Post#: 222-18 – Words: 2254 – Audio: N/A
Historians, human behavioralists, political theorists, are going to be researching the Trump phenomenon for decades to come.. long after our current divisiveness chaos is gone. But we really don’t have to wait until our grandkids learn about all this in some future history book. If we withdraw our claws, retract our teeth, and unclench our fists long enough.. we might explore a little of what I am talking about here; and this just isn’t about America, but about humans in general.
When people express their individualism and even a collective diversity toward a single ideal or opinion there tends to be an awful lot of posturing and… to use a common word these days.. hyperbole, toward people who do not agree with their views. For example.. conservatives accuse liberals of wanting to destroy the Constitution, open all borders, take away all the guns, and in general not abide by the Constitution as it was written. Liberals, on the other hand, presume to think conservatives are racist, white priviledged, gun-toting right wing neo-whatevers, who favor political nationalism, protectionism, and everything in the stores needing to being made in America.
The crazy thing is, as all these populist idioms are simply extremist rhetoric that are actually used by both camps to win over people to their side of the issue. Yet these accusatory elements carry little fact. Why would any American in general want to destroy the Constitution? What American(s) is advocating opening all the borders? While many Americans would love to see no guns, who exactly is advocating removing the Second Amendment when liberals also own guns? In the same vein, are ALL conservatives racist any more than liberals? Are ALL Conservatives neo-Nazi? Are Conservatives the only people who own guns? Do all liberal/socialists want to “give everything away for free”? At best all these are exaggerated generalizations. It makes one not only question persons who might use these arguments but also any person who actually might get convinced that they are true.
Example.. one of the goofy arguments Conservatives have against Liberals is that Conservatives are more “patriotic”, and holding on to those symbols of the 1776 struggle for independence. Why is there even an argument on patriotism anyway? If we are all Americans don’t we assume we are all patriotic in some form? Don’t we all love our country? Yes.. political rhetoric always attacks the patriotism of “other side”. Pretty much a waste of time, if you ask me (and I know you’re not asking). As I have posted before… I have an anti-Trump blog because I dislike Trump as President; I’m completely focused on his behavioral inability to function in the role. I don’t hate the man and I don’t for one minute presume he does not love this country and is not personally patriotic in his own way. I have no question he will fail in the role because he brings the failure onto himself. This is not an issue of political ideology but rather behavioral social ineptitude mixed with ill-experience. Yet there are a lot of people who just hate Trump in general… if for nothing else than provoking chaos on a daily basis, loose morals with women, or his orange hair. Why is a portion of the public so gullible to actually believe all that given it’s so general an all-inclusive accusation?
Another example, and this one crosses all political divides…. politicians are crooked, they are all out for power and money, they all lie, and they are conspiratorial and form secret handshake organizations to control all aspects of society. This is closely followed by the media… liberal-biased, fake news reporting, corporate profit-mongering entities, that have their own agendas.
It’s not so much, where do people come up with garbage like this, but who honestly believes all this is true? I mean, it seems so obvious that the news itself isn’t so much “fake” as it may be simply reporting priorities (bad tends to outweigh the good in gaining more readership and/or viewers because it’s human.. and the news media does need to make a profit to exist). Well.. it’s the normal diversity of humans in general. In a lot of these accusations… there were some true experiences where people did indeed abuse power.. but to the point where it’s a rule for one side or the other is just not logical.
Could It Be Education Level Suggests Some Gullibility?
This is the big sensitivity among Americans; that education level even suggests one person is somehow “better” that the other. The existing demographic has already been established that urban folks tend to be more educated than rural folks. Part of the rural animosity in voting for Trump was fed by a growing disdain for intellectualism.. or elitism; the professions requiring degrees.. doctors, lawyers, scientists. That somehow there’s some social “privilege” going on leading to an income diversity (“Just because he/she is educated why should they have a better life than me?”).
What we are talking about here is advanced education beyond high school. It’s getting more commonplace for the four year degree… master degrees, for middle class folks. But rural folks? Especially rural folks who once made a wage economically competitive with educated folks at local unionized manufacturing plants or the mining industry that have since gone into decline for various reasons.
On the other hand… perspectives can be influenced by higher education in general. Up through high school you have the progression in reading, writing, and arithmetic followed by essentially “introductions” in the social sciences, physical sciences, and the arts. But the emphasis is on the individual student. In college the emphasis is on how the individual relates to the greater world; it’s the development of a profession… and how that profession you might have chosen fits into the broader culture. The net effect is providing the student with exposure into him or herself being part of a national or world community… as compared with lower level education satisfying development in individual basic skills to compete locally.
There is no good or bad.. or any one person being a “better” human or “better” American. It’s simply having had the opportunity to develop a perspective on a larger scale besides just self and family and community. Politically speaking this usually balances out over time with differing perspectives affecting government policies. The irony is that the vast majority (if not all) of elected officials are now degreed.. not as a matter of requirement, just by nature of the skill sets favored by most voters (we want our leaders to be intellectual and at least “sound” smart). So if you yourself are not highly educated and have a political perspective you want to see carried forward, you’re going to likely look for an educated person to represent your interests in government. The same goes for educated persons preferring an educated elected official to represent their interests.
