When the Dalai Lama signed on to Apple’s “Think Differently” campaign, he was noted as saying “I am what you need me to be. I am a screen saver for computers, people can use me as they want.”
If you were into “spirituality” at all, the Dalai Lama was a golden figure. Indeed, many on the progressive left, and their loudest voices in Hollywood, looked at the Dalai Lama as how an example of religion should be. Don’t ask me why, they just did.
But the truth is, Dalai Lama’s religion of Buddhism considers unholy what many on the left consider holy. He, like his religion, does not condone homosexuality or abortion, and think it bad. This is ignored, or overlooked by those who hold up the Dalai Lama as a high spiritual figure, because the brand he sold to them, and they invested in, had already become it’s own figure.
During the Trump campaign, the Republican candidate has flip-flopped more times than I can remember without the help of lists. His latest was to renounce his birtherism, which he had attacked both Obama, and even Ted Cruz consistently for. He says now that once Obama produced his birth certificate he was satisfied. This is demonstrably untrue, as Streiff pointed out earlier today.
But this matters little. Trump can adopt a host of conflicting opinions and stances, and ditch them like so much trash because he knows that no matter what, his followers will not break ranks.
Asked if she is a birther: “No. If Trump says Obama was born in America he was. Whatever Trump says is true.” pic.twitter.com/pbNKzz6kCr
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) September 16, 2016
It’s something I first noticed infect the alt-right. No matter what Trump said, or did, the alt-right had an excuse for him. They followed him in lock step, no questions asked. When I would manage to get past the smokescreens, excuses, and dodges, I would receive a similar answer to “He’s just saying what he has to to get elected, so he can get into office and enact real change. He’s not playing the Democrat’s game.”
Problem is, I would receive this answer from many different kinds of people, be it the alt-right, or Republicans of every stripe. Pro-life Republicans believe Trump is their guy despite changing his stances five times in 72 hours. Republicans obsessed with immigration still believe he has the best stance on the issue, despite the fact that he can’t seem to land on a solid one. He even adopted Jeb Bush’s plan at one point, which he is record as calling weak.
For Trump supporters, where Trump left off on an issue in the way they liked is the Trump they have in their head. He’s run nearly the entire gamut of positions, that supporters are spoiled for choice in what kind of “build your own Trump” they can craft in their minds. And the belief is that when or if he gets elected, all those flip-flops, reversals, and pivots will melt away and reveal the Trump they were supporting all along.
Trump is whoever his individual supporters need him to be.
The truth is, even Trump’s most ardent supporters have to accept this because even they aren’t sure what his positions are. No policy posted on his website can be trusted, and every position he declares may have a shelf life of a few hours. What choice do they have but to Build-a-Trump?