Monday, April 4, 2016

The Trump Complex

Donald J. Trump; whether you love him or hate him, he is currently the most talked about person in the United States. A man of seemingly little morals and even less class, hell-bend on taking the White House by any means necessary. Amid a tumultuous political atmosphere, he has emerged as the ultimate anti-hero of American democracy. In a time of deep idealogical divide and great uncertainty for the future, Mr. Trump embodies and amplifies the misdirected anger that far too many in this country carry. This ignorance fueled perversion of the electoral process, may literally be something out of an episode of The Simpson’s but is certainly no laughing matter.

To someone as politically involved as myself, Donald Trump represents the opposite of nearly every value I hold to be true. The reasons that I dislike him so strongly however, are much deeper than simply political differences, it is about morality. He is a person who relies solely on deceit, treachery and anger to accomplish his goals. This man also clearly has no problem scapegoating and insulting his way to prominence. Regardless of your personal views, these are not qualities we should see befitting of a true leader. Throughout history, there have always been harsh mannered bullies vying for power, it is when people begin to see them as viable options that there is a problem. 

Donald Trump is certainly terrible unto himself, in both ideas and in attitude, but the social and political climate that would allow him to be seen as remotely electable is the most disheartening aspect. The United States has once again reached a boiling point of rage; nothing short of Peter Finch shouting “I'm mad as Hell and I'm not going to take this anymore.” in the film Network (1976). Of the diverse demographics in our nation, white republicans (more likely to vote for Trump) have recently been polled as by far the angriest group. The Trump brand manifest as a political campaign has honed in on it’s target market, stoking the  embers of latent mistrust into a full-blown firestorm of anti-politics. The crass mob mentality of this candidacy, uses resentment towards the perceived establishment as a catalyst.

“I'm mad as Hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!”
This wave of anger that Mr. Trump is opportunistically surfing, is truly the result of much deeper series of problems. We are living in a time of biased, highly corporatized news media that values quantity of viewership over quality of information. Networks like Fox News and CNN keep us divided and fearful, profiting from our ignorance. Washington D.C. stands a nightmarish gridlock of power and ego, politicians more concerned with their paychecks and partisan  squabbles than the American people they are supposed to serve. We are a nation that has accepted the roar of demagoguery over the calm voice of frank dialogue. We have come to see anger as truth and those who are different from us as the enemy. 

The strange phenomenon that is Donald Trump’s bid for the presidency, shows us what happens when a society worships wealth and gives into ill-tempered  brutes. Mr. Trump will inevitably fade but we must ask ourselves, progressive and conservative alike, how did we allow it to get this far? My fundamental belief is that the vast majority of humanity is essentially good but when empathy is replaced by cynicism we lose sight of who we are. Stephen Colbert once said, “Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it."

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