Political opinion often time reflects our personal desire to give it any particular importance in our individual lives. For example, if you are busy taking care of family, raising kids, working to make ends meet.. you’re not giving a lot of thought to political activism, much less keeping track of your Congressman’s voting record. You’re likely not posting on blogs or engaging in other social activities because they simply are not a personal priority at the point in your life. Young people are busy with school and their social lives; newlyweds are doing just that.. starting a new life. So by and large, people normally have diverse priorities that might change often in their lifetimes.
Now, what this means is that at any given point in time much of the population.. voting population… may not have a complete grasp on issues and arguments where they can form educated decisions not cluttered with other peoples’ bias. Yet all too often, we allow ourselves to be influenced in our decisions by sources we have trusted in the past… whether they be Uncle George in Moab, Utah, Aunt Edna in London, the alignment of the moon and planets, or CNN, or FOX. Many of us simply do not have the time to become “un-ignorant” of a given issue on our own time. So.. does that make us any more vulnerable to actually give credence to the idiotic generalized political rhetoric? If I am thinking that some of those liberal ideas make sense… yet a conservative source is proclaiming over and over again that “liberals want to destroy the Constitution”… does that sway me? Conversely, if I am thinking I might want to vote for a Conservative for the Senate yet I am hearing that conservatives are neo-Nazi racists.. do I allow that to sway me?
The Trump Effect
There’s no question that Trump has displayed more into his term that he has some level of “tyrant syndrome” in his preference in doing things his own way. Tyrants in history are typically admired and encouraged in the beginning, until civil liberties and oppression becomes more apparent. Not likely Trump, or any other president-that-might-be-tyrant, would succeed very far in doing so under our current Constitution. But it doesn’t mean a person can push the envelope of democracy. But tyrants have an ability to convince a fair number of the population that only they can make their lives better. Of course, you have to develop the presumption that their lives were “not better” before. Therein is how Trump managed to attract and keep his 40% base.
A key in realizing this effect is just listening to the response of his base as they scream and clamor over Trump’s routine in meandering about verbally re-hashing old campaign rhetoric about “Crooked” Hillary… Hispanic rapists and drug traffickers “flowing” across the borders… illegal immigrants swarming across our borders like the images of all those zombies flowing over the walls in the movie, World War Z. All this nonsense palaver just engulfs completely the passions of those Trump rallyists.. sending them screaming at his every demoralizing word. I would love to think that most of those Americans are there for the entertainment value and/or simply to see a real-live President in person. He says nothing, details nothing, speaks in populist generalities… all to the cheers and screams of the unknowing masses. What makes Trump supporters seemingly so gullible.. or vulnerable, to what he says?
You ask any one of those people why they love Trump.. they will not speak specifics; they will say “liberals are ruining the country”, “Liberals want open borders”, “liberals want to take our guns”, “liberals want open borders so that immigrants take our jobs”, “the world is ripping us off in trade”. Sounds like they had to be convinced somewhere down the line that all these things were the reasons they weren’t making $50/hr. and medical bennies paid for.
BUT… there is also a segment of Trump voters who are not conservatives and many are most interested in his projection of strength, not where he stands on a particular issue. So now we have image on top of rhetoric. Certainly an overall attitude is effective to many; what I call Trump’s “F… You, I’m Doing It My Way” attitude. Essentially, “What do I need the Constitution for when I’m the President!” More like, “What are they gonna do… throw me in jail?” Many people find that cynical behavior attractive in what they perceive to be a strong leader.
This Effect Is Not Likely Going To Improve.. or Rather, Reverse
It would seem his base will follow him into the depths of hell if it came to that. I actually believe that even if Mueller says Trump’s relationship with Russia and Putin was traitorous and lists a number of illegal activities a mile long, even though he’d never be tried for any offenses as President, his base would still make Mueller the villain and defend Trump regardless what he does. Remember, Trump said it himself…. “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”
What’s really happening is more like, “I can stand in the middle of the Oval Office and work to incompetently destroy a country and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”
Vanishing White America
Herein is likely the deeper, under-the-surface real reason for a lot of Trump support with his base. The American demographic is changing and for many this brings out the racial element to all this… and it’s not just the black racial attitudes of the past. Much is being aimed at immigrants in general; a fear of Muslims as a “terrorist enemy”, and Mexicans and Hispanics and the spread of Spanish as an American “second language”… and the echos of other strange languages in our malls and on our streets.
This video snippet is just a sampling of an example of the Trump effect in action.
Just in the last couple of days FOX News Laura Ingraham spewed out a fair amount of white anxiety venom in a recent broadcast that has set social media on fire. (click on the image to watch)
Nothing of what this (alleged) “news person” is saying is true if you fact check, but it doesn’t matter to FOX News intended white audience. People are believing this.. from white evangelicals to neo-Nazis. What matters is a loss of emotional impulse control from fears of social and demographic change in America.
Is this indeed simply a reflection of human diversity.. or… is this voter gullibility?
My other sites… if you’re interested…