Saturday, January 28, 2017

Trump as Postmodern Antihero?

Trump Towering Over Us

My cyber-friend of many a year Bill Vallicella has directed us to an article by David Ernst titled "Donald Trump Is The First President To Turn Postmodernism Against Itself" (The Federalist, January 23, 2017). The entire article is interesting in its argument for understanding Trump as a postmodern antihero, but one point especially caught my attention:
Postmodernism is the source of the emphasis that our culture puts on authenticity, and the scorn it directs towards phoniness. After all, if the only one true thing in the world is that all truth and morality are relative, then anyone who pretends otherwise is either an idiot or a fraud. Hence the contemporary appeal of the antihero, and the disappearance of the traditional hero.
This grabbed my attention, for as I see this passage, there remains a residue of a correspondence concept of truth in postmodernism, namely, a correspondence between the face one presents to the world and the person presenting that face, what the passage above calls "authenticity." We can therefore trust (or distrust) Trump to be the person he presents himself as. We can trust (or distrust) his authenticity.

But what if Trump is not a fixed factor but an unstable variable?

Such a Trump could preserve authenticity, despite quantum jumps from one position to another, so long as he maintains a correspondence between the face he presents to the world and the person he happens to be at any particular time.

What then?



At 10:08 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

Are you going to answer this question? I am dying to know!

At 10:10 AM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

One thing you seem to suggest--I think--is that after a number of transformations he could suddenly become a hero to all the people who are protesting against him?

At 10:26 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Read the article for an answer, and yes, Trump could suddenly switch if he's really a PM antihero.

Jeffery Hodges

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