Pundits often analogize Donald Trump to figures such as Richard Nixon and Silvio Berlusconi. Less commonly put forward are parallels between Trump, onetime owner of a pro football team, and O.J. Simpson, Hall of Fame running back and unconvicted murderer. Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi drew the comparison in a Wednesday piece.
Taibbi declared that “there's nothing wrong with calling Trump and his minions liars. They are liars,” but no one who does so should expect it to hurt Trump's popularity: “What the Trump voter will perceive instead is a whining bunch of ‘snowflakes.’ And he'll think [Steve Bannon] is right on when he calls the media the ‘opposition party.’
“The whole situation recalls America's first great post-factual tragedy, the O.J. Simpson trial,” contended Taibbi. “Apart from the monumental scale of the error -- we put O.J. in the White House this time, instead of just letting him loose on golf courses for a few more years -- that was exactly the same story of myopic intellectuals clinging to facts and rules, while scoundrels steamrolled their way to victory riding narrative and celebrity…Like O.J.'s lawyers, Trump doesn't stand and fight but continually moves the battle to a different arena, one where facts mean nothing and anger means everything.”
Do we really all have to endure Rolling Stone lecturing politicians about factual recklessness? After that entire University of Virginia "rape" debacle?
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Taibbi also likened Trump to a notorious twentieth-century politician (bolding added):
Trump is proving that if you connect with America's anger and paranoia, you can get by quite easily without facts.
Clearly, we're in the midst of a mass-hysteria movement that approaches the McCarthy era, with the caveat that our version is utterly ridiculous in addition to being terrifying…
A primary characteristic of any authoritarian situation, from East Germany to high school, is the total uselessness of facts and evidence as a defense against anything. Trump is in the White House because he and his people understood this from the start.