i think the key to trump's success, and to its limits, is that he's a man nearly entirely without ego and superego


the american political system is based on a delicate balance of a shared perception of limits not to be crossed that the republicans pretend to care about respecting and the democrats pretend to be able to enforce. throw in someone who is incapable of understanding shame, propriety, or any goals beyond putting his name on things and he will be very difficult to stop despite, or even because, having absolutely no skills beyond putting his name on things

contrariwise the reason i think bernie and corbyn both ended up ratfucked out of an incredibly near brush with power is because they actually do care about the limits — they're too nice. this is a kind of a meta way in which electoralism is a trap: someone with actual principles will not stay in the machine very long unless they also have a completely unreasoning trust that other people also do

@esvrld another factor is that anyone their age who wasn't willing to accept waiting around in the back seat for a better opportunity got forcibly retired

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