A Line Is a Territory

Ian Alan Paul, January, 2017

1. Trump’s power is fundamentally virtual in form.

Propose this, suggest that, lie about yesterday, declare the inevitability of that which is yet to come, retreat from one position while advancing on two more, contradict oneself, tweet about the greatest possible number of arbitrary things, attack, provoke, feign movement, never apologize or restrain oneself, hint at gesture, sound the dog whistle, appear still, expand interpretations, proliferate noise, introduce turbulence, obscure predictability in dense fogs of possibility. Trump’s power arises not from any individual act but from the multiplication of possible acts.

2. Defending truths against Trump is to mistake the present battlefield entirely.

Journalists and politicians alike are unable to meaningfully respond to, resist, or rebuke Trump because they approach him as something singular and consistent, whereas he acts multiply and chaotically. They aim to pull down something which already is, whereas Trump has already…

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