Wednesday, November 9, 2016
When you have the most powerful country economically and militarily, but you also possess a relatively dismal public school system, and a populace whose belief in fundamentalist religion rivals any third world country, the US experiment in democracy was bound to end up where it has.
Or, as Winston Churchill once said, "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."
A shameless racist with zero knowledge of the world or how government works is now in control of one of the world's largest nuclear stockpiles. He's the same freak who comes unhinged at mild criticism, seeks vengeance against anyone who dares to defy him, brags about sexually assaulting women and has a soft spot for dictators and despots.
That's not to say that Donald J. Trump is completely absent any intelligence whatsoever. He perfectly played 62 million-plus morons in the self-described greatest nation on earth, spinning fantasies about policies that even he isn't stupid enough to try and implement. Even if he really were as stupid as his claims and promises suggest, the US constitution and system of governance simply wouldn't allow many of his inane proposals to get off the ground.
No, his intelligence is of the base, manipulative, reptilian sort, which legitimizes the worst instincts in angry, bitter people. He convinces his followers that they can wreak vengeance by proxy as he describes everything in simplistic, black and white terms, lines up weak, marginalized targets, and assigns blame to others for a litany of problems that plague individuals and society.
Donnie, 'Little Fingers' Trump has tapped into the fascist, authoritarian streak that runs through the heart of the good ol' US of A. Anyone with a brain who doesn't gain their knowledge of the world solely through mainstream media knows that it makes good sense to distrust, if not fear, American power and influence. In many ways, Trump is a more logical representation of what the US has always stood for, but without the sheen of respectability and Hollywood horseshit.
But Trump was right about some of the things he said during the campaign. His claims that mainstream media was giving short shrift to the power of his 'movement' appear to have been completely accurate. The suggestion that some people were reluctant to share their true intentions with pollsters, or that pundits and pollsters simply didn't know what they were talking about, also seems to have merit.
Speaking of some of those media outlets: they have some explaining to do, and perhaps even share some of the blame for Trump's victory. Take for example left-wing media like Huffington Post, Politico and the New York Times. During the last stretch of the campaign, some of those organizations pegged Hillary Clinton's chances at winning at 98% or higher (though those predictions quickly disappeared from their sites when the results started rolling in on election night). It's not much of a stretch to suggest that those kinds of numbers helped to lull some voters into a false sense that Clinton would finally, in the end, cruise to victory.
No discussion of Trump's victory would be complete without comparisons to good old Shicklgruber. Most people are familiar with the fact that Donald Trump's grandfather changed his surname from Drumpf to Trump when he arrived as an immigrant in the US in 1885. Just a few years later, the father of Adolf Hitler changed his surname from Shicklgruber to Hitler a few months before little Adolf was born in 1889. While the change to Trump was done for purposes of assimilating, the change to Hitler was because of a local law in Germany at the time which required a person who purchased land to have their father's surname (before the name change, Alois Hitler used his mother's surname, Shicklgruber). Even in German, the surname Shicklgruber sounds somewhat absurd. Would one of history's most brutal, murderous psychopaths have ever risen to power with such a name?
Aside from that little factoid, there are other similarities. Trump will never have the same raging, hypnotic, oratory skills of Hitler, but he does seem to possess some strange pull over an audience when he is speaking. Both were ridiculed as buffoons before they took power, and both had/have explosive tempers that tried/try to mask fragile, extremely narcissistic personalities. But perhaps more than anything, the societies in which they took power were both collectively angry and looking for vengeance for perceived injustice and thus ripe for someone with such a personality to take control. I've made this comparison numerous times between Germany post World War One and the USA post-9/11.
When Trump takes the oath of office and takes up residence in the White House in January, 2017 with his decades younger, eastern European, former illegal immigrant wife and their little Slavic-faced son, it will be a surreal sight indeed. The most shockingly ill-prepared, temperamentally unfit, invincibly ignorant person imaginable will occupy the most powerful position in the world. If there's anything that can provide hope to Americans with brains and the rest of the world it is this: Trump will also be the oldest first-term president in history.
At 70 years old, heavily overweight, and possessing the tendency to lose control in the face of minor annoyances, there's a very real possibility that Trump will never live to see the end of his first term. I'm calling it: Donald J. Trump will die while serving as president of the USA before 2020. In the meantime, for yanks who have stuck the fork in the light socket to see what happens, it's time to start living with the consequences.