The discovery that an idol is, in fact, stood upon feet of clay is fairly common, if disappointing- and recent comments from KISS’ Gene Simmons seem to indicate that the rock god’s platform boots are filled with the stuff. As for specific substance, it appears that Simmons and arch-idiot Donald Trump have been wading in the same – the cement that’s lying ready to form the wall between America and Mexico.
Or at least that’s how it sounds. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the KISS frontman gave his own views on Trump, and how he has affected American politics. Simmons maintains that he does not support or endorse Trump, quickly pointing out that “He has said some very vile, unkind things”. And, while he does continue to discuss Trump in terms that do verge on admiration, to most readers reflexive disgust I would imagine, I do fully agree with him when he says “Don’t kid yourself” where Trump is concerned.
No matter how many cruel memes, articles and even app games we make, mocking Trump (or his hair), he has come too far to be ignored. Simmons describes Trump as “the truest political animal I’ve ever seen onstage,” before going on to quantify that accolade as this: “He has no speechwriters, no editing, no nothing. He’s actually on tape going ‘motherfucker.’ You cannot turn away.”
It’s not exactly surprising that a member of KISS would be impressed by the lack of censorship and the sort of shock factor that Trump represents. But either way, you can’t deny that something in Trump’s presentation has captured vast amounts of Americans. In speaking fairly pragmatically about Trump as a political figure, Simmons manages to latch onto a very likely truth. The admission that, while his envisioned America seems so obviously awful to so many, Trump has tapped into ideas that millions of people do apparently agree with.
Asserting that “he’s good for the political system,” Simmons gave the media a perfect opportunity to nail him down in camp Trump. He continues; ”The middle, the centrists, they can say, ‘What do you think of this?’ because everybody is sick and tired of being politically correct.” And there is some truth to that statement, as political parties become increasingly less defined. However Simmons’ following comment has drawn the most attention.
“Secretly, tens of millions, perhaps 100 million people may actually have some positive feelings about a wall.” Simmons is a little unclear as to whether he personally supports Trumps idea to build a wall between America and Mexico, perhaps one of Trump’s most controversial ideas to date.
“Macedonia is building a wall between Greece and Macedonia,” he continues. “There’s a wall between Israel and a neighboring country. There was a Berlin Wall. There was the Great Wall of China. So whether they’re good or bad for people, walls actually work. It’s unkind, but in terms of pragmatics, it actually works … The Pope has said the wall is unkind, but it’s interesting that at the Vatican there’s a wall. They don’t want people on the outside coming into the Vatican.”
Simmons’ view that those walls “worked” is correct is questionable. They may have served a purpose, but the purpose that these walls achieved was not necessarily right to begin with. However, I do agree that Trump is clearly saying what a surprisingly vast number of people apparently want to hear.
Something about Trump has caught America. Whether it’s his unorthodox persona and approach, his highly emotional campaigning, or his ability to dress up unpalatable policies as a kind of “I’m simply saying what you’re all thinking,” Trump’s campaign seems to offer solutions where American’s have lost faith in their political leaders. And numbers of Americans, in turn, seem to be jumping at those solutions.
Simmons maintains that “Trump is not a politician. He does not need your money, and he will speak his mind, God damn it, whether you like it or not. And he has no problem saying ‘Fuck off’… I like that, even if I disagree.” And in some ways I can see his point, the idea of an assertive and real politician is so unlike the clean-cut mouth pieces that lead politics today.
But I would edit Simmons statement to this; Trump could be good for the political system. Trump could be the catalyst for American politicians to truly fight hard for their beliefs and ideas. He could also be the threat that actually demands vanquishing. The threat of Trump’s American dream should surely be enough kill the apathy within politics, and to spark some real passion to offer up a different solution – one that isn’t half as scary.
Image via Rolling Stone