By, Jason Taylor
Donald Trump’s message has been more about expelling and banning certain groups of people of color from the U.S., building a wall, insulting women and punishing them severely for having abortions. Expanding the use of nuclear weapons, denigrating the idea of climate change, bombing our enemies without thought to what that might mean to innocent civilians or in triggering another war. Arming citizens to be vigilantes, threatening Hillary Clinton with jail should he become President and encouraging violence against her should she become President.
Trump has tapped into the society we are behind the rose-colored spectacles and made us realize how ugly we collectively are. Even those who believe they have and share a sane level of moral values can, while mocking it, recognize Trump’s struggle with narcissism and, while seeing its vileness, even recognize his brand of misogyny. He has not caused society’s ills but poured oil on the flames and brought the primitive in us into the mainstream and hence highlighted it. Collectively we are better than Trump, but it’s also scary how primitive our society still is.
This leads me to believe that Trump’s ardent supporters are more concerned about the increasing populations of people of color, the rising tide of women in positions of authority in government and business, government programs that help people from the cradle to old age, certain groups of people who emigrate to the U.S., and the fear of that the government will take away their guns. Violence is often a self-fulfilling prophecy. Ours is a nation with a proud history of peaceful elections. Even Republicans know this election is not being stolen in any way. There will be no violence unless the violence-minded do something violent.
A house divided against itself cannot stand. — It may serve the egos of both sides to argue their own extreme points and refuses to ever compromise, but as a country, it’s hurting us. If you want to make the system work, do so from within, not through outside threats of violence and unrest. If you value democracy, then preserve it rather than being the first to leave it by the wayside when things get tough. The only way this harsh divide can be healed is through listening to each other’s needs and respectfully reaching compromises that benefit all. But, for that, you must leave your ego at the door. It may seem counter to our own cultural ideas of strength, but that is the last thing which is needed here.
While many supporters of Trump I know aren’t contemplating revolution, the attitude is not that uncommon among them. What scares me is they don’t accept the orderly operation of a democratic society. Part of electing folks is the expectation that one side will work with the other to do what needs to be done. The republicans seem to take a different approach that since their view is the “correct view” everyone should be made to abide by it. I heard one GOP congressman suggest that his definition of bipartisanship is when the other side goes along with everything they are proposing. I never hear a policy argument from a Republican, all I hear is who I should be afraid of and conspiracy theories about the democratic presidential candidate of the day. People have completely been told that the news is false and now have no information to make an informed decision.
The willingness of so many Americans to resort to violence is a symptom of decades of social dysfunction and alienation, all underpinned by the profound culture of racism that is in the very air that Americans breathe, the water that they drink and the food that they eat. Would any of this have been different if the Republicans had not spent the past eight years feeding the prejudice by insisting, explicitly and implicitly, that the first African American President was illegitimate and that Americans — white Americans, of course — needed to “take their country back.”
What is particularly ironic about this is that Trump’s supporters seem to have no idea what the man actually believes and represents. But then many of them seem to have no idea of what they, themselves, actually need. They don’t understand that the GOP ideology is exactly what has made their lives so much more difficult than it needs to be. Yet, they continue to vote against their own self-interest because they are mired in their own stereotypes and ignorance. Trump supporters have legitimate concerns but, it seems, no idea that their preferred candidate will make things much, much worse for them.
All of this poison was supported and championed by the GOP. They used the propaganda as a bludgeon. The lies became their reality. The lies gave birth to Trump. His followers hang on his every word. We are seeing the rise of a political anti-Christ. His followers will keep the faith after his passing. More wars are fought over religion than anything. Thanks GOP for your leadership.