I'm not a fan of Trump. Anyone who reads what I write and sees my FB posts can see that.
Whenever I share something about him a little debate goes on in my mind about whether to post that meme or article.
'Do you really want to give the man the attention he so desperately craves?' The cautious part of my mind asks.
'A huge segment of the electorate and the media gives him that attention anyway.' I reason. 'And they often don't recognize him for the fascist blowhard he is.'
I had this same debate with myself while trying to decide on whether to dedicate a blog-post to his candidacy. I decided it was worth it.
If nothing else, I can make sure there's a public record of where I stood on his candidacy during this election.
I want to write this, not in the hopes of swaying his supporters. I'm almost certain they will defend the man regardless of anything he says or does. I write this in the hope that people who may regard him as just a joke will see just how dangerous he could be for America and for the world.
If I boil my feelings on the man's campaign down to one word, that word is 'repulsive'.
His personality, his platform (if his ramblings can even be called that), his manipulation of people's fears and prejudices, his willingness to dish out insults but throw a hissy-fit if anyone attacks him, his gleeful pride of his own ignorance, his blatant, never-ending ego-masturbation.
There is nothing, nothing redeemable about what this man says or stands for. His ravings represent a version of America that mindlessly indulges the darkest parts of our history and society.
Like many populist demagogues throughout history, he gives his followers a temporary but ecstatic high of security and confidence by making them part of his own grand myth. He makes his people the heroes of an epic story in which they are 'winners' and every problem in their life is the fault of some other (Immigrants, Muslims, Liberals, the Media).
Hitler did it, Mussolini did it and now Trump follows in their goosestepping wake. He is creating his own simplistic black and white universe for anxious Americans, angry (often justifiably) at all things established to lose themselves in. It's a universe removed from the complex nature of reality. But it's a simple one to accept and understand, which is why it has such appeal in a time of anxious uncertainty.
And it is that willingness to swallow Trump's koolaid that is most frightening. What Trump says is repulsive but I think there is still an argument to be made that he is simply a reality tv-showman playing to his audience's fears. There's still some doubt in my mind over whether he is truly committed to all the BS he spouts.
Once this kind of alternate, Nativist fantasy is mainstream (as I fear it is becoming) it can be hard to get rid of. Even if the story itself is inconsistent people cling to it because they need that story to make them feel empowered.
For the kind of mythology Trump peddles is not for strong, secure people. His story of 'Make America Great Again' is for those who are profoundly insecure and doubt themselves in a time of change.
And that includes Trump. He needs to believe his own BS perhaps even more than his followers do.
He bristles as every hard question thrown his way by reporters. He feuds with those few voices in the mainstream media that call him out on making up stories about Muslims cheering the collapse of the World Trade Center. He throws personal insults like a toddler when his own tweets get read back to him for a debate.
Is this the mark of a secure strong leader?
A man who styles himself as a strong leader who will make America great, cannot handle a tough line of questioning and talks lustfully about punching protesters in the face when they try and disrupt his rallies.
If this is what strength is in Donald Trump's America, if it is measured not by how well you can engage your opponent in mutual discussion but by how loudly you can shout, pout and throw a tantrum when the entire world does not declare you to be the best man in the universe, than I am perfectly fine being weak.
If winning in Donny's United States is demonizing others to make yourself feel better, I'm happy to be called a loser.
If being great, means having an ego so frail that it can be shattered with a single question, than I earnestly embrace being small.
Donald Trump is a clown, but he is a dangerous clown. And if the people of America lose themselves in his world we deserve everything that comes next.