Donald Trump: Performance Artist

I’ve finally figured out what the Trump presidency really is. He seems to be far too clueless or deliberately and transparently mendacious to be a real politician – his "tax breaks for the Middle Class announcement just before the 2018 midterms were too obviously impossible, his claims that Mexico would pay for a Wall to absurd, his repeated statements that China was paying billions because of his tariffs too disprovable (and if he was simply wrong, he would’ve been corrected many times over by now).

A lot of people claim that Trump simply blundered into a presidency he didn’t expect to win and now doesn’t really want, but if that were the case he could easily invalid himself out. “Bone spurs” worked before for him.
No, there must be some other explanation. He’s a Performance Artist, the kind that bursts unexpected and unwabnted into you life to impose his sense of art upon you, challenging your expectations and values, and involving the public as part of hius performance

Performance artists, like many artists, frequently try to provoke extreme reactions among their spectators and unwilling participants. This is precisely what Trump is doing. People keep expecting him to come up with some sort of coherent presidency, but he manages to upset even many of his supporters, and he constantly changes his staff and has avoided the kinds of briefings and filling of positions that virtually everyone would think essential to a presidency. It’s the same way that many people kept expecting Andy Kaufman to act like a standard comedian, or kept watching him in the hope that there’d be a punch line or some comedic payoff, but the real joke was that there wasn’t anything. In just the same way, Trump keeps making completely absurd un-presidential tweets, appointing people devoted to destroying the institutions under their authority to key positions, coddling bigots and anti-American authoritarian dictators and making nonsensical policy decisions. I think one object may be to demonstrate how far a party will go to stay in power, but it might simply be utter nihilism. It’s hard to tell those two apart.

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This morning on Maddowblog:

Sounds like he’s been taking lessons from Robert Morse in a Guide for the Married Man:

Gotta be Performance Art. Nobody could do this with a straight face otherwise.

Explain, please?
Edited to add –

Never mind. Google is my friend:

Apparently the guy officiating Trump’s first wedding was — Norman Vincent Peale, of Power Of Positive Thinking fame.

So imagine for a moment a guy who took a self-help guide as his Bible: trying, for decades, to drown out negative thoughts while believing in the triumphant mantra he recites to himself like a hypnotist’s patter: doing his best to wish away doubt while struggling, religiously, to use enthusiasm as a magic carpet.

Could he do that with a straight face?

A performance artist does make and maintain his own reality to stay in character.

Trump never admits to a mistake, never apologizes, never accepts facts that counter his own perceptions, and always maintains his identity no matter how much it crashes and burns.

and the topper, he will never admit to being a performance artist. Not even when the US collapses around him.

Also from the Maddow Blog:

“The New Deal”
“The New Frontier”
“The Great Society”
“The Shrugged Shoulders”

It’s this administration’s strategy for everything.

Finally we have a name for it.

I guess clowns are a sort of performance artist. Even Horror-Clowns.

Nah. I got to go with Occam’s razor with Trump.

He’s just a crooked moron.

[quote=“CalMeacham, post:4, topic:825893”]

Sounds like he’s been taking lessons from Robert Morse in a Guide for the Married Man:

[/QUOTE] I liked the sketch where Jayne Mansfield misplaced her bra at Terry Thomas' house, making him age in weeks.

Still works for Donny Two-scoops if Ms. Mansfield played Stormy Daniels or a Russian hooker.

No, I can’t believe Trump is giving a performance. I don’t think he has the detachment and self-awareness. Any performer would break character when they realized the size of the role they’re playing.

I believe Trump really believes in himself. He’s completely deluded but he really does think he’s doing a great job. And he doesn’t understand most of what’s going on around him and see how it conflicts with his views.

Trump is an Ass-Clown.

If this is his Verbal Kint, I really don’t want to see his Keyser Söze.

He said “smocking gun” twice. TWICE in the same post. So it’s not a typo. Either he really doesn’t know how to spell it, or he’s performing again.

There’s a level of stupidity where you’re aware of how stupid you are. A person like that would realize they’re not sure how to spell some words and would either avoid those words, or use a spellcheck, or dictate their statements to somebody else who’s a better speller.

But there are people who fall below that level. These are the people who are too stupid to understand how stupid they are. They make mistakes without realizing they’re making mistakes.

In the past, this was known as the Dunning–Kruger effect. I suspect that in the future it will be known as the Trump effect.

Well, and it also lets [del]him[/del] his lawyer come back later and say stuff like, “… never said anything about a smoking gun!”

Timothy Snyder, emphasis added:

Believe in truth.To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.

You submit to tyranny when you renounce the difference between what you want to hear and what is actually the case. This renunciation of reality can feel natural and pleasant, but the result is your demise as an individual—and thus the collapse of any political system that depends upon individualism. As observers of totalitarianism such as Victor Klemperer noticed, truth dies in four modes, all of which we have just witnessed.

The first mode is the open hostility to verifiable reality, which takes the form of presenting inventions and lies as if they were facts…

No. A performance artist, by definition, takes an interest in probable and actual reactions other people have to his or her work.

Donald Trump is not capable of taking an interest in the probable or actual reactions other people have, because to Donald Trump, there are no other people.

We are all merely cardboard cutouts in the Glorious Donald Trump Story. Sometimes we behave the way he wants (as at rallies), but most of the time we behave really, really badly–failing to give him the praise and adoration we are ‘supposed’ to give him.

He’s not an artist. Artists may rail against their audiences, but they are aware their audiences exist.

Trump’s incapable of that.

He didn’t misspell anything. Its the laying fake news Liberal Websters dictionary that’s got it wrong.