A view of why Trump resonates with Republicans that are way below his money level….
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Donald Trump, Nietzschean Republican.
No, I don’t mean to imply that I think Trump sleeps with a copy of Beyond Good and Evil under his pillow. What I do mean is that Trump’s style and substance (such as it is) grow out of a view of the world that overlaps in revealing ways with the ideas of the radical German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.
Consider the importance of bluster and braggadocio for both men. Nietzsche titled his autobiography Ecce Homo — Latin for “Behold the Man,” the words Pontius Pilate used to introduce Jesus Christ to the crowd that would demand his execution. The chapters of the book are no less extravagant in their self-regard: “Why I Am So Wise,” “Why I Am So Clever,” “Why I Write Such Good Books,” “Why I Am a Destiny.”
I’m surprised Trump hasn’t written a campaign book modeled on it. Instead he sprinkles his speeches, tweets, and interviews with statements that would have made Nietzsche proud. You know, things like, “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created” and “Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault.” Perhaps if we’re lucky, Trump will collect and publish these bon mots in time for the start of the primaries. Suggested title: Thus Spoke The Donald.
Trump’s main competition for Leading American Nietzschean is Ayn Rand, the fanatical booster of capitalism who liked to treat entrepreneurs as creative geniuses deserving of humanity’s universal adulation. But there’s a big and decisive difference between Rand and Trump — and not just the fact that the latter is the real deal, a (fairly) successful businessman, rather than just someone who made a career out of flattering successful businessmen….
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