Six months into the Trump presidency, it seems safe to say that America has never had a political experience like the one he has brought to the White House. He has sparked a stark raving mad #resistance from the left that makes Bush Derangement Syndrome look fair and balanced. The news media hang on his every tweet. Hollywood is practically self-combusting in panic and disbelief. Climate change Cassandras are melting down. Illegal aliens are feeling the heat as well. He has even thrown his own party into turmoil. All of this hysterical disarray has resulted from the impact not of a movement or a Party, but of one man, Donald Trump.
Now a new documentary offers some thoughtful commentary on President Trump’s agitating arrival on the political scene. Produced, directed and edited by Agustin Blazquez, The Trump Effect: Deprogramming the American Mind features author and filmmaker Laurence Jarvik musing upon the rise of Trump and how this iconoclastic President is changing the way Americans think about ourselves and the world. Over the course of an hour of discussion, Jarvik’s primary thesis is that Trump is dismantling the politically correct ideology that has dominated American political discourse since 9⁄11, which will lead the way to a newfound freedom and unification of a country on its way to becoming great again.
Laurence Jarvik is the editor and publisher of Penny-A-Page Press and the author of PBS: Behind the Screen and Masterpiece Theater and the Politics of Quality. He is also the director of Who Shall Live and Who Shall Die, a documentary about America’s indifference to the plight of European Jews during the Holocaust. Agustin Blazquez is the Cuban filmmaker behind a seven-part Covering Cuba documentary series and the founder of UnCovering Cuba Educational Foundation, a non-profit organization.
“The Trump effect,” Jarvik begins, “is the deprogramming of the American mind, and Trump is the Deprogrammer-in-Chief.” Since the traumatic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Jarvik notes, “Americans have somehow been programmed, indoctrinated, sort of fed a lot of fantasy ideology, whether it’s in schools, whether in the media, whether in politics,” and the brainwashing and fear induced by this PC totalitarianism is similar to being immersed in a cult. The process of breaking free from its grip is not unlike the process whereby a cult follower is deprogrammed.
Jarvik is hopeful that Trump can break this spell; indeed, he is already doing it. “The techniques Trump is using are the same techniques used by deprogrammers,” he argues. “First they have to discredit the cult leader… [Trump] did it with the Clintons and the Bushes, and he did it with President Obama.”
“The second step is to show the contradictions between what they say and what they’re going to do on a policy or action level. Again, he did that,” and “that’s where the tweets come in.” Jarvik notes that Trump uses Twitter to constantly bombard the public with information and attacks on leftist hypocrisy and policy failures.
“The third stage,” Jarvik continues,
which is the tipping point in this, is that you have to get the cult member who is being deprogrammed to recognize reality. The cult creates a fantasy world that you live in. Once the cult follower is shown the leader can’t be trusted, that the policies make no sense, and then is exposed to what reality is, the former cult person can begin to think for him- or herself. So Trump has really been carrying out this experiment and deprogramming the whole country.
In this respect, Jarvik states, “Trump, far from being a Hitler figure,” which is the left’s constant refrain, “is a liberator.” Trump’s reliance on Twitter plays into that. Jarvik observes that it’s as if Trump saw the role that social media played in the so-called Arab Spring revolution and said to himself, We can have a Twitter revolution right here in the United States. Once Trump began to dominate Twitter with his round-the-clock tweets, Twitter felt the pressure and began censoring people, exposing the left’s authoritarian impulses. Trump showed that, as the great critics of totalitarianism like George Orwell and Arthur Koestler demonstrate in their novels, all it takes is one man to lead the way in challenging the power structure, and others will be inspired to follow suit. The next thing you know, a revolution is under way.
A great many misconceptions have built up around Trump, says Jarvik, and it’s important that they be dispelled. People have to realize, Jarvik insists, that “what Trump is most of all is a realist who represents a non-ideological, practical approach that is very much in keeping with his New York business background.” As a political outsider, Trump “was the right man at the right time because he wasn’t encumbered by all the constraints that other [politicians] had.”
Jarvik makes the interesting point that Trump, having come essentially from the entertainment world, is very familiar with the left but has rejected them, like a dissident to the Party. That makes him especially hated and dangerous. David Horowitz, the left’s most despised apostate, knows this experience intimately.
As for Trump breaking the chains of political correctness, Jarvik cites an insightful example. “Nothing is more politically incorrect than beauty pageants,” which absolutely outrage feminists. “Trump is the president who owned beauty pageants,” says Jarvik, and thus Trump has, in a way, helped to usher a renewed appreciation for beauty back into a culture that has been wallowing in PC ugliness.
Noting that nothing Trump’s critics hurl at him seem to derail him, Jarvik asserts that Trump is “pretty much bullet-proof.” “If Reagan was the ‘Teflon President,’” he says, “you could say Trump is the ‘Kevlar President.’” Jarvik is optimistic that the Trump presidency will move the nation forward and ultimately even resolve our political polarization.
Check out more of Laurence Jarvik’s thoughts in The Trump Effect below, and get more information about it here.