Matt Taibbi - Trumpism and the Future of American Politics

October 19, 2016 - Matt Taibbi 10/19/2016 Views: 25,050

Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi discusses the final presidential debate of 2016 and argues that Donald Trump's influence on politics will last long after the election. (4:07)

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Please welcome Matt Taibbi.

(applause, cheering)

Thank you so much, sir.

-Thank you for being here.-Thank you for having me on.

You've written some fantasticarticles about this.

You just watched the debate.

Would you agree this seemed likea pre-Trump era debate?

Yeah, I mean,

I think about 15 or 20 minutesinto it,

I kind of found myselfnodding off,

and I realized this is likeevery presidential debate

I ever experienced before Trumpwas a presidential candidate.

-I feel like he's gotten usaddicted to that. -Right.

It's like we-we got the sugar,we got the sugar.

Now we don't know what a normaldebate is supposed to be.

Right. We're never gonna know

what it's like againafter this election.

Yeah, it's like, why-why are younot fighting?

-Come on, come on.-Right, right.

Looking at the debate and whatthe people were talking about,

then when you lookat the candidates,

uh, Hillary,sticking to her message.

Trump, sticking to...at some point

it was just like talking pointversus talking point.

Nothing new coming up.

Right. Yeah, and I'm sure,as a comedian

you can appreciate this.

I think they were justout of material at this point.

-They're saying...-Why would I appreciate this?

(laughter)

Not you personally.

But, yeah, no. They're sayingthe saying the same things

over and over again.

And, you know, as someonewho's followed Trump around

on the campaign trail, I mean,how many times

can he talk abouthow Hillary's created ISIS,

and how many timescan she say that, you know,

he's saying "make America greatagain," it already is great.

I mean, we've heard this stuff500 times before.

We're all gonna be so gladwhen this is over.

Yeah, now, you-you are someonewho's in a unique position

because you havefollowed Trump around.

In fact,you have an amazing article

in-in the Rolling Stone Magazine.

I think we've got the imagethat you had

that accompanies that article.

-That's a powerful...-(audience exclaiming)

That is a powerful image,it really is.

And it sums up everythingthat seems to be happening.

Why did you go with that image?

Uh, well, that's ourillustrator, Victor Juhasz.

He was actually listening toSchubert's, Death and the Maiden

while he was, uh, tryingto think of an idea,

and there's actuallya famous statute

-that looks just like that.-Yeah.

And he just slid the hand upa little bit more, uh,

-for the illustration.-But, it, it...

It feels like that is what Trumpis doing to America as a whole.

He is-- he's just foregoingall of the rules.

-All of the-- I mean...-Right.

The fact that he said,"I may not accept the results,"

where does America gofrom there?

It's an unbelievable thingthat he said and it's funny.

This is sort of the primarything I think

that is Trump's fatal flaw,

is that he can't stop beinga reality star.

I mean, if you were a realitytelevision star,

that's exactly what you wouldwant to do

-to promote the final episode.-Yeah.

But this isn't a TV show;it's real life.

Uh, and so, he's cre...

This is a problem he's hadthroughout the entire race.

In the beginning,it really helped him,

'cause it got him a lotof free coverage,

but now he just can't get outof the mode

of getting free coverageall the time,

and saying crazy thingsto stir up attention.

He doesn't know how--that this is a real thing,

and it's not a game and, uh,I think that's a real problem.

You-you have a quotethat I want to read here.

This was, this wasfrom that article.

Honestly, amazing.

You said, "Trump can't win, ournational experiment can't end,

"because one aging narcissistgot bored of sex and food.

"Not even America deserves that,

"but that doesn't meanwe come out ahead.

"We're more divided than ever,sicker than ever,

"dumber than ever, and there'sno reason to think

-it won't be worsethe next time." -Right.

Do you really think that thisis just the beginning

of Trumpisms in politics?

I mean, how can you-- how do yousee it getting better from here?

I mean, we-we set the bar so low

for our politicsin this election.

It's just really hard to imagineus bouncing back

to a more rational, thought-outdebate in the next election.

I think, uh,we've-we've set the bar,

that this is what it's goingto be from now on,

and that's-that's-- and it's,uh, it's really depressing.

It's also interesting, you know,in your article you said

that Donald Trump set outto do something

and that wasdestroy the establishment.

And in many ways he mayhave galvanized it

more than anyone elsecould have.

Right, right.

He's totally delegitimizedprotest and dissent of any kind.

Uh, now, basically,after he loses this election,

which I'm sure he's going to,

the answer to any questionyou're going to have

about your leaders from now on,

-is would you rather have Trumpas president? -Yeah.

And that's what we're gonna hearfor the next four years,

probably,maybe even eight years.

And that's now what heset out to do.

He set out to wreck the system,

instead, the system is gonna bestronger than ever.

I, uh, I hope you are rightin your prediction

that he will lose, uh,because if he does not,

then, um, you guys will bemoving to Africa with me.

(laughing): That's right,I'll be joining you.