Playing my Trump card
I’ve made a few veiled comments about Trump in previous posts. I hesitate to give him too much of my mental or cyber space. But I’m going to wade into the fray for just a few moments, so bear with me here.
Trump is a master at manipulating and irritating and negotiating. Trump is smart…in a way. But he’s a whiner and insults others without concern and then demands apologies when the insults are aimed at him. He’s excessively vain and very thin-skinned yet he wants to present himself as ultra-tough. (He once sued a reporter who questioned the actual value of his fortune.) He’s been pampered and protected from the world and to channel former Texas Governor Ann Richards he was born with a silver foot in his mouth. From a foreign-policy standpoint, he’s a child and an uninformed child at that. What he doesn’t know about the world political situation would fill a book. He is more dynamic but just as confused as Perot was about how government is supposed to work. He thinks he can show up in Washington and start running things like he does with his companies or did with his TV show and that’s just about the height of ignorance. Plus he is a cartoon character of the world’s idea of Americans: filthy rich, brash, unapologetic, egotistical chauvinistic bigots.
So why, we wonder is he “leading the polls” or the GOP frontrunner? That’s a good question and I’d like to offer a hypothesis or two.
White Fear and Anger
Trump has tapped into a segment (just a segment, mind you, not the majority) of our population who are angry and afraid. He is appealing with verbal superlative excesses and akimbo arms to the non-Hispanic white population and primarily the males of this segment. These are new feelings to the non-Hispanic white population of our country. Anyone female or brown has been angry and afraid for decades, hell, centuries for some. But now the white male population (once the over-powering majority) are losing that power. It’s just demographics, folks. It’s just the nature of societal evolution. I won’t bore you with the specific stats (Google it if you want details.) Suffice it to say the white male is becoming the minority in America. For the whole of our country’s history the white male has wielded his power and if you think this country is a mess you have the white male to blame for that. Only those of European descent who had a Y and X chromosome have ever had much influence in America. And when any “others” got some influence, we killed them, right? (Malcom X and MLK to name two.) So this whole Trump slogan to Make America Great Again is just a euphemism for making America what it used to be (or what some imagine it used to be.). Great? Well, powerful…wealthy…influential. We were (and in some ways still are) all of these things. “Great” is kind of an intense and potentially unrealistic word for the situation. We are young as a nation and a bit irresponsible with our power and influence. We’ve made a lot of messes. True, we helped some people and cleaned up a few messes as well, but overall we have acted out like the earth’s strongest, loudest, most spoiled adolescent. A better approach is to foster calmness and patience and maturity and perspective in our responses to the world. However, none of these qualities have ever been a part of the American psyche at large. And the few leaders who might have taken our country this direction were overwhelmed by the ignorance of the masses or killed. Trump knows that white men are afraid and angry and so he is reaching out to them like the leader at the cancer support group. Yet he is giving them false hope. Either he doesn’t know nor wants to admit that everyone in the circle will succumb to their disease. And that disease is a combination of inflexibility and power-hungry spitefulness. Being a minority and trying to legislate and control the masses with inequality and police power doesn’t build a great country, you know? Ask the former white South African government about that.
The Media Glare
Trump is a showman….no arguments there. Whatever you might think about the media they are not in the informing business, they are in the entertaining business. So when a peach-faced, arrogant, toupee-wearing, wealthy blow-hard starts talking shit about anyone not like him the cameras are going to roll. Trump is entertaining in the same way as those videos on YouTube of people falling down or crashing and breaking limbs. Cringe-worthy, but entertaining after a fashion. Understand that Trump is being seen through the magnifying glass of 24hour news content intent on shock value to keep watchers. Just as a glare can be blinding even if the light creating the glare is not too bright, Trump is no great political leader and his ideas are not new…in fact they are old and worn out. Hunkering down with guns, labeling and segregating people based on religious beliefs or racial backgrounds, building walls…none of these are intelligent solutions….just poking the bear with outrageous and unrealistic ideals. That is Trump’s MO. And the glare is far brighter than the source.
One of Trump’s greatest weaknesses is his utter disregard for (or ignorance of) the facts. America is changing. There is a reason we elected Obama two times in a row. He beat McCain and Romney by 10 million and 5 million votes respectively. If you can’t elect a true honest-to-god war hero or a devastatingly fit gazillionaire businessman with great hair…who you gonna elect? Obama was beatable in 2012. The Tea Party was rabid and growing and active and still not a chance. Why? Because when you take most all African Americans, 90+ percent Hispanics, most of the Asians, half the women regardless of race and all the LGBT community, you know what you have? A majority. This is the evolution of the country. We are getting less European white and more American brown and I’ll tell you what, it’s a good thing. The melting pot is melting together more than ever and those not willing to accept that will find themselves locked out of the political process. In fact, all we European-descended whites will finally get a taste for how the rest of America has always felt: that someone else is setting the agenda by which they were required to live. There is nothing that can stop this change. It’s not some massive political ploy or some conspiracy. Societies evolve…they morph and change. Those born in the latter 20th century will set the pace and policy for the 21st century America. It will look different just as the 20th century was drastically different than the 19th. All those still holding on to those old GOP ideas and worshipping at the feet of Reagan statues are in for some changes. Your choices are simple: rant and rave and sow discord in society by longing for the past and causing division by spewing hatred and anger or act like an adult and accept that change is inevitable. Will we all like the changes? Nah, not a chance. But I’ll tell ya, it’s funny that we think we are living at the center of history and that these are the most significant times ever and our concerns and issues are the most important ever. Well, the Romans thought that and the English thought that and the Chinese before them. This is one election cycle in just a year or two sandwiched between a couple of decades in a great expanse of many millennia. And the fact is Trump is just a little man making a little noise in a very small corner of the universe. So really, get some perspective.
Will Trump be elected? No. Will he get the nomination? No. Trump is loyal to Trump and Trump alone. He’s not a team player. He doesn’t understand that compromise is what politics are all about. And he will turn on his own party or his own supporters without a thought because he has never put the greater good before his own personal enrichment or desire. So I’m on the record. If the GOP nominates him I’ll post a retraction. But the Grand Old Party had better be ready to post a retraction as well, because if you look up “loose cannon” in the dictionary Trump’s picture is right there.