“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.
On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
While I think Donald Trump is a moron … I cringe every time I hear someone describe the people showing support for him as ‘uneducated’ or focus the description on “no college education.”
This implies they are stupid.
And it also implies everyone with a college education is not stupid.
And they, as with 99% of any country’s population, are not stupid <and people with a college education may actually own the market of stupidity>.
His supporters are real people with real worries and real lives.
They don’t all live in log cabins in rural counties nor do they all think NASCAR is the greatest sporting event in the world and they don’t all own guns.
Most of them, just as most of all of us, simply feel that something is not going right … and they are tired of that feeling <and how it affects their attitudes>.
They feel what we all want to feel … that things are going right and will be alright.
And that is what Trump is promising in a very odd way … with no details, no real proof he can do it, no tact <under the guise of ‘no political correctness’>.
But what he does do well is … well … not marginalize what these people feel. nor does he lecture them.
And these people feel marginalized economically, personally <as a citizen>, American-ly <they feel America is being marginalized> and politically.
And while being marginalize all the while they have real concerns about their country, their economic state, their families, their jobs and their future as well as the future of their kids
In their marginalized world they view a world that looks better, and very different, than the world that currently exists – a world in which THEIR ideas & thoughts are not marginalized but rather the norm.
There is a troubling aspect to their perspective … their concern for their world and the future translates into a view that all their problems are someone else’s fault. And even more troubling? The solution, whatever it may be, resides in the past.
I may disagree with them … and vehemently disagree with them … but I will also vehemently protect their right to vehemently state their concerns & thoughts.
This doesn’t make me any smarter than anyone … but it seems like a smart thing to do.
Read back over what I just wrote above.
I don’t care whether you are optimistic or hopeful … we all fear being marginalized <on any number of levels> and we all have concerns with our country and the future.
Trump’s followers are people just like you and I in this.
We differ in how to address the marginalization and concerns.
Trump is an asshole.
But a clever asshole in tapping into marginalized feeling people in a number of ways:
1. He has cornered the “us versus them” narrative market.
He has cornered this market by somehow projecting that a billionaire NYC elitist is somehow representative of “us” and not part of “them.”
2. He has doubled down on the us versus them narrative.
By cleverly diminishing the ‘thems’ with “I like him, he’s a nice guy” <implying nice guys do not win – aren’t ‘winners’> as well as ‘nice’ implies likeable but not competent. — I call this “clever condescension.”
3. He is a master at diminishing everyone.
The Great Diminisher <as I call Trump> suggests “them” just aren’t as smart as ‘us’ <calling them idiots, incompetent, stupid, poor negotiators, horrible> which gets increased in impact every time some refers to the ‘us’ as uneducated, blue collar or low income … all of which imply ‘not as smart.’
4. He has made ‘them’ somehow appear more beholden to money than him.
Unfortunately in today’s politics you need money to win an election. If you do not have money you cannot be heard or compete. That is a simple harsh reality.
His own money, somehow gained more ethically in suggestion, seemingly trumps other’s money as well as their money always seems to taint the other people’s intentions. He has cornered the paradox by suggesting you need to be independently wealthy to run for an office yet we actually seek to have someone reflective of ‘us’ <who is anything but independently wealthy> in office.
It all sounds good.
It sounds safe … and ‘safe’ always sounds good when you view the future and see … well … fog and not a clear horizon.
But the future never … let me repeat … never resides in the past.
And people, including Trump followers, know that in their heart of hearts but when no one but a bombastic blowhard is offering what appears to be a viable alternative … some people, some smart people, with anger of feeling marginalized and concern for their way of life will follow even an empty promise.
But, once again, that doesn’t make them stupid. In fact … as I read what I have written I am surprised more people haven’t flocked to this asshole. Because asshole or not … if someone thinks he can deliver on ‘winning so much you will get tired of it’ and ‘being great again’ that person is most likely willing to overlook assholedness.
<note: in fact … many older people think the best bosses had to be assholes to be the best bosses>
We need to recognize Trump followers not as the ‘unwashed uneducated’ but rather as people, people with real concerns and smart thoughts, listen to them, debate and disagree with respect.
And maybe, just maybe, we can convince them that the best version of them resides in the future … which most likely will not look an awful lot like the past … but be just as good if not better.
Trump is a moron but the people who are currently following Trump are anything but morons.
They are thirsty and he is offering water.
I may personally not want his version of water but I think it is up to me, and us, to show why the water I would offer tastes better than the water he offers.