When will Trump get dumped?
I’ve written at least four scathing (what I used to call editorials – now are considered blog posts) about the rising tide of hate and racism that Donald Trump is encouraging during his rallies and the speeches he gives. Those posts were mostly written in my head, like I used to do at the paper then pour it all out onto the page. When you do that weekly, it can be cathartic, but it also can keep you wrapped up in it, paying attention and staying upset as you rehash it in your head.
As I have set fingers to keyboard, I’ve realized that I had very little new to say on Trump, as editorialists, news programs and even satirical news programs have often put things in ways that have been more interesting or more humorous than my little rant that would only be drowned out in the blaring horn of “This guy is bad news for the U.S. and us.”
Whether it’s been John Oliver’s hilarious Donald Drumpf bit, or pointing out The Donald’s tiny hands, or even Bill Maher’s rant about how Trump is a product of a society that tells every child that they are special and the Self-Esteem Movement, it has been said. John Stewart is probably kicking himself for retiring a year or so too early, as he would be destroying Donald on a nightly basis.
The scariest part has to be the comparison to Hitler and how some of the things he’s saying seem to sound very familiar… In fact, when a late night talk show host went out and repeated a bunch of quotes, which were attributed to Donald Trump, and asked these Trump supporters if they agreed with the statements, they all said yes. Once it was revealed that the statements were actually that of Hitler, they didn’t necessarily agree anymore with the content of the statement. Then again, one said that he didn’t agree if Hitler said it, but if Trump said it, he agreed.
That says it all right there. Even him asking for a pledge to vote for him came across as a Nazi salute.
At first, I thought it was funny that Trump was running for president. He was entertaining and blustery and making goofy faces and being a jerk to everyone, like Celebrity Apprentice all over again. But this isn’t a reality show; this is a job interview for the President of the United States, one of the most powerful jobs in the world. These last months was like watching a train wreck, you can’t look away, but you know if you don’t, and if everybody else doesn’t look away soon, the U.S. could be in for a very scary four years. With all his promises of building walls around the U.S., both Mexican and Canadian borders, and wanting to create a registry of all Muslims (aka Star of David), with a plan to likely kick them all out, it creates the fear in the populace that hasn’t been seen for years. Throw in xenophobic rants that have brought out the white sheets and hoods from the closet, it sure looks like the whole political landscape is taking an ugly turn.
It was entertaining early, when Trump appeared he didn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of getting the Republican nomination. Say what you want about right-wing politicians and their view of the world, but Trump makes the core Republicans look like Alberta’s NDP. Even they don’t want him to get the nomination, because the straight-laced conservatives aren’t de facto racists or bigots, they just have more conservative values. The ultra conservatives that Trump is drawing on are more of the fringe element, the angry white middle class that seem to have lost their advantage over what think is their right: American entitlement. Now that it looks like he could actually win the nomination (notwithstanding a coup at the National Convention) he could very well become the President. It’s not so funny anymore.
Remember all those “what ifs” people talk about, like if you had a time machine and you could go back and kill Hitler before his rise to power, would you do it? Would you do it when he was a baby? Would you kill him before he gets to power? Would that not have saved literally, millions of lives? Most people would agree that keeping Hitler from taking control of Germany in the mid-1930s, by using hate, nationalism, xenophobia, and promises of jobs and making Germany great again… would make the world better off. He was able to whip up the country that was down on its luck, a populace that had been suffering for a number of years after the end of the First World War. Remember, it was the Allies demanding Restitution from Germany on the backs of its people during that time that caused that anger and nationalism. The other European countries wanted Germany and the Germans to suffer for World War 1 and tried to crush their industry in the process. That bred hatred of their oppressors.
But, America is not oppressed. It is the oppressor in many ways. It has one of the largest armies in the world. Its economy controls much of world trade. Its political influence is one of the greatest of the G8. The people of America are not oppressed. They have been perhaps publicly shamed for having negative opinions by the politically correct movement, which the angry are pushing back on. They have had some rough years with job losses and a poor economy, but that seems to be getting stronger every day. The immigrant “crisis” is not about Mexicans or anyone else coming to steal their jobs. It’s a well-known and widely held belief that immigrants, specifically Mexican immigrants are doing labour that the average American believes is beneath them. The Trumpists have been led to believe that Muslims are the root of all that is wrong. Islamic extremists that have committed acts of terror have been lumped in with all Muslims. There are good ones and bad ones, just like with any other religious belief, race or hair colour.
Yet, Americans are angry. Angry at Obama. Angry at immigrants. Angry that their lives aren’t as good as they thought they should be. Angry at the fact that they are afraid. Angry people are poor communicators and even worse listeners. Their empathy is foreshortened, and they have trouble imagining the other’s point of view. If the only way people feel they will be heard is when they are angry, then our public discourse will be an arena for shouting past one another.
This is what it appears we’ve become. It’s not that we are biologically different or even have that different of what we want out of life. We want happiness, safety, security, financial stability and a good life for our children to grow up in.