Thursday, February 25, 2016

Why Americans Accept the Outrageousness of Donald Trump

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC in Washington, D.C.
A Gage Skidmore Image

“There is No ‘Other’ America”; “The Rise of Donald Trump Is a Terrifying Moment in American Politics”

Donald Trump is the greatest reality show Americans have ever seen, and America loves juicy reality shows. Americans are drawn to sensationalism, vulgarity, put-downs, and feelings of schadenfreude. Trump, as any demagogue, is very much aware of these American vulnerabilities and cognizant of the power he creates by inducing hate, fear, and racism. Trump has successfully tapped into America’s Achilles heel.

Moreover, Trump’s popularity is, to an extent, a result of voters who find the economic and political system unacceptable. They don’t perceive Trump, a non-politician, as a part of that system, but view the other candidates as a part of the system that has brought them so much dissatisfaction. On the Democratic side, the media has done a good job of labeling Clinton as a liar and someone who should not be trusted. Even though, in the United States, socialism is alive and well and has been here for a very long time, voters view Sanders’ socialistic views akin to communism, it frightens them, and therefore not a satisfactory alternative.

What is truly terrifying is we have Americans that, apparently, despite all their rhetorical fear, are willing to elect a man who has the attributes of a fascist. They readily accept the outrageous standards of Donald Trump, even when he, by insinuation, advocates shooting Muslims by bullets dipped in pigs’ blood

A Vox article says it best: “It is undeniably enjoyable to watch Trump. He's red-faced, discursive, funny, angry, strange, unpredictable, and real. He speaks without filter and tweets with reckless abandon. The Donald Trump phenomenon is a riotous union of candidate ego and voter id. America's most skilled political entertainer is putting on the greatest show we've ever seen.

“It's so fun to watch that it's easy to lose sight of how terrifying it really is.

“Trump is the most dangerous major candidate for president in memory. He pairs terrible ideas with an alarming temperament; he's a racist, a sexist, and a demagogue, but he's also a narcissist, a bully, and a dilettante. He lies so constantly and so fluently that it's hard to know if he even realizes he's lying. He delights in schoolyard taunts and luxuriates in backlash.”

To any reasonable person, if Trump walks his talk, as President of the United States he will take our country down a precarious path. The possible unintended consequences of a Trump presidency are terrifying.

© Copyright 2016 Horatio Green