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Democracy Is Not For Children

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Michael Roberts       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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Now I don't know about you but I am just about tired of the constant hypocritical hyperbole that is directing the national political discourse. Much was made of Hillary Rodham Clinton referring or characterizing Donald Trump's supporters as a bunch of "deplorables." I happen to think that she was right on that score but no sooner than the media got hold of her statement, news anchors, commentators and reporters jumped all over it as if she'd just committed the worst sacrilegious act imaginable.

The fact of the matter is that Trump's supporters are a bunch of angry, tantrum-prone, whiny, crybabies afraid of everything. And for all their mouthy yelling about fairness, change and supporting "an outsider" and "non-politician," they are a set of disaffected and delusional, mostly white people, pining for a modern-day Messiah who will create their warped, racist version of a "new America." Unlike Trump who simply uses their fears and anxieties in hopes of winning the White House, they are a fragile, terrified bunch of people stubbornly fervently clinging to old and outmoded bygone social and political constructs.

I can say without fear of contradiction that Trump's supporters possess a fractured white (mostly male) ego, a confused understanding of American Democracy, with its flaws and all, and scared as hell of a rapidly changing nation, and the fact that they are powerless to stop that change. So they lash out and whine, gripe, and demonstrate a deliberate political blindness when it comes to their "champion Donald Trump" who "speaks their language" and is not a "corrupt politician."

But Democracy is something that grownups and sane people have to deal with and is not at all suited for whiney kids afraid of their shadows. It's definitely not for thumb-sucking infants that balk at every and all challenges and prefer to hunker down in tribal bunker communes, excluding all "others" who don't look or behave like them. So unable to find their place even in the Republican Party they have high jacked the 2016 United States presidential elections and turned it into a depressing political circus with clowns and all.

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Buttressed and buoyed by a supine and compliant media, acting like an uneducated sex worker, Trump's voters have been treated, as parents would handle an errant child screaming and yelling during a Count Dracula movie. Trump and company, rather than try and convince the scared kid that monsters do not live under the bed, and Dracula is just a made up monster, like stupid parents they simply offer a glass of warm milk and a cookie without addressing and offering a genuine solution to the problem. Indeed, this election is more about the degree of anger percolating in the American populace and the emotionally charged climate that this has spawned. Plain and simple: it's about the long-churning emotional conflicts present in the body politick.

It is the struggle between legions of dangerous juveniles exhibiting the "Chucky Syndrome" dredged with a large dose of cowardice, unfounded, irrational fears, and political myopia, against political courage and a campaign of real, pertinent issues and concerns. Both the Sanders and Clinton campaigns demonstrated that they are comfortable with change and embrace the growing and dynamic diversity of and in American democracy. For all her faults, Hillary Clinton has demonstrated that she's the adult in the room who has to battle with a spoiled petulant brat and his just as spoiled supporters.

She clearly understands that America is not the world's "lone ranger" anymore and cannot go it alone but must work with other nations (partners) in a world increasingly becoming interconnected and where nations are dependent on each other. In this regard, the grownup position is that America in this century will have to function, not just as a superpower pushing the notion that its "either my way or the highway" but as a wealthy and powerful nation leading the way in constructive integration and cooperation with other nations. Hillary Clinton and her supporters get this. Trump and his supporters would close our borders, tear up contracts and agreements with other nations and thumb their noses at international law.

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Trump's legions, composed primarily of white people, exist in a state of self-induced panic, made more acute by the delusional ramblings of their "champion." They are in a knotted fetal position on immigration, United States international trade arrangements, guilty of manufactured hate against Mexicans, completely ignorant about Islam and Muslims, crime in the United States, and national protest movements against police brutality. Trump's supporters and voters see changes taking place in the United States and the world and are so scared of this natural process that they hang on to the incoherent ranting of their anointed political messiah who offers imaginary and illusive solutions to manufactured problems. His solutions expose and demonstrate for all to see -- except his loyal blinkers-on supporters -- the pervasive and transparent ignorance of issues in general, and his adversarial relationship with the truth in particular.

From time to time both Democrats and some Republicans, afraid of Trump's angry legion, have summoned up the courage to point out the fact that Trump routinely gives simple, sound bite answers to complex questions. Observe: "Listen, folks"I will not only knock out ISIS but I am going to do it fast." And, "we should have taken the oil and ISIS would never have happened." Of course, these bombastic, bully-tinged statements never questioned or challenges by the children in Trump's corner who believe everything that "Daddy says." They have distilled and boiled down ALL of Trump's positions into one easily remembered catch phrase: "Make America Great Again." No wonder "their man" communicates with them via Twitter using 140 characters or less. Maybe that the extent of their attention or what their little brains can manage.

Still, this is indicative of a far deeper and worrisome problem in American politics today. The 2016 presidential elections are driven by a culture of fear and anxiety. Spearheaded by a 24/7-cable news cycle, the media has helped to entrench this crippling fear in the American society. Constant and unrelenting "Breaking News" brings daily mayhem, international chaos, and gory visual effects that perpetuate and instill fear in the American society -- right into millions of living rooms that is the domain of the gullible. Many of these crises are manufactured, packaged and presented and last for exactly 7 days. Today, the word "terrorism" has been so thoroughly, constantly and unrelentingly milked, abused, and misused, by the mainstream media so as to be the "catch all" descriptive blanket used to describe any act of violence by individuals or groups.

Trump and the Republican Party's "law and order" mantra are all about preying on these unfounded and created fears. To be sure there is crime, drugs and violence in American society but they certainly will not bring the country closer to the proverbial Armageddon, no matter how many media commentators shriek and yell about them, or how many involuntary convulsions the voters experience. The end result of these constantly publicized media embellished crises is that today in America 1 of every 9 people takes an antidepressant drug, a way too high percentage is paranoid and are anxious about everything under the sun. Since September 11, 2001, Americans now see threats around every street corner, and are suspicious of their neighbors, who do not look like them, speak a language other than English, and worship differently than "good Christians."

This is what drives the success of Donald Trump. He offers more dark prescriptions to the fears and anxieties of his followers rejecting and ignoring fundamental facts that prove the opposite. For example, nationally crime is down and illegal immigration is at a 13-year low, with the undocumented accounting for just 3.5 percent of the American population. Yet, ignoring these facts, Trump is determined to build a wall, a "yuge wall," to keep the monsters from out of his children's closets or under their little beds. Moreover, the likelihood that an American will be killed in a terrorist attack here in America is about 1 in 90 million. But for Trump and his followers "we're under attack."

The United States has had 78 consecutive months of steady job growth and nationally poverty, despite a long way to go still, is at its lowest rate since 1968. But listening to Trump and his warped logic America is a "Third World country" in dire and desperate need of "someone who can make deals" and "bring jobs back to America." Much to the delight and addictive suffering of his tone-deaf supporters Trump's America is the kind of thing that Alfred Hitchcock would love to write about. He presents America as a post-apocalyptic thriller, where cannibals and killers roam the streets, and scary Asian and Arab villains with long black beards extinguish innocent lives from far off palaces.

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He's been successful with promoting this mode of thinking not because it resembles reality but because it resonates and grows in the confused fever-afflicted minds of his supporters. Trump speaks at a fifth-grade level. He seems incapable of anything more sophisticated. But his juvenile vocabulary offers stylistic enhancements to the worldview he sells, and his constituents embrace it with gusto. It is the worldview of the very petrified child. You see, facts cannot compete with feelings -- especially angry feelings. Informed, educated discourse is now utterly pointless in this presidential campaign thanks to Trump and his supporters who view America and the world in simplistic terms.

For them everything is a disaster. It's the fault of the "global elites," hiding in the shadows, hatching their diabolical schemes. In America they have "rigged" the system against those who love Trump. Like their leader, they are not responsible for themselves, their actions, or their own problems. No, it's the Mexicans, immigrants, Muslims and the Chinese to blame. When things go wrong Trump and his minions simply pick a scapegoat and fall back on the their tried and true messaging -- "it's the Washington elites, Hillary Clinton is crooked and yep, "I'm going to make America great again."

Finally, Trump did not really make an incoherent mess or complete ass of himself in his debate against the much smarter, more mature, and better prepared Hillary Clinton: Nah. Not my fault. The microphone was "defective" and the moderator's questions were "unfair." And in unison Trump's children nodded and asked with tears in their eyes: "Daddy these are the bad guys?

 

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MICHAEL DERK ROBERTS Small Business Consultant, Editor, and Social Media & Communications Expert, New York Over the past 20 years I've been a top SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANT and POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST in Brooklyn, New York, running (more...)
 

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