Rooting out Secrets: Donald Trump, Hermeneutics of Suspicion, and Victimage

A few points about Mr. Trump. I found his response to President Obama “finally” releasing his birth certification fascinating. Here’s the clip (via Ian Awesome):

There’s his pompousness in being “proud” of himself for being the one that got Obama to release his birth certificate, but Trump’s words are more disturbing in another way: They exemplify our cultural hermeneutics of suspicion, what Jodi Dean explores in Publicity’s Secret. Essentially, the liberal ideal of the public relies on a publicity that roots out secrets. There is a never ending need for secrets, something that is ultimately destroying any ability to have strong deliberative discourse. I won’t get into Dean’s argument too much in detail here, but here’s the deal. When Trump claims that he has helped “in hopefully, hopefully getting rid of this issue,” yet it was people of his ilk that created the issue, and when he claims that “Now, we have to look at it: Is it real?” and, in another moment, raises strange suspicions about Obama’s ability as a student, we see the ceaselessness of this logic: In short, we will never have enough knowledge, and we will constantly be rooting out secrets, not trusting documents or people, and never get onto the real matters of concern.

This troubling logic is further compounded by Trump’s (and others’) victimage rhetoric, so well analyzed by the editors of The New Republic, who claim (quite rightly) that Trump represents “a catastrophe for America”.

EDIT: Also, watch this video by Baratunde Thurston and read the interview with him at the Village Voice.

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