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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/30/17

The Fake Society That Gave Us a Fake President

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Donald Trump
Donald Trump
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More and more commentators , politicians on both sides of the aisle, and ordinary citizens are waking up to the fake presidency of Donald Trump, recognizing that our leader is woefully unqualified and unprepared to lead.

As shocking as that is, it should come as no surprise. Donald Trump's election victory was no accident, nor was it primarily engineered by him and his team. He is the beneficiary of a fake society that has been germinating for decades and has now burst into full bloom.

How did this fake society come to be and why has a large segment of the American population embraced it?

The underpinning of the fake society can be found in the vast upheavals that have injected pain, uncertainty, and fear into the daily lives of millions of Americans--upheavals that have shattered the "American dream" with little hope for many of recapturing it. Upheavals that mean fear of losing a job and being unemployable, fear of never working again for a living wage, fear of poverty, fear of a compassionless society with few and disappearing safety nets. These fears ignite the key features that define our fake society:

" Illusory beliefs and unworkable solutions that inject a feeling of power to relieve suffering from loss of self-esteem.

" Blurring of the line between fantasy and reality.

" Equating beliefs, ideologies, and feelings with facts and logic.

" Seeking feelings of security and power by devaluing and persecuting others.

" Being overly swayed by words and promises while ignoring contrary actions and the implausibility of those promises being delivered.

" Supporting illusions by embracing fake facts and rejecting the truth.

" Denigrating legitimate sources of information to empower fake facts.

" Identifying with demagogues and false messiahs who offer the illusion of power.

The roots of the fake society can be traced to the technological revolution that transformed the work world and disenfranchised large segments of the population. The modern day technological revolution started in the 1950's, picked up steam in the 1970's, and accelerated further in the 1980's, with the proliferation of the home computer.

New skills were required for emerging tech-based industries, while the old manufacturing industries found cheap labor overseas. Even those with the education and skills necessary to participate in the technology-driven work world faced constant threats to their security. Unions declined, pensions vanished, and today the rapid turnover of technologies, many with half lives of two years , has created unprecedented job insecurity. The lifetime job, common for earlier generations of workers, has largely evaporated, replaced by numerous sequential jobs and careers.

Those who could not keep up with innovations would join the ranks of the unemployed and unemployable.

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Bernard Starr, PhD, is a psychologist, journalist, and professor emeritus at CUNY, Brooklyn College. His screenplay "The Crucifixion of Truth," a drama set in 16th century Italy and Spain during the Spanish Inquisition, has been optioned for a (more...)

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