why ask to lead a country you think is a shithole?


One of the things I have been most consistently amazed by with regard to Trump is how often he refers to America as a shithole country. In fact. His whole premise for being a president is grounded on the country being a shithole and he is the only one able to ‘un-shithole’ the country. Its kind of nuts. I mean what kind of genius, or stable genius, would actually want to lead a shithole country? Let me explain what I mean.

Trump’s message, dumbed down for America, is simple: Make America great again.

  • *** uhm. This only works if enough people believe America is in enough of a shithole that it isn’t great now.

And he is a master at creating shithole perceptions:

These perceptions have some psychological roots. You look around at the relative carnage of the day seeing your plans in disarray and hopes & dreams nowhere in close proximity to your current reality and you think to yourself “how the hell did we get into this shithole.” That is where conviction comes into play. You, or we, are not really in a shithole, you just have had what you thought would happen or should be happening, well, not happen. And you have some threads of belief that exactly the same thing will happen again tomorrow. Your conviction of ‘something better beyond the horizon’ is a little blurrier than it was the day before. Now. To be clear. Decades ago globalization tied to multinational companies and institutions seeking to make larger profits through lowering costs, hollowed out a shitload of manufacturing jobs and businesses. That is a reality which has certainly created a halo of attitudes, perceptions and some individual realities. Let me add small groups of people are desperately in worse shape, some people are in good shape, but have not improved, most people are doing fine, but hearing all the talk about the top 1% and feel entitled to some of what they got. That is reality. We have a higher standard of living than any country of any size in world. We live longer, are, other than fat, in good health, best and largest economy in the world, low unemployment, low overall violence <with isolated pockets which people distort to a larger view>. We have an incredible history of assimilating immigrants and, uhm, if immigration was truly an existential threat to “a great America” one would think that we would have done something about it sometimes in the past 20-ish years that the Right has been highlighting ‘invasions’ (usually every 2 years during an election cycle). To be clear. The US immigration system needs both structural and policy improvements, but immigration is not an existential issue.

Regardless. America is not a shithole country, and generally speaking we are in an economic boom (of which a significant swath of people are benefiting from) and we are actually investing in a better economic infrastructure now (which ensures not actually becoming a shithole country).

This may be the greatest example of the gap between perception and reality I have seen in my lifetime.

We ‘see’ something and then extrapolate it out in our minds to being a larger systemic issue. And maybe that is Trump’s most egregious superpower. He distorts “the one” into “the many.” He implies an isolated situation is indicative of the greater whole. And he does it with such hyperbole <and lies> even if most people do not believe it, it elevates whatever perception you may already have a little higher <therefore, he drags more people closer to believing we are in a shithole, i.e., not great>. I imagine the fear Trump should have is that if he drives his dystopian view of who and what America is so far down into some wretched dark hole that people will only see darkness and enough people will sit up, look around or out the window and say “shit, it isn’t that bad or dark.” Oops. Not a shithole.

Which leads me to the slippery slopes and shitholes.

The truth is in today’s world we seem to get caught up in the everyday grind of the story of the day. And, yes, most stories don’t reflect the best version of people or the positive side of emergent issues.  What this means is that it can get fairly easy to step on to the slippery slope leading down to a belief we are in some shithole with no leader or steps to get out of it. And what THAT means <at least to me> is that far too many people are abandoning hope and we desperately need some people to offer us some good ole pragmatic hope.

Why do I feel so strongly about this? I imagine lack of hope is kind of like entering a personal hell and even deflated, or deflating, hope is kind of like feeling like you are stepping onto the slippery slope into hell. Needless to say. This isn’t good for anyone. I would be remiss if I didn’t say that the corollary to that is those of us with hope to give should share it whenever we can to get others out of that hell or at least off the slippery slope.

Which leads me to, uhm, Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton warned us in 2016. Despite in a real political campaign where hyperbole and stupidity typically reigns, she actually spoke some truth to power. So maybe it is quite possible the issue in the 2016 USA presidential election was not Hillary, but us. Far too many of us ignored what she was saying and got sucked into the shithole beliefs by a conman who suggested only he could get us out of this imaginary shithole. it is quite possible that if we had listened to what she said, maybe paid a little bit more attention, maybe we wouldn’t be in the shithole we are currently in which is not a country shithole, but rather a one-manmade perception shithole. Maybe we should take a moment and ponder some Hillary words she spoke at Truckee Meadows Community College:

“This is what I want to make clear today. A man with a long history of racial discrimination, who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and the far reaches of the Internet, should never run our government or command our military. He says he wants to make America great again, but, more and more, it seems his real message is Make America Hate Again.”

And maybe that is where Trump is at his worst. He has encouraged people to believe that to love America permits you to hate everyone else. Love and hate have always had an uneasy relationship, but Trump has weaponized this relationship to a point where patriotism simply becomes a reason to hate. That alone should make everyone hate Trump. But, in the end, maybe all I am saying is that we should all wonder is why does someone ask to lead hate and lead a shithole country (unless they feel like they can personally benefit in some way)? Ponder.

Written by Bruce