Saturday, March 12, 2016

Trump is Not the Problem


Trump is not the problem.  He is a dangerous and foul buffoon, good for reality show ratings but in no way Presidential. 

The problem that frightens me is Trump supporters.

There is an excellent book by Thom Hartman, “The Crash of 2016.”  One concept discussed in the book is the “great forgetting.”   As Hartman describes it, every seventy years a generation ages and passes away.  People who did not live through that generation’s seminal events tend to forget about them.  To be sure people are aware of these historical events but have no personal experience with them.

You probably know by now that I refer to the Great Depression and the rise of Nazi Germany.  There was a certain loudmouth buffoon with a funny Chaplin mustache in Germany named Hitler.  He enjoyed the sound of his raspy strident voice and reveled in hate speech.  For most of his political career Germans considered him a nut and a sideshow.

Then burst on the world the Great Depression.  Germans, like people all over the world were mired in poverty and misery.  Additionally the punitive terms of the Treaty of Versailles had rankled Germans (with some justification) since the end of WW1.  The German people needed someone to Make Germany Great Again.

This is my point:  If not Hitler, there would have been someone else.  Demagogues are a dime a dozen.   Angry disillusioned people who feel marginalized by a dysfunctional establishment are receptive to a shouting arm waving insult bully.   This receptivity is the problem.  They were willing to overlook the racial theories and xenophobic fanaticism against Jews.  Eventually, the people allowed themselves to embrace these evil and insane ideas.

Move ahead to 2016 America.  I do not need to delineate Trump’s crazy, mean, insulting and dangerous rhetoric.  The media has done a fine job giving Trump more than ample platform to expound.  This reality TV star is a master of propaganda.

It is unlikely he will be elected President; not this time.  What then will Trump supporters do?  They will bide their time.  Trump may come back.  If he does not, someone else every bit as nutty will.  Maybe next time the demagogue will cloak his or her self in a more civil toned down version. 

Please do not be relieved or complacent when the Trump threat goes by.  His supporters will continue to exist in large numbers.  As long as that is the case it is only a matter of time.  We must wake up to the real threat.  And that is not Trump.