Sunday, December 11, 2016

Trump, Nero: Playing (to) the People

Nero, whom Trump resembles astonishingly, always played to the plebs. Oh, sure, they grumbled about that nasty fire destroying their slumland homes, but Nero very entertainingly killed a bunch of scruffy Christians for that, and besides they all loved his gaudy palace, his outrageous theatrics, his ostentatious vulgarity, his open mockery of the senatorial elite.

Thus, though he clearly considered them expendable and exploitable losers, he kept the "little people" on his side with handouts and spectacles, using his popularity with the mob to check the power of the patricians (because, you know, he COULD, not for any moral or ethical reason). Ultimately, though, the traditional ruling class--which had at first cravenly supported Nero (in hopes of "regularizing" him)--exacted its revenge, dumped the ridiculous showman emperor and restored government to "serious" oligarchs who didn't fiddle around entertaining poor folks.

I suspect a similar fate awaits DJT, once our political class--both Republicans and Democrats--gird up their loins and realize that they are being played, and that unless they take action, they will no longer direct the show (as they feel entitled to do); rather they will BE the show.

All very entertaining to an outside observer, I suppose. But who is outside?