Look at this exchange caught by CBS’s indefatigable Sopan Deb from the Michael Savage radio show.
SAVAGE: Donald Trump is with us on the Savage Nation. Line 10. Donald Trump, you’re the only one who can save us from this insanity. We need you Donald. You’ve got to become president.
TRUMP: There’s no question about it. It’s horrible. What’s going on is horrible. And Hillary Clinton was there. I mean, she was there. Now she’s saying what she’s going to do. What can she do? She was there and led to the weakness of our country. And it’s disgraceful that she now talks about what she can do. She can do nothing.
Like the Skittles nonsense, it’s an embodiment of the Trump campaign: simultaneously hateful ugly and comical stupid. But look at the self-abasement. As President Obama said memorably in his convention speech, We Americans don’t look to be ruled. But a lot of high-profile Trump supporters not only hunger to be ruled but their advocacy has incorporated this hunger to be ruled into its very vocabulary. It sounds dramatic to say this. But expression of support has been channeled into an abasement or even abandonment of the self.
I’ve never heard Americans, even in late campaign partisan frenzies talk about candidates like this. And this isn’t the only example. We’re hearing many.
On the one hand, this is simply comical. We need a weird haired Reality Show clown to rule us? It’s the only way we can be saved? On the other hand, this is the subservient self-abasing mentality strongmen and authoritarian rulers cultivate and their followers adopt.