When a sense of powerlessness has become endemic to the majority of Americans is there any wonder that a glitzy superficial appeal completely devoid of rational thought has succeeded in making Donald Trump the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States? But while the prurient interest in Trump’s hand size continues to capture the majority of “news” coverage in presidential debates, the opportunistic candidacy of a Hillary Clinton, who pledges allegiance to any idea that she thinks will get her voter support, is not far behind when all one really has to do for a reality check is look at the big money interests that continue to fund her ersatz populace campaign.
What might just account for this blurring of the line between fantasy and reality is the real degrading of most Americans’ lives witnessed by the continued shrinking of the middle class, while the rich have gotten richer in the last 7 years than they have ever gotten before.
The unbearable nature of most Americans’ powerless lives seems to have caused them to embark on one of two equally erroneous paths:
1. The group that follows Trump derives a vicarious sense of power by watching him speak with disrespect to an American political establishment that as the late comedian George Carlin said, “Threw them overboard a long time ago.” Unable to stand up for themselves in a working reality that will fire them tomorrow if they dare to complain about their working conditions or compensation, they have crossed over into a fantasy world where whether its the machiavellian machinations of a Francis and Claire Underwood in Netflix’s House of Cards or the unchallenged power of Donald Trump’s creation in The Apprentice, they have finally found an irreality where they can at least have the fantasy that they can win and that their lives will get better…not.
2. And then there’s the true majority of people be they Republican, Democrat or somewhere in between who have no sense of their own power, because a corporate owned and controlled media has succeeded in downplaying their numbers. One need only look at the candidacy of Bernie Sanders to see how this ‘left-wing ex-hippy socialist” has been painted from jump-street as not a serious candidate.
And yet, no matter how the media tries to marginalize the majority, occasionally the truth comes out. A week ago as the Republican establishment and Mitt Romney started to go after Trump, a reporter asked a Trump supporter who he would vote for if Trump didn’t get the Republican nomination? His answer was Bernie Sanders.
While I don’t seek to minimize the hate speech of a Donald Trump being used to incite his supporters against The Enemy- be he Muslim or Mexican- I think the reconciliation of the majority of those on the right and those on the left can be found in a rejection of a corporate controlled America where those in power be they Democrat or Republican now only do the bidding of their corporate masters who will quadruple the campaign financing of their opponents if they dare to question.
I was talking to my old friend Klaus today who was raised in Germany during the rise of Nazism and he said, “I’ve seen this before.” When Germans felt humiliated by being held solely accountable for WWI and the corporate class was afraid of the rise of progressive socialist ideas that sought to have a more equitable distribution of the wealth- sound familiar?- this corporate class got behind Hitler in much the same way it today uses its ownership of the media to get behind either a Trump or a Clinton to assure that whoever wins their profit agenda at all costs will go unchallenged.
But like in Germany when Hitler got power the corporate interests were not able to rein him in and we all know where that ended.