Before Trump became president there was room for debate about what and who we Americans really are. Not anymore. We know ourselves now because Trump is our mirror.
Before Trump became president there was room for charity when it came to considering who white evangelicals might be; how enlightened the “New South” might be; who and what the Republican Party is: the collective brain power of our country; the value of internet connectivity and disruption: the level of optimism about our future that thinking Americans might reasonably entertain—not anymore.
We now know that:
- White evangelicals (81 percent of whom voted for Trump and still support him) are mentally ill individuals who have substituted their “Biblical” anti-science and fake-history paradigm for cognitive thought; that they suffer from a persecution complex believing that opinions (including actual facts) other than their own — about everything from evolution to women’s and gay rights — are a form of “anti-Christian” bigotry; that their only defense is to use government to impose a theocracy on the rest of the country; that they have sided with Vladimir Putin against their fellow Americans because he has “conservative” (read dictatorial) “values”
- The enlightened “New South” is a sham and that the South is, at heart, as it was during the Jim Crow era and is still run by and for a white oligarch lynch mob of nationalist and evangelical gun-toting paranoid racist bigots supported by unthinking white trash ignoramuses who vote against their own interests
- The Republican Party is a white billionaire lobbying insiders’ club run by entrenched corrupt white nationalist racists and fact-free Ayn Rand disciples — often masquerading as “Tea Party” evangelicals — bent on literally destroying the social safety net and the global environment and that the GOP too have de facto sided with Vladimir Putin over American interests in an attempt to hold onto power at any cost and are now frankly and openly anti-American and even anti-democracy as they cover for Trump’s delusional brand of corruption
- The collective brain power of our country has been sapped and nearly destroyed by TV watching, TV news, lack of reading, lack of a commitment to art, culture and beauty, bad education, Internet addiction, “disruption” and “connectivity” and that all hope that somehow the giant (self-identified “enlightened”) corporations, such Facebook, Twitter and Google, will be agents for good is a sham, and that the reality is we’ve given private extremists (from GOP conspiracy theorists to Nazis and evangelical professional con men and haters like Franklin Graham, and Jerry Falwell Jr.,) a public platform through which to normalize their myth-based religious and white nationalist xenophobic hate mythology
- The myth of the Internet changing the world for the better has exploded. Trump, Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Brexit, European white nationalism, the Chinese Communist Party’s merger with ruthless capitalism; the failure of the “Arab Spring” adds up to democracy under threat worldwide. These backward leaps are taking place in the “interconnected” world of “disruption” that the Silicon Valley lords of the Universe boldly told us would change everything. They are right: indeed we’ve changed everything and swapped literate democratic modernity for the Dark Ages under their tender greedy self-important and self-serving “leadership.” Case closed. The Internet Age as it now stands is bad for the planet and is retarding human brains and humanistic democratic progress. (And yes, alas I am aware that you are reading this online thus proving I’m part of the age we live in and as stuck here as you are!)
- The level of optimism about our future that thinking Americans could once reasonably entertain, has evaporated. That nice white good neighbor evangelical lady across the street who donates to World Vision and wants to feed the hungry, is also a brainless fascist thug ready to strip all “Other” people of basic rights. She voted for Trump and is thereby confirmed as a brain dead fool. Period. Taken en mass, there are no “nice Christians” and taken collectively as a voting block white evangelicals and their hillbilly troops are about as good for our country as were the German Nazis in the 1930s “good” for Germany.
The illusion of American goodness (let alone greatness) is gone.
When we look in the mirror, Trump stares back and mumbles disjointed irrational lie-based delusional thoughts incoherently as if talking in his sleep while using the vocabulary of a confused fourth grader. He’s therefore a perfect representation of America. Trump’s not an aberration. Discourse online and on TV is no better than what Trump’s failing brain produces most of the time.
We set the stage for Trump because
- We lost our commitment to the intrinsic worth for beauty and to life itself
- Schools don’t teach art history or geography or music as primary subjects. What they teach is greed, to “get ahead” with “essential” (read job-related) subjects. They teach to the test to produce “workers” to make the “economy grow”
- We are all about everything being a means to an end- nothing has intrinsic value in America other than career and money
- We value our careers even over falling in love
- We’ve handed our lives to corporations
- We’ve turned religion into power politics and spiritually into selfish navel-gazing
- We’ve handed our souls to Ayn Rand, to greed, and to “getting ahead”
- When we talk about children “doing better” (or worse) than our parents we speak only in economic terms. We have forgotten that the real measure of “doing better” than parents or previous generations has to be measured in sustainable spirituality in order to lead to happiness, fulfillment and a planet that survives so we may survive. For instance, is someone kinder than their mother was? Do they have more empathy? Is someone more in love with life than their father was? Do they crave beauty more than their grandparents did? Are they better fathers and mothers? Are they bent on owning more stuff like their parents were, or rather are they in love with the beauty of life itself? Are they less calculating and greedy than their dad and mom were or is everything about “career” for them too? Are they reading better books than their parents did? Do they listen to better music? Are they more aesthetically and sexually fulfilled? Do they enjoy their children and grandchildren more than their parents did? Are they more compassionate and caring for the poor than their parents were? These things–and NOT economic growth–are the true measure of “The State Of The Union.”
To resist Trump requires us to fight for more than political change. It forces us to do the hard work of struggling for creative redemption in our own lives. Thus the only answer to Trump is to:
- Crush the backward anti-environment greed-worshipers running the Republican Party- forever
- Put love, beauty, art and personal face-to-face connection, family and community ahead of career
- Strive for beauty’s sake alone to save ourselves and our planet because to live informed first by the intrinsic worth of beauty, love and compassion is the only truthful state of being.