My greatest fear is that we have not resolved the very issues that led to Trump’s election. We have spent the greater part of the last two years yelling into a cyber hole and creating more divisions. Trump’s politics are about creating a rhetoric around his larger than life persona. What he fails to see is the consequences of that persona on the greater populace, winding the ideas of authoritarianism, autocracy, and rhetoric of division. While his base may see his ideas as fact or truth, it rarely is. However, we cannot deny that he is for his base, an expert on both his ideology and his alternative facts.
He is winning this war of ideas, though. His policies are being passed and the very people who voted for him based on remaking the Supreme Court are happy in their decision. Ignore the rhetoric, enjoy the distinct alteration of the Supreme Court into a conservative and insular body intent on upholding a stringent interpretation of the Constitution.
America is now being called dangerous, creating comparisons with undemocratic countries and corrupt regimes across the world. Are we really the country that they are talking about in the news? Is this really who we are?
While we seek to determine how rhetoric Trump espouses has changed the course of our country, historians may very well reflect that it was a blip on the radar. However, many perceived turning points in history are exactly like this, a point where a country must understand how it got to this point and what it can do.
Countries, like individuals, must come to a decision about its direction and ideologies it holds dear. While we can spend inordinate amount of time pointing out the coded language and immoral practices of the Trump administration, very few Trump supporters care. They care that their version of reality is validated through Trump’s presidency. Politics is not about who has the best ideas, it’s about who has the most persuasive argument. It’s about time Democrats took a page out of the Trump playbook and were absolutely convinced of their rightness and made no apologies about it. Or maybe we’re at that point.
No one can save America from itself. No one can predict its future. I have no words of wisdom for the time we are going through. Just that history will reflect unkindly on this period and consider it a turning point in our history, where we cease to be a nation of immigrants with an idea of meritocracy and instead, we are a nation of individuals with a chaotic and myopic view of its identity. It’s like America is reliving its adolescence without regard for the consequences.
Because no one has been able to explain or offer reason for the ascension of Trump, no one can offer an answer to what we should do. I’ll leave it up to the political operatives. But, figuring out America’s own psyche may be the first step towards finding an answer. The most important part may be unlocking America’s history for teachable moments about its future.