Reading the commentaries of progressives as the presidential polls gives their candidate, Hill-Bill, the lead, one has to wonder: Is the miscreant Donald Trump destined to win?
In case that New Age claptrap isn’t plain enough, he adds: “There is more good news, a broader kind of winning [than the Donald’s narrow variety]—for common sense, for the basic goodness and decency of the majority of the people in this conflicted and troubled democracy of ours.”
It’s not denial by the bigots we have to fear; it’s denial by seemingly decent and rational people.
If there is an inscrutable arc to human history, what is going on at the barely beating heart of the American Empire only has relevance and meaning as it pertains to the human prospect as a whole. This is especially true at a time of unprecedented interconnection and globalization.
As has been repeated ad nauseum, many Americans are voting for Trump because they’re angry about a totally dysfunctional political system, and feel left out of an economic recovery which has left behind the middle class and further enriched the same people who caused the financial collapse.
Very few commentators go beyond this level, which is accurate as far as it goes but hardly begins to explain the Trump phenomenon.
The real reason so many Americans have flocked to Trump is not political and economic, it’s social and spiritual. The average American senses that something is deeply broken in the country, and they don’t have the verbal and rationalizing capabilities of the intelligentsia (much less the money and position) to explain it away.
People feel but do not see that a cultural vortex has sucked all but the strongest souls into it since 9.11. The death of a nation’s soul is a very hard thing to face. And since it has not been faced, the cultural and political climate can only grow darker.
I can recall a time when there used to be something called the truth, which editors, journalists and columnists–understandably cynical as they often were–at least made an attempt to approach and convey to readers.
Lamentable as The Donald’s grasp of facts is, a bevy of writers at the nation’s top newspaper, prematurely exuberant that the political apocalypse has been averted, have taken to doing victory laps before the race is over, proclaiming, “lightness is prevailing.”
In a Sunday editorial, the Delphic Oracles of Manhattan asserted that the problem is not with America and the American citizen in general; the problem is “the unworkable ideas and vicious emotions that Mr. Trump, with many enablers, has dragged into the open.” God forbid America’s undercurrents come into the open!
Donald Trump and the Republican Party are not the cause of American voters’ hatred and paranoia; he and they are an expression of American’s moribund body politic. The question is, how far are the deniers across the political spectrum going to keep pushing their denial?
A diabolically cunning commercial has been airing recently, which embodies the seamless alliance between consumerism, entertainment, politics and what presently passes for journalistic analysis in America. In it Christoph Waltz, a famous British face if not name, begins by condescendingly criticizing American pathological busyness while admiring the latest Samsung smartphone.
“Americans, I don’t understand you,” he says, “always working…busy, busy, busy…what has that tireless ambition ever gotten you America, hmm?”
“OK, you built your own country from nothing. Yes, you’re responsible for modern democracy. Yeah, sure, you’re the greatest, most influential nation in the world, where dreams come true.”
The ad closes with the converted Brit coming out of his flag bedecked house, exclaiming, “The Samsung Galaxy Note7 is perfect for busy Americans like us.” Absurdly of course, Samsung is headquartered in South Korea.
Like Trump, the ad can be viewed as parody, though that’s a mistake. Darkness is being institutionalized and glorified, while moral numbness and spiritual paralysis are being enshrined, not just nationally but globally.
I can remember a time when narcissism was not a given, when my countrymen would never turn a cold heart to the unspeakable suffering of another people, namely the Syrians. Especially when the USA was the main culprit in opening the gates of hell in the Middle East with the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq. Aleppo is an unfurling humanitarian disaster, but Americans care more about their dogs.
Given the surreal undercurrents ruling this year as never before, a President Trump is either predestined, or he will lose big as ‘progressive’ deniers hope and believe.
However, as bad as it would be to see that orange hair and ugly mouth for four years (not to mention live under the constant threat of nuclear war under a sociopathic president), my first fear is not that Trump will become the next President of the United States.
My deepest fear is that nothing will be in place if he does win—no spiritual insight, no philosophical foundation, and no political vision. Just a complete vacuum in America, and the world. I hope I’m wrong, but hope and wishful thinking can no longer carry the day.