The next Trump will be even worse, Mike Daisey says

07.28.16
Mike Daisey
The Washington Post

With just a chair, a desk and a few pages of notes, monologuist Mike Daisey is taking on the seemingly unstoppable political juggernaut that is Donald Trump. In his one-man show “The Trump Card” (opening Tuesday at Woolly Mammoth), Daisey gleefully skewers Trump while explaining the cultural and political currents that have buoyed him to the Republican presidential nomination — including the journalists, liberals and comedians who, Daisey says, have unintentionally helped Trump all along.

So many people are already talking about Trump. What does your show add to the discussion?
 
I’m a showman and a performer. I make my living by working with pop culture, and that’s very similar to what Donald Trump does. I can see how he constructs his tricks the same way that a magician can tell how another magician works by watching them.

What are some of Trump’s tricks?
 
He will give what sounds like a very rambling speech, but his last word in almost every sentence is strong and extremely negative: Blah blah blah destroy. Blah blah blah broken. Blah blah blah ruin. They create a kind of staccato rhythm that’s hypnotic and emotionally arousing.

Trump does seem to be a more compelling speaker than most politicians.
 
He also uses a lot of rhetorical self asides, where he’ll say something and then comment on it from another person’s perspective. That’s a very good speaking technique. It’s a high-level skill, where suddenly you’re playing half of the characters. He uses it to do this hearsay thing, where you don’t actually make an accusation yourself, you just say other people are saying it — like your best terrible friend on “The Real Housewives of Orange County.”

And the more outlandish the accusation, the more attention it gets.
 
Right. It’s like a terrible curse. If he says something crazy, that’s automatically newsworthy and journalists have to cover it. That’s how he hacked the media and overwhelms news coverage by a huge margin.
 
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