Even the losers

A thing I think people get wrong is this idea people love Trump because they think he's a winner. They'd walk away if only he can be revealed for the loser he really is.

I think people like Trump because they know he's a loser like they often are made to feel they are too. Donald Trump is obviously a loser. But he's a loser who wins anyway, who is rich and famous and drives all the asshole winners fucking mad.

That's why the weird apocalyptic "I am your retribution" talk works. He is the dick you don’t really want to be, but that you would be if you set your resentments and anger free. His fight is, in that sense, your fight. Most of us are losers in a winner-take-all society.

The fascist aesthetic worships indomitable strength and the power to smite, sure. But people do not worship what is already theirs. They worship what they yearn to have. Fascists emphasize masculinity and masculine virtues, but haven't you met these people? Do you listen to their podcasts? Are they self-assured and self-reliant? Disciplined? To borrow their own typology, would you characterize MAGA leaders — quietly in your own minds, not as a matter of public point scoring — as "alphas" or "cucks"? They are anti-gay, but when in power they project strength in the form of cartoonish homoeroticism. We have antisemitic Woody Allen figures flaunting Rock Hudson drag. Or else their complement, armed Jezebels professing traditional values.

Trump's teflon armor comes not from the inviolability of his carefully crafted image of strength, but from the fact that when you expose him, when you reveal he is in fact just as weak and helpless and persecuted as his supporters (and many of us who are not his supporters) often feel, he never concedes, never apologizes, never backs down, always lashes out. He does not submit to the humilations we submit to, when we endure a really empathetic conversation with HR about how our remark was not up to the standards we are trying to uphold at this company. He is as pathetic as we are. He is us. But he is not so constrained.

We had the revenge of the nerds and they turned the world into a plutocratic surveillance nightmare. We are ruled by people who still think of themselves as the bullied smart kids and resent critics, despite the tsunamis of predatory cash they ride.

Now we may have revenge of the losers. I’m sure that will work out well.