Now I know what it must be like for an alt-right devotee to have a bad acid trip. Seemingly overnight, the once solid nationalist credentials of Donald Trump have distorted into some Sgt. Pepper-like fantasy of globalism. His steadfast admiration for Russia’s strongman has kaleidoscoped into a marshmallow pie of affection for NATO. And those rotten, no-good currency manipulators in China are today as harmless as tangerine trees and marmalade skies. Even Janet Yellen, the head of the Federal Reserve — that bastion of globalist financiers — who once should have been “ashamed” of herself has now become a diamond in the sky, and the president says he may even reappoint her to another term.
Many always suspected (even hoped) that Trump’s views were not fixed, but they are clearly plasticine, subject to manipulation by those in his favor and adapting to circumstance. One imagines the majority of Americans who didn’t approve of him welcome the president’s shifts and wonder what took him so long. Many of his supporters who liked the nationalist rhetoric will probably be fine too. They probably think the media is making too much of them, and, besides, they are invested in him and will stick by him at least a little while longer.
But what of the true believers, like Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller? They must feel like the newspaper taxis have appeared on the shore, waiting to take them away. When you’re one of them, what can you do? Well, according to the song, you can “climb in the back with your head in the clouds and you’re gone.”