David Shields’ new book is organized into six chapters and sixty subsections and gets increasingly harrowing in its focus, moving from childhood to sex to media to virtue-signaling to chaos theory to “apocalypse always.” The book’s central thesis is that we have met the enemy and he is us. As daunting as that may sound, Shields’ cleverly deconstructs the idiot-savant-autocrat at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Nobody Hates Trump More than Trump: An Intervention by focusing with laser-like intensity on Trump’s fan-fiction base, and the emotional needs/moral failures of the city, country, and world that created him. The best-selling author argues that Trump loathes himself. No human being on the planet is less capable of joy or even fulfillment. This is the key connection between himself and his voters. Shields offers up a much-needed discussion on why sixty-three million Americans voted for Trump. A huge number of things we love are big, sick jokes (from WWE to horror movies to the NFL), he says, adding, the method to Trump’s madness is that in a shame culture, he’s shameless, this gives him enormous appeal and leverage to people who are resentful. The key to iconic celebrities is that they embody the culture’s contradictions, e.g., Jesus, Elvis, Madonna. Trump is a “winner” who acts like a “loser.” He’s a millionaire “schlub.” This allows him to play both ends against the middle. This is mad brilliance or lack of both. Is Trump is karmic payback for an America lost to simulacra for at least twenty years? Make sure you don’t miss the spirited conversation with David Shields on our next edition.
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