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The Scapegoat Power of Donald Trump

David Gornoski

The Scapegoat Power of Trump

Why is it that the more they impeach, indict and sue Donald Trump from every side, the more power he gets? This is a phenomenon that seems to surprise establishment Republicans, Democrats, and even Trump’s own supporters. Many have commented on how even folks eager to ride the latest ironic trends — those typically identified with the Left — have started to warm to Trump after his infamous mug shot finally arrived. Clips of Blacks in the Atlanta hood cheering in ecstasy as Trump’s motorcade passed them by after being booked in Fulton County Jail shook the chattering classes in their DC cubicles.

All of the stupor over Trump’s martyr power betrays an absolute lack of understanding of Western civilization and of the gargantuan impact the Christian Gospels have had in making it what it is today.

Before he was elected, in September 2016 I wrote a piece for The American Conservative called “Trump and the Scapegoat Effect” in which I said that “Donald Trump is the scapegoat supreme of our time.” Well before the popularization of microwaved Nietzschean Twitter philosophy, I stated in that piece that Trump’s brand evoked a “throwback to Nietzsche,” who was himself a “throwback to a ‘golden age,’ a time when pagan religion celebrated history’s winners, who were deemed right because of their might.” In a culture in which people gain social status by presenting as a victim or victim ally, overt calls for recovering a nation’s greatness are simply heretical.

In history, a scapegoat was often unconsciously selected by a community to pacify its aggression and internecine rivalries because the misfit’s mannerisms, external characteristics or isolated status in society made them an irresistible objection of fascination. The crowd, in seeking a release for pent-up bad blood, would often hurl accusations of taboo transgressions at their target in a collective fit of righteous wrath.

In archaic societies, they would often eat their scapegoats. This cannibalism I see at the very heart of the Left’s fascination with Trump — they want to be him, to be gloriously free from the shackles of the soul-sucking victim olympics and life-denying hellscape of speech codes, seed oils, and SSRIs that aspirational life has become. His refusal to apologize for anything he has done while their entire lives have been sensitivity-trained into living, breathing apologies for life itself is intoxicating to these true believers in nothing. They want to eat him.

They eat fake-bleeding sludge burgers and low flush toilet water. He eats Filet-o-Fish®. They want to eat him. He is fascinatingly other.

Christianity revealed that the scapegoat victim is structurally innocent of the crowd’s accusations. History would no longer be written as the crowd’s justification for killing, eating or excluding a common enemy. Now gods demanding blood would be revealed as victims of sacrifice — sometimes mentally retarded, sometimes deformed, sometimes young or rich, often accused of mounting a goat or a random object. Look on the top of Mount Lykaion, the birthplace of Zeus, and you will find the 3000 year-old remains of a huddled teenage boy, lit by lightning as an immortal receipt of the vitality of the Greek nobility. The glory of ancient Greece is fake and gay.

Yet Trump’s 1980s power aesthetic of “winning” stands out in a sea of sold-out politicians animated by donors for foreign wars and garbage pharmaceuticals. Trump often mentions he’s a victim of witch hunts, yet historically, witches were only burned after they were forced into a confession of guilt. Trump will not admit guilt. So his strangeness only grows in power as millions of impotent liberals covet his being. Meanwhile, as his endless trials endlessly begin, his own supporters see him as a vicarious martyr avatar onto which they can project their own feelings of being screwed over and falsely accused.

The Gospel stories of Jesus are the only media, the only art in history, that can account for this martyr dynamic. Jesus said to understand his life people should learn what the proper meaning of the old Hebrew lyric “the stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” All over the ancient world, cornerstones were ritually placed on sacrificial victims — dead or alive — at the inauguration of a new temple, city, bridge, wall, or so on. The globalists still celebrate this kind of sacrificial blessing in modern constructions, see the 2016 Gotthard Tunnel opening ceremony as an example in which dancers depict a Baphomet goat god raping the souls of actual miners who died in the construction of the world’s longest tunnel.

In rejecting Jesus’s example of peace, nonviolence, and self-emptying, the builders of his society — the religious and political — were actually crowning him the king of history. Since the Gospels’ recording of Jesus’s scapegoating as an unjust mob-murder by jealous humans blinded by their own zeal — rather than just another mythic sacrifice for gods — the unanimity and meaning of scapegoating has rapidly diminished and backfired wherever the Biblical texts take cultural root. Today in our Christ-haunted society, those individuals the public perceives to be most unfairly persecuted gain power from such treatment.

Both the left and right covet the martyr’s perch of Christ atop history. But few have the courage to bear its weight. When a person like Trump actually stands to lose their businesses, liberty, health and life in prison, yet keeps his cool and refuses to apologize, it garners that person a level of scapegoat power that is off the charts. The fact that Trump’s accusers are themselves so low — a shameless political class that has killed millions with garbage wars and garbage medical advice and trashed a beautiful country — only adds to the cultural power Trump is receiving.

At this point, the best thing that could happen to Trump is for him to spend the rest of the election season behind bars. If that happens, he might be giving his second inaugural address atop the stairs of the Fulton County Jail.

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