History repeats itself. Every generation comes of age, and has to contend with the social mores of generations past. The rhetoric of Donald Trump is nothing new. George Wallace and Barry Goldwater were also controversial GOP candidates that fueled and fed on the fears of “Mainstream America”.
We tell ourselves that it was a different era; (yet another) ugly chapter in American history. That said, it’s hard to deny the fact that every step made to realize “The Dream” of America, is countered by a Societal “hiccup”. It’s amazing that America can breathe, with all of the hiccuping that has occurred since President Obama took office in 2009. If 2015 felt like a return to 1965, 2016 is feeling a lot like 1968.
Trump, to his credit, has been consistent with his rhetoric over the years. His disdain for Women and people of color are well documented. Donald “Da Demagogue” behaves like the rich kid all grown up. His warped sense of entitlement gives him permission to do what he likes, when he likes.
He can file for bankruptcy four times, but claim that he is a HUGE success in business. He can bring in workers from overseas and outsource the manufacturing of his apparel, but tells his supporters that he will bring back jobs from Mexico and China. He can claim that he is self funded, while accepting donations from supporters, and assistance from The Make America Great (Again) PAC.
He can boast to everyone that as a businessman, he takes advantage of loopholes that hurt American workers, but he will eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse in Washington. Who better to fix the system, than someone who has scammed it for decades. And he says this with a straight face.
The media hasn’t helped. News outlets have clung to nearly every tirade he’s had, treating them like “Must See TV”. The success of The Apprentice has only made him more newsworthy. All the while, reporters downplay his actions as “boys being boys”. Who can be surprised by what he says or does now? He appears to be on a mission to “Shock and Awe”.
Despite his words, I can’t blame Donald Trump for the actions of his supporters. The man wears his egocentrism like one of his ties – It is an accessory that appears to be part of his overall packaging. That said, Trump is not the one throwing punches. Like supporters of Bernie Sanders, Trump supporters are very passionate, but I have yet to see the activity that Trump supporters engage in at Senator Sanders’ rallies.
What is scary, is watching the rapid decay of OUR moral fabric unfold on national TV; something we witnessed in 1968. Back then, Whites sympathetic to the plight of Blacks in the South began taking a “not in my backyard” stance. They believed that their jobs and quality of life were being threatened. A great political migration ensued. Blue collar Whites in particular, in the Midwest and the Rust Belt shifted affiliation from the Democratic Party, to the GOP. “Conservatism” became another word for White rights.
I see the same trend occurring now. The election of Barack Obama had the effect of opening an old wound. Democrats do not get a free pass; Bill Clinton blew his own “dog whistle” several times during the 2008 Campaign. What is ironic, is how often middle and lower income Whites are duped into believing their adversaries are “colored people” in the same income bracket. Truth is, immigration affects Black America far more than it does White America. While poor people go to war against each other, the wealthy stay wealthy.
When Trump says that he will “make America Great again”, someone should ask: When was the last time that he thinks America actually was “great”? Was it when Blacks, LatinoLatinos, Jews and Women all knew their place? I can’t say, because “Da Donald” doesn’t speak with specificity. He is thoroughly tuned into the 30 second attention span, and offers a litany of sound bites. His supporters think they’re backing a rebel, a maverick, but he is really Dick Cheney with better hair and his own clothing line.
Comparing Trump to Hitler is wild exaggeration. Post WW1 Germany had a dynamic that allowed Hitler to rise to power. That dynamic doesn’t exist in America. Here, wealthy White people call the shots that affect middle and lower income Whites. There is NO Black, LatinoLatino, or Muslim “Boogeyman” threatening their quality of life. For the record, No White Person is entitled to MORE on the basis of being White, but that is what the undercurrent of Donald Trump’s message appears to be.
This will all come to a head, but I believe the result will not be a civil war based on race (i.e. Race Riots). I think that OUR culture will be indicted, and a more strict moral code will be put in place. I foresee something resembling a combination of what we saw on 1950’s TV and The “Future Society” of Judge Dredd. When you factor in the slashings, hit and run incidents and of course the escalation of shooting incidents, something has to give. Just like the excess of “The Roaring (19)20’s” lead to the restraint of the 1940’s and 1950’s, I believe the excess of this time will lead to a “social correction”. Remember, history repeats itself.