After Shock: The Triumph of Trump

 

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                                                                                                                                Donald Trump, The wealth populist

From the moment Donald Trump was on the podium with the confederation of dunces that comprised the nominees for President by the Republican Party, I knew he was not to be underestimated. Once the race started, I knew it was going to be close. Not unlike everyone, I thought Hillary Clinton would have a victory. So many of us did.

If you look at the actual popular vote, Hillary Clinton won. She had the majority of the votes. Had it not been for our outdated electoral college, all the pundits would have been accurate. In the after math of this disaster, everyone is scratching their collective heads wondering where they went wrong.

How could someone so unlikely, so raw, so brazenly offensive rise to the point of dividing an entire nation and ultimately becoming its President? It is a scenario that defies the imagination.

In another time and place, anyone spewing the rhetoric of Trump would have found their bid for public office extinguished. While the politics of the past was nasty, it was never a brutal vulgar disgusting blood sport on the same level as a roman gladiatorial fight. At the very least, those had some entrainment value. Watching our drawn out election cycle was like viewing a boring, dreary overwrought play that repeats itself until It can no more.

,… there is truth that Middle Class White America is vanishing. They are in legitimate pain and no one really gives a damn.

Interruptions, name calling, fuzzy logic, truth bending and outright open lies are the lingua franca of political discourse. Civility has become a quaint idea from a bygone era. The semblance, even the veneer, of being in an enlightened society has been shredded. Our Republic has demonstrated that it can dummy itself down to the lowest common denominator.

Amid all the deception and boorish behavior, one salient feature that most missed was the United States, for all of its political correctness, has a dark blood soaked heart that takes joy in the suffering of others. In spite of having a real African-American President, prejudice, hatred and bigotry are not dead. They are alive and well. Slavery has ended. The brutality has not.

Much ink has been spilled about “The Donald” tapping into the frustrations of a White America that feels it has been served a raw deal. While the Left hates hearing this, and the Republicans just give it lip service to secure votes, there is truth that Middle Class White America is vanishing. They are in legitimate pain and no one really gives a damn.

 

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                                                                                                                Bernie Sanders, the idealist the Democratic Party betrayed

Low wages, higher prices, home foreclosures and sky high tuition have drained Middle America of its strength. It is true. White Middle Class America is in anguish. So is Black working class America, Native American Middle Class America, Hispanic Middle Class America and on it goes.

Certainly, White America has a gripe. Now that they have found a voice in Donald Trump, who points blame at immigrants, a supposed welfare state and opportunity given to others. He has acquired a populist sentiment that hit a cord with the states between New York and L.A.

The reality is that the woes of the White Middle Class have been the result of the greatest White on White crime in history. Somehow everyone missed the mark in focusing the blame where it really belongs, abuses in the capitalist economic system, money corrupting politics and good old avarice . The hubris of America is that it is often blind to both reflection and self-criticism.

One dividing line in America that this race to the bottom made perfectly clear was that class divisions do exist. Minus titled nobility, we do have an educated class, an educated upper class and the uber wealthy, who do not see their privileged status as difficult to obtain. Our working class is stuck in the belief that one day they will be boorish billionaires.

Bernie Sanders, the most authentic of the crew, was able to round up enthusiasm and support. Unfortunately, he was undermined by a Democratic Party too insular to read the hand writing on the wall.

The American working class saw Hillary Clinton as an incomprehensible intellectual looking down on them from an Ivy League tower or Elitism. Oddly enough, the richer you become the better you are. The more educated, the more you are perceived as a snob.

This abhorrence to erudition is the undoing of a Democratic Republic. The less educated the populace, the more likely they are to make poor decisions. Even our founding Fathers and Mothers held this fear.

“The Donald” is revered because he has the “common touch.” What he has is a rudimentary command of communication that fits well with an audience dulled by poorly funded public schools and a society that is skeptical of those who think. The ugly face of America is that stupidity is considered a virtue. Erudition is not.

As the blame games begin, it is clear Hillary Clinton was far from being even remotely an ideal candidate. She carried the baggage of Bill Clinton’s failures. That was a history that was just too heavy to toss away.

