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Monday, November 21, 2016

How Far Back Will We Go? 1950? 1850?

Yesterday I did a lot of reading, thinking & talking. With/to a few close people. Sometimes things finally do clarify... and it helps... at least a little bit.

The Trump phenomena, what is it? For a minute, don't think of him as a person, think only of him as a symbol. A big, loud, strongman. Wealthy. Powerful. White. Privileged. Speaks off the top of his head. Doesn't really know what he's saying, but says it anyway. He's actually low-class, white-trashy, uneducated, but street smart. He was born wealthy, never really had to work hard - things were given to him because of his birthright. By an accident of being white and wealthy, he gets it all. And that's the way the world worked for white folks/white men, for centuries!

And whatever he says it's always said loudly, definitively. Realize that to him words don't really matter. They are only tools to help him get what he wants.

He can say one thing this moment, and something totally contrary the next. And whatever he says in the moment is all that matters. He only watches TV. He gets all his news, all his knowledge of the world comes from TV. He doesn't read. Doesn't use a computer. He owns a phone and likes to tweet at 3:00 a.m. He must know something about America I don't know. I never watch TV. 

So okay. His only nods to the present are TV and Twitter. Makes him seem with it and modern, but he's not.

He is a throwback to another time. Let's all set our clocks back. How many decades or centuries back shall we go? We will go back to a time when big, loud white men had all the power, all the privileges. Woman were objects to be used. Minorities were slaves and servants - objects to be owned, and pushed around.

Folks who supported Trump and voted for him, voted to go back to the Past!

When Trump says "Make America Great Again," he is telling us that he doesn't believe in the Present or the Future, he really only believes in the Past! And his followers do not want to live in the Present or the Future either. They want to go back to a Past that exists only in their dreams.

It's a mythical, beautiful time when everyone knew their place. Woman were not a threat. Minorities were not a threat. The big multi-cultural experience of America was not "out of control." Men were men. So yes, everything that us Liberals/Progressive found repulsive about Trump were actually the primary features of his appeal to another slice of the population.

I was stumped for a long time on the question, "How could they even think of voting for that Man?" The answer to the question: "Because they don't believe in and are afraid of the Present & the Future, they really do want to live in a Retro Paradise from another time."

It really is about the "old order." A time before Civil Rights. Before Roe v. Wade. Before Equal Pay. Before Political Correctness. Before China & India were economic powers. 

So now we see Trump, sort of like Jed from the Beverly Hillbillies, or Stalin in the 50's tromping around the halls of power in Washington. For some of us, it's ridiculous, sad, so backward, and transparently ugly, and contrary to our hopes for the now and the future.

But it is that ridiculous, backward picture, exactly, that Trumps supporters are excited about. How far back will we go? 1950? 1850? 

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