This is a minority view but I’m increasingly convinced that Trumpism will disintegrate when Trump leaves office.

As enlightened as it seems to see Trumpism as “systemic”—as inextricable from America itself—it may be a mistake.

The news could be much better than that.
I keep thinking about how Covid-19 is not an especially evil or crazy disease. It’s just *new.* The novel coronavirus.

Our immune systems have plenty of shortcomings but they also cannot be expected to recognize (& clobber) a pathogen they hadn’t encountered before.
As Richard Rorty always maintained, systems don’t change because someone wins an argument at a seminar table or in a courtroom or on a podcast.

People keep spouting the same old nonsense (Q! Russia Hoax! Etc!) while the system changes under their feet.
Because Rorty used memes as the cultural answer to genes, he thought memes (say, QAnon or “voter fraud” or MAGA) spontaneously mutated & were either selected for or not.

Trump & Trumpism to him would have been a meme & a meme factory.
On this logic, new memes hit the culture with strategic surprise. Just as viruses or gene mutations do. Then they’re adaptive or their not, selected for or not.

The Trump meme factory—everything from MAGA to “lock her up” to Trump’s hair and ties—was a huge shock to the system.
There really has been, across the country and world, something like Trump Derangement Syndrome.
I’ve been worried that the Trump memes would be hardy & adaptive. Like Reaganism. Even those of us who strenuously oppose him wd start to say, “Well, he might be vulgar but he a good thing with taxes/the wall/putting down anarchists/etc.” The whole “Nixon did open China” thing.
To push the metaphor of the body politic (as Rorty did): the “derangement” would just get in our plasma & we’d soon call it stasis & mental health.

I was once horrified by Reaganomics & his hawkishness. But I came to see it as a legit GOP view. Not my own. But not inadmissible.
In this case, though, one term seems to have been enough to have inoculated a substantial majority of the country against Trumpist memes. He was a shock to the system; he brought derangement; but most of us, we rallied.
So of course some people are still synced with Trump’s janky coup. Many are still using the gibberish memes. But the world is changing under their feet. & a vast majority are deaf to the Q / Giuliani memes that are really just too hard to follow.
We just don’t get in the ring with them. They’re like flat-earth arguments; inadmissible. Even Trump voters don’t find them as compelling as they once did the rousing memes “build a wall” or “lock her up.”
In addition to the Trump flags in my town are also tattered black POW/MIA flags. What do they even stand for? Do people go to 8chan to obsess over all the brainwashed POWs still in Vietnam (or Korea?).

That mishegoss became so hard to follow it just collapsed as a meme set.
In replies I’m seeing people say Trumpism is the same old thing—GOP, same as it ever was. Or white supremacy, same as it ever was. I don’t think so.

I think Trump was a novel pathogen & shocking & we’ve never seen anything like him before.
As for “memes don’t kill,” that’s the point. They kill when they have the whole US arsenal at their backs. When the people shouting “Jews will not replace us” shout it while carrying guns and draped with ammo and plowing cars into crowds.
...which is why the ACLU no longer defends protestors who march with guns. Memes are memes. But armed memes are lethal.
Which is why, when Trump lacks an army & secret service & is no longer commander-in-chief—when he’s out of office in January—his memes will be a lot, lot, lot less compelling.

He’ll be raving about his 1000 Year Reich & even those who voted for him will turn the channel.
And 80 million Americans also have the antibodies to Trumpism. Even among those who voted for him just this month, one-fifth are not buying his bullhorn claim that the election was rigged.

So 20% of Trump VOTERS have already dropped TrumpISM.
I expect the wingtip redhats like Graham to accept Biden soon & distance themselves from Trump as quickly & irrationally as they Velcro’d onto him.

In 2y tops Graham will say he never supported Trump, & maybe add some face-saving thing like “at least we got Kavanaugh.”
To FINALLY wrap up: I was once a Clintonist. I thought the impeachment was a scam & his enemies ginned up “bimbo eruptions.” Then I stopped talking abt it. Then I privately rethought it. Then I dropped Clinton like a hot potato. Now ask me & I’ll say he was always terrible.
You can follow @page88.
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