But most of all, Clinton lacked both a concise message and a charismatic personality to promote her case. “The Donald,” from all his experience in front of the camera has an instinctive sense of how to sell himself and his ideas, no matter how silly they are. A gullible America was willing to buy into his fictions. They were also too eager to overlook his vulgarity and common deportment. Trump was perceived as an outsider coming to clean house in D.C.

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                                                                                                                                Hillary Clinton, the people’s choice.

Bernie Sanders, the most authentic of the crew, was able to round up enthusiasm and support. Unfortunately, he was undermined by a Democratic Party too insular to read the hand writing on the wall. Sanders could have beaten “The Donald.” The D.N.C. failed. They failed in a big way and they carry the blame of even allowing Clinton close to the campaign trail. It was an act of arrogance to think Clinton, for all her abilities, could do well in a country that was looking for a fresh face.

The true tragedy is that the disgruntled “Bernie or Bust” crowd were too depressed from disillusionment to care. Some may have gone to Trump as a screw you vote, or drowned themselves in a dose of indifference to reality and the consequences of non-participation.

Americans, as a rule, are not political people. This is a huge problem in a developed industrial power where no part of life is exempt from the influence of politics. Pericles said, in so many words, “You can ignore politics, but it will not ignore you.” It is a truth refuted on these shores out of fear, loathing and profound ignorance. We have been told to despise Government, the very cure for social immobility.

Apathy, the favorite sport of the lazy, has reared its head again. The participation was up, but the there were far too many Americans who just remained at home. Our voter turnout rate is a national disgrace.

As the blame games begin, it is clear Hillary Clinton was far from being even remotely an ideal candidate. She carried the baggage of Bill Clinton’s failures. That was a history that was just too heavy to toss away.

Then again, our wonderful system does not make voting easy. When the Supreme Court refused to support Voting Rights Acts, it basically sent a signal to the States that they had permission to do whatever they can to stop poor people, working people and any other type of people from voting. It is as if we are back to the days when only landed White men could vote and women remained home.

Our media has some blood on its hands. From abnegating coverage of important events to not so subtly pitting White American against Black America and everyone else on the planet, they have created a climate that is not only artificial, but dangerous. Any type of civil discussion of race, gender and class is turned into one big street fight.

The fact the world is complex, nuanced and requires intelligent solutions to problems does not sell. We demand quick solutions. Thinking is a demanding task that makes weary a populace with short attention spans.

The reason for the “Triumph of Trump” is surprising still. How could someone so awful, so trashy, so unfit for any public office be the Savior of lower income White America? It seems like an impossibility.

As you start to really look at America, from the most elite parts to the most downtrodden to everyone in between, the reality of America is that this was just waiting to happen.

The reasons why this travesty took place becomes clear when you do an inventory of what is wrong with America. Slavish devotion to material possessions, worship of the rich and famous, vapid values, poor judgement, lack of decent public education, low wages, gun happy police departments, politicians using race for advancement, lack of ethics, lethargy, racism, sexism, xenophobia and perhaps the worst of the lot, laziness. The important things we discard and ignore. The trivial we glorify and adore.

In spite of all of this, the ascendance of Donald Trump is a jarring thing to behold. It is a surrealist idea that gives credence to the idea that you are living in an alternative reality. One wakes hoping that this is all a nightmare. The glaring reality that this is real makes it even more unreal.

The reason why people are in a state is because so many of us believed that we operated on a higher level as a collective group that we really do. The one thing you could count on was that the system, for all of its glaring flaws, would never super nova. There was no preparation for an event like this that rocks core believes in integrity.

The fact the world is complex, nuanced and requires intelligent solutions to problems does not sell.

Idealism has been given a brutal beating. Hope is extinguished. Never has cynicism been so blatant. There is such a hollow feeling in the words, “Lets Make America Great Again.” Everything about that collection of words is trite. It is ignorant of the progress we have made, and could make. It feels like a sales pitch, not a call to patriotism. It is a marketing idea masquerading as a political one. It also overlooks one important point, “WE ARE THE RICHEST NATION ON EARTH.”

Behind the curtain, do we have a clown who will turn into a statesman, or do we have just a buffoon ready to seek vengeance? Are we are getting what we did not want or need because everyone checked out of civic responsibility?

In a Kingdom of the Blind, the one eyes is King, so the old expression goes.

Our future is a big question mark. We will see.

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