The Meaning of Trump


By  Gilad Atzmon

By Gilad Atzmon

The question regarding the meaning of Trump is unlike questions concerning the person of Trump or what the Republican candidates stands for.

The meaning of Trump is that, pretty much, half of the American people say enough is enough. Half of the American people are expressing a total fatigue of the system and their ruling elite.

In the last few weeks we learned that Trump left behind a score of offended women. He was disrespectful and grossly misbehaved, allegedly. This may tell us something about who Trump is; yet the fact that all those embarrassing revelations had zero impact on Trump’s popularity suggests that we are dealing with a force of nature. No one else in modern politics would have survived a fraction of such bad publicity. Trump may be a horrid and disrespectful human being, and yet, he appears to be invincible.

Trump is not as eloquent or as lucid as Hillary Clinton or President Obama but he manages to express in a just a few words the deepest and most profound philosophical ideas and criticisms of Western life. It was Trump who reminded us, once again, that true utopia is in fact nostalgia. Trump’s campaign slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ is probably the most profound existential rejection of the progressive delusional mantra. It is an essentialist  admission that the prospect of a better future is actually rooted in the past, in the soil, in manufacturing and agriculture — pretty much the few things from which Wall Street’s mammonites were happy to divest.

Trump hinted in the last debate that he may challenge the result of the US presidential election if he loses. “I’ll keep you in suspense,” is how he phrased it. Once again, Trump is not a philosophy graduate, yet, he manages to unleash an existential viper into the room.

Secretary Clinton and President Obama were appalled by the man who doesn’t adhere to the great American democratic tradition. They were probably correct. Trump, puts into question the entire American or, more accurately, Western paradigm. Democracy is not sacred to him – it is a means rather than the end.

Like the vast number of his followers, Trump believes that America and its democracy are currently rotten. American democracy is set up to serve its own oligarchy. It conveys the image that the dystopia in which we live is a product of our ‘free (democratic) choice’.

While Clinton and Obama communicate persuasively within the symbolic order, Trump manages to revolutionize the discourse constantly. This is a quality that is usually associated with the artist and the Athenian spirit not with real estate moguls.

But does Trump really mean what he says? Is he genuine or is he playing a game.  No one knows. But far more interesting, no one really cares and it doesn’t really matter. And this is probably the real meaning of Trump.

Donald Trump is merely a vehicle. It doesn’t really matter whether Trump will be the next president or not. The call for a radical social change has been established. It is now becoming aware of itself.

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Author Details
Gilad Atzmon is an Israeli-born British jazz saxophonist, novelist, political activist and writer.

Atzmon's album Exile was BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. Playing over 100 dates a year,[4] he has been called "surely the hardest-gigging man in British jazz." His albums, of which he has recorded nine to date, often explore the music of the Middle East and political themes. He has described himself as a "devoted political artist." He supports the Palestinian right of return and the one-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

His criticisms of Zionism, Jewish identity, and Judaism, as well as his controversial views on The Holocaust and Jewish history have led to allegations of antisemitism from both Zionists and anti-Zionists. A profile in The Guardian in 2009 which described Atzmon as "one of London's finest saxophonists" stated: "It is Atzmon's blunt anti-Zionism rather than his music that has given him an international profile, particularly in the Arab world, where his essays are widely read."

His new book The Wandering Who? is now availble at


  1. Gettysburg speech was great — WOW — where was that all this time? All of that needed to be said so he did do everyone a service. Trump delivered a inspiring moral speech of common sense! WTF I never expected him to transcend hut he did to the degree he could and to the degree that most really needed if they bother to listen. It is amazing that the ONLY problem we all have is the monetary system yet no one can really speak out against it. The intrepid people here are great writers and investigators but it all begins and ends with credit and finance…….

  2. “American democracy is set up to serve its own oligarchy.”

    But that’s always been the case. Well, had been, until recently.

    In my view, the rot isn’t in serving its own oligarchy, but rather in serving the GLOBAL oligarchy, at the expense of the national one. At the expense of national EVERYTHING. The national oligarchy at least has some common interest with the nation’s population; it needs its ‘host’, its own nation, to prosper somewhat. You shear your own sheep – you need them to be healthy, you take care of them.

    Global neoliberalism (neoliberal globalism?) changes that: now you’re sending your capital across the world; you ship factories to China, get row materials from Russia, sell in the US and Europe, and you can’t care less about the consequences to any of these places. After all, tomorrow you’ll be producing in Bulgaria and selling – I dunno – in Brazil, who cares.

    That (imo) is the problem that Trump’s revolt is addressing. If he wins and follows through, that could actually SAVE American democracy.

  3. The problem lies with Americans and the rest of the world is sick of it. Their whole existence is all about The Self and their personal enjoyment. Anything which could upset that, or contradict it is rejected. The false paradigm they inhabit is jealousy guarded against any unwarranted intrusion. Its only when it comes knocking at their door that they may awaken. And not even then – where are the 911 70k cancer victims? Doing nothing! just playing along with the Matrix because the truth is just too uncomfortable. Americans are so pathetic, perhaps its because they were Europe’s rejects, perhaps it was the brainwashing, perhaps because they interbread with Native Americans who knows? Got nice teeth though…

  4. I support the Trump phenomena as I would have supported Spartacus in his quest for freedom from tyranny.

    Here we have a brave man despite his warts who dares to defy the rotten standing order.

    Were he to disappear today, the hunger for a better world he has aroused among multitudes worldwide will rage like a massive inferno to burn down the last vestiges of the system of iniquity prevailing today.

    The Trump phenomena is the American Arab Spring and better get used to it. Tyrants of all stripes will get the whip on their butts.

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