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Explanations of Donald Trump know few bounds

The Baffler (Sam Kriss) steps up to the plate and explains,

Donald Trump is, to put it crudely, a soppy old bitch. Everything he dislikes is "nasty," every time he doesn't get what he wants it's because of people who "aren't very nice." These are the politics of civility and decorum, petit-bourgeois manners refracted through his own particular neurosis.

In his mannerisms, his gesticulating hands, his New York whine, Trump looks nothing like the conquering strongman of alt-right fantasy and liberal fears. He's turned himself into a living caricature of a garrulous Jew, the mother from a Philip Roth novel. (His own mother, Mary Trump, ran away from the prim and chilly Scottish islands to marry a rich American; she wore, in her later years, an enormous curl of golden hair that looks exactly like Donald Trump's own.)

This is--to be clear--not an attempt at kink-shaming of the sort that so many inversely uptight worthies were so quick to condemn after the story leaked. Don't laugh at the powerful fascist's embarrassing piss story; playing around with piss is perfectly fine, and must on no account ever be laughed at. And it is fine--although it's not really clear that what Trump (allegedly) did even qualifies as a kink. It's also perfectly fine to not conform to the bizarre standards of normative masculinity, to be fussy, to have been a bratty kid, to have had an awful mother. But all this must mean something. "Character-traits," Sandor Ferenczi wrote, "are, so to speak, secret psychoses." Shouldn't we want to know what secret psychoses are ventriloquizing the most powerful man in the world?

Donald Trump can't piss on the fire, and he can't set it either. All he can do is watch. Freud traces fetishism back to castration-complex and the fantasy of the maternal penis: the infant boy sees his mother naked, and sees what she lacks; unable to process sexual difference, he becomes terrified that he might be castrated too. The only way to feel better is to interpose some other object in the place of mama's missing dick. The women's streams of piss are prosthetic phalluses, the missing things that make the world whole. Donald Trump covers his buildings with pictures of piss, he watches impotent as a few hired Russian women piss on each other, piss on his enemy's bed, fill the room, the whole world, with piss and potency. And whatever happens next, however many people he kills or enslaves, that moment is the closest Donald Trump will ever come to the power he's always wanted.


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