but also he’ll be bigger with women and Hispanics and blacks, too. He believes, no matter what positions he holds or slurs he has made, that he is irresistible.
It is hard not to feel that Trump understands himself, and that we’re all in on this kind of spectacular joke. His shamelessness is just so … shameless. So how much, I ask — quite thinking he will get the nuance here — is the Trump brand based on exaggeration? He responds, with perfect literalness, none at all. I try again. He must understand. How could he not? ”You’ve talked about negotiation, which is about compromise and about establishing positions that you can walk back from. How much about being a successful person involves … well, bullshitting? How much of success is playing games?”
If he does understand, he’s definitely not taking this bait. I try again: ”How much are you a salesman?”
Salesman, in the Trump worldview, is hardly a bad word, and he is quite willing to accept it, although, curiously, he doesn’t want to be thought of that way when it comes to real estate. But as a politician, he’s OK as a salesman.
In this, he sees himself — and becomes almost eloquent in talking about himself — as a sort of performer and voter whisperer. He is, he takes obvious pride in saying, the only politician who doesn’t regularly use a teleprompter. With a prompter, he says, you can’t work the crowd. You can’t feel it. ”You got to look at them in the eye. Have you ever seen me speak in front of a large group of people? Have you ever watched?” He reflects on the lack of self-consciousness that’s necessary to make spontaneous utterances before a crowd. He cites a well-known actor (whose name he asks me not to use, ”I don’t want to hurt anybody”), who had wanted to run for office but, without a script, was a blithering idiot. Trump was never fed lines on The Apprentice, he says. It was all him: ”You have to have a natural ability.”
The anti-Christ Trump, the Trump of bizarre, outre, impractical and reactionary policies that most reasonable people yet believe will lead to an astounding defeat in November, is really hard to summon from Trump in person. He deflects that person, or, even, dissembles about what that person might have said (as much, he dissembles for conservatives about what the more liberal Trump might have said), and is impatient that anyone might want to focus on that version of Trump. It does then feel that the policies, such as they are, and the slurs, are not him. They are just a means to the end — to the phenomenon. To the center of attention. The biggest thing that has ever happened in politics. In America. The biggest thing is the theme. It’s what he always wants to come back to. Bigness is unavoidable and inevitable. Bigness always wins.
Läs mer: ”3 key ways Donald Trump’s Hollywood Reporter interview explains his Campaign” på Vox.com.
Tidskriftsomslag: The Hollywood Reporter den 10 juni 2016.