Thursday, November 17, 2022

What Trump Has Taught Us: American's Problem is Political and Economic, but Also Spiritual

17th-century mirror, Dutch artist Johannes Hannart (or Jan Hanat), held by Metropolitan Museum of Art, photo uploaded to Wikimedia Commons 

Thoughtful commentary from Jared Yates Sexton in "The Unbearable and Untenable Emptiness" about the face many of us Americans are now forced to see when we look in the sad mirror that is Donald Trump:

America’s problem is surely political and it is absolutely economic in nature. But it’s also spiritual. That a man like Trump was able to grasp power and assemble these millions of people to blindly support him and operate as a worshiping cult willing to do anything, hurt anyone, and destroy everything to appease him is not a coincidence. ... Capitalism and neoliberalism have hollowed out our existences and our world. There’s nothing they won’t put a price tag on. There’s no relationship they will not eradicate and ruin.

Charles Blow, "Trump's Moment Has Passed":  

The narrative is stale. He is a twice-impeached president who lost re-election, cost his party in the last three elections and is wading through an ocean of legal troubles. The arc of the story is one of descent and desperation, fading light and dimming prospects.

The scent of loss lingers on a candidate. That’s why Trump has tried so hard to convince the world he didn’t lose. But he did. And now, Trumpism is losing.

Then there is the fickle nature or Republican fanaticism. Conservatives, broadly speaking, are addicted to the political equivalent of the tent revival: wanting to believe, wanting affirmation, exalting the traveling preacher until that person moves on and the next one arrives. 

And the only solid programmatic promise Trump could make as he announced his run for the presidency the other night: lethal authoritarianism, as William Saletan states, "Trump’s Authoritarian Promise":

Trump made it clear that if he returns to power, he will rule as a lethal authoritarian.

That this is a promise that gladdens the hearts of far too many Americans is something all the rest of us should grapple with honestly, since one major effect of the Trump era is to unmask many of our family members, friends, and neighbors — and we cannot now unsee what we have seen. 

No comments: