Total Pageviews

Monday, October 10, 2016

Maybe Sympathy for Trump's Supporters

Let me be the first to say it: I feel sympathy for Trump's supporters. Almost. Lured by the promise of making America great again, they have cast off the chains of long held but seldom expressed sexist, racist, homophobic, and xenophobic beliefs and supported for President a man whose testosterone fueled megalomania, crass bigotry, blatant stupidity, bluster and stream of conscious monologuing have torn open the fault lines of racial divide in this country. In the process, he and they have stooped to conquer.

Unbeknownst to them, Trump's supporters (a hard scrabble lot unwilling to abandon their support in the light of, well, all negativity) have sold their souls by following a great blunderbuss who has by his words flirted with the idea of that great horror of the modern age, nuclear war. They have followed a man who views entire races inferior, religions he deems illegitimate, and the female gender serves as a mere tool to exercise male dominance. They have sold their souls to the worst in themselves at the expense of what their own Christianity teaches. Where is the appeal to the better angels of one's nature? Where is civil discourse? Where are the ideas for a better future based on facts and not emotional opinion? So where does Trump's failed candidacy leave them once he loses and they have wasted their efforts? What becomes of their lowly ideals of divide and conquer, separate and destroy, cleave and damn?

Will the demons they've unleashed shrink back into the dark corners of their psyches, or if after being exposed, will their demons scratch and claw their way at the light, darkening us all? Time will tell. What I know is that Trump's supporters are seldom capable of reflection, or if they are, they must reflect only what is worst in humanity--the fear, rage, shame, and paranoia of living amidst non-whites, immigrants, "job taking Mexicans," uppity women in pantsuits, uppity blacks, uppity Asians all of whom are nothing more than "beaners and niggers," "pussies," "dikes and kikes and camel jockeys" (Sorry for the crass language).

What I suspected back in 2015 when "Don-the-Con" descended the escalator to announce his candidacy has turned out to be the truth of his campaign: Trump's supporters were always on a suicide mission to destroy all forms of progress--social, racial, economic, spiritual. The unexpressed intentions of seeing trump as President was a dismantling, destroying. And he employed the catchy phrase, Make America Great Again, as a code for White Superiority, and perhaps, Anarchy! What is the logical conclusion when he crawls back to his tower with his tail between his legs? Armed insurrection?

God, I hope not.

So, I feel some sympathy for his supporters, the duped, but not much, for they have annihilated themselves. Making America great again should never have been about one man's quest for power, a demagogue articulating a problem that never existed except in his narrow, uneducated mind and the narrow, uneducated minds of his conspiracy theory followers. Making America great should never have been about racism, sexism, xenophobia, the detonation of humanity's core values of decency, inclusion, respect, honor, charity, faith, love, and truth. They should have realized that America was never not-great, just in transition to a better way where "Progress," in the great words of Barack Obama, "takes time and is never easy." They should have realized that America is a social and economic and spiritual work in progress that advances each year by the collective effort of its noble people, and its elected officials who must (if failing) be held accountable to the people's will. They should have realized that to put their faith and trust in a man whose only convincing argument is "Believe Me" should have not just been a red flag but a siren call to run away.  But, I get it. We live in an entertainment culture and Trump embedded the entertainer come politician. People were awed by the "something new, something different," enticed by the glamorous spectacle of the billionaire with his Stepford Wife and statuesque daughter and Patrick Bateman sons, the 1% family's family. People were stirred up to a froth by the hard-talking divisive speech, speech that was visceral, unflinching, unrepentant and ignoble, a man who spoke "from the heart," but actually from the recesses of the unbridled sub-conscious. People had found a man whose Freudian Id spoke to their own buried desires, where penis jokes and the stultification of white pride became beacons and where disparaging POW's. Gold Star families, and the disabled were fair game. Here was wealth (or the appearance of it) shouting to the commoner that the America and the world has gone to Hell. Here was a man blaming "disastrous" trade policies for the loss of jobs and opportunities while benefitting from those same trade policies. Here was a man preying on people's desires, after all he himself said in his book that he "played to people's aspirations." Here was a showman over promising, seducing simpletons with simpleton speech, asking people to "Believe Him," this Pied Piper of the lower classes, this charlatan with the orange skin and full blown hypocrisy and bad hair.

Now that his candidacy is almost over, I wonder, What's next?

I wonder, since we have sunk so low, is there a new bottom where we can sink? At the bottom of the abyss is there still a deeper, darker abyss our moral and political instruments cannot calculate, a new darkness no venerable light can possibly penetrate? So what lies beyond the black hole? And I wonder what awaits us next time around, in four years, what new demon will materialize out of our darkest shadows? What new demon lurks beneath the pits of hell of the now decimated Republican Party, the party of Lincoln that once stood for so much decency and good intention? What prowls beyond the blind patriotism of the Conservative Right whose message seems so out of touch with the modern age of egalitarianism and "stronger together"? Who will their new savior be?

I am afraid to find out. . .