Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Suppose Trump Starts Filling 60,000 Seat Stadiums Next Fall

When President Trump fills a 20,000 seat stadium, as he did recently in Texas, there is always a disagreement about the number of folks outside watching on the big screen. Was it 5,000 or 20,000? And are all the attendees working-class white racists, or what?

Well, obviously there has been a bit of srategery going on at Trump HQ, because today there's a piece on RedState discussing Brad Parscale's post-rally tweets.

In the matter of Trump's Friday rally in Mississippi:
So. There were 6,000 folks outside the stadium. A lot of them non-voters, Democrats, Black. Who knew?

Or the tally from the recent Dallas rally:
The thing about rallies is that they are a male thing, a calling of the clan, brought together by the clan leader.

See, what President Trump has been doing all this time is re-establishing the United States as a clan. It is a rebirth of nationalism or, as I like to say, fake tribalism. Put it another way. Humans are groupish. We are social animals, that come together because of the benefits of social ties, which include, of course, protection from dangers, natural and unnatural. And also because we feel good when we are in a group of like-minded humans.

Now, in the last few decades our liberal friends have been establishing groupishness on a different basis. For themselves, they experience themselves as a global elite. So their groupishness is supra-national. For their clients -- the folks I call "little darlings" of the elite -- they encourage race and gender identity, what you might call sub-national groupishness.

Personally, I think that the groupishness encouraged by our educated -- and, may I say, mandarin -- elite is vile and reactionary. I think that the establishment of the nation state as a dominant form of human groupishness is a stunning human achievement. Of course, it has its drawbacks, in that it encourages nation states to quarrel as nation states, and so, when nation state leaders are dumb or something, that could lead to war. But what do you want? Quarrels among princely states? Or between empires? We ain't gonna get global governance, not until the Trisolarians invade from Alpha Centauri.

What Trump has done is revive nationalist groupishness, allowing people to experience him as our great tribal leader who cares about people like you and me. Of course, it's all fake, as is all politics. President Trump doesn't really care about you and me; no more did President Obama or President Bush. But a political leader needs to be good at igniting a feeling of groupishness.

For instance: Sen. Elizabeth Warrn (D-MA). I do not think she is very good at getting people to feel groupish. Her campaign is a campaign of "my plan is..." Very good, if you are a plannish sort of person, as your educated mandarin elitist is, because every plan requires the enlistment of another regiment of mandarins to go out into America and direct traffic.

But Sen. Warren is often described as a "schoolmarm." Implicit in that description is that she does not lift any hearts. She seems to be an "eat your veggies" kind of person. She does not say that America is the greatest country in the world and the American people are the greatest people in the world. Sen. Warren is not the sort of person that you would think could fill stadiums with cheering fans.

So here is what I am wondering. I am wondering what kind of stadiums President Trump will be filling next Fall. And I'll bet that Brad Parscale is wondering that too. Should we be aiming for your average 60,000 seat football stadium? Or should he be aiming for the 100,000 seat class, like the LA Coliseum and the Rose Bowl?

I don't know. I'll leave that sort of decision to the professionals. But what I think is that half the game in politics is the enthusiasm level. Because enthusiasm is catching. Clearly, right now, when President Trump brings his roadshow into town right before an election it raises the turnout. So I dare say that come next October he and his team will be scheduling rallies in states that could go either way, and could go his way with the help of a little push on the enthusiasm front.

And it sure ain't gonna hurt if he is filling 60,000 seat stadiums with a big overflow crowd in the parking lot outside.

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