Et Tu, Trumpe? Part II

Donald Trump, being the good capitalist he is, surely saw the profit potential in a Presidential candidacy. Truly, there has been no better time to be a candidate. If he loses, all the connections he’s made have created an entirely new industry for him to break into. For once he’ll be on the receiving side of donations rather than the giving side. If he wins, well then that’s at least four more years of Donald Trump being exposed to people and investments he would have never seen otherwise. I believe that’s why he’s running. I don’t believe for a second that someone with his wealth woke up one morning with altruism and patriotism tugging at his heart strings, beckoning him to stand as the voice of the citizenry.
The brilliance behind it all? Everyone has already done all the work for him. His voter base was already created, he didn’t have to recruit people to his cause. You could toss out Donald Trump and put in anyone else with remote similarity, and his supporters would not care. It’s not about Donald Trump. The only part he plays in all this is he saw the storm before the GOP or the media did, and steered straight into it. He seized on the opportunity, and he’s playing the election system and everyone involved for fools. He realizes that people are looking for change, but even they don’t know what sort of change they want. If voters truly wanted change, then Ted Cruz would have already won enough delegates for the nomination, because he has consistently had the most substantive and detailed policies of all of the candidates. If voters truly wanted a “shakeup” of Washington, then Ted Cruz would be the front runner, because he’s the only candidate with intimate knowledge of the Constitution, to the extent necessary to use it in order to create serious change in politics and government. People want neither of those things. They want their feelings acknowledged. They want to be satiated with rhetoric that will not only affirm their fears and aggression, but will also hold their increasingly short attention spans. So Donald pacifies them with broad talking points that allow them to perceive and impress whatever it is that they are looking to hear, so that there is no way he can be wrong. You can’t be wrong if you never say anything, and he realized that the first time he got before an audience of voters. Donald Trump’s rhetoric not only allows people to perceive what they want, but because of this it affirms their beliefs even more so, because his ideas are coming from themselves, not from him. Therefore, when someone challenges what Trump says, his supporters do not believe that they are challenging him, but rather them personally.

Perhaps the worst part of all of this is not that Donald Trump is leading the polls, because frankly the climate exists on both sides of the political spectrum. I believe if you put Leonardo DiCaprio in the Democrat Primary he’d be wiping the floor with Bernie and Hillary. The damage has been done, it’s likely irreparable, because the media industry isn’t going to give up profit in the name of integrity. What’s truly sad and frustrating about this is how closely it parallels past events, and how true the adage that, “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” is proving in 2016. Almost all of Donald Trump’s supporters have at one point or another uttered the phrase, “we the people,” usually in a Facebook post, usually in all caps, and usually at the beginning of a long paragraph containing little more than talking points or unverified conspiracy theories. Now, I believe they’re saying this because of the revolutionary renaissance we spoke of earlier, when it suddenly became trendy to reference our founders’ words and images.

What’s so frustrating about this is that if this is the case, these voters really do believe that by electing Donald Trump they are setting in motion some sort of revolution. They legitimately think that putting one man in office who is no more qualified to be President than I am to pilot a space shuttle, will somehow usher in a new age of American politics.  Can we all just stop for a minute and ponder the incredulity of this notion?  Not just the incredulity of this notion, but let’s also ponder the astonishing laziness of someone who believes revolutions are brought about through elections.  This is the sort of mentality that put Lenin in power.  This is exactly what the entitled, intellectual elitists in Russia in the early twentieth century were thinking when they gave Lenin customary authority.  This is also strikingly similar thinking to all the Bernie Sanders supporters that Trump supporters love to mock.  That’s right,

Trump supporters share a common thread with Sanders supporters.  They both want someone else to do the work for them.  They want things hand delivered to them at their earliest convenience, with as little work required as possible.  For Sanders supporters, they want social justice and economic prosperity, for Trump supporters, they want political reformation and government change.  What does neither group want though?  Personal involvement and responsibility.

Imagine if our founders had this mentality.  If rather than form the Sons of Liberty, or write Common Sense or send Benjamin Franklin abroad to recruit foreign aid, if our founders had simply sought the first person that came along and promised to do all the work for them.  That’s what Trump supporters are doing.  They’re frustrated with the current status of government, and they think rather than do something about it themselves, through the normal processes and institutions, let’s just let Trump do all the work, while “we the people,” reap the benefits of his labor.  That is the laziest, most unimpressive, and quite frankly, shameful revolution I’ve ever seen.  These people have forgotten history.  They’ve forgotten than revolutions are often long, chaotic, and violent processes.  They think that the current idea of starting a revolution is slapping some Gadsden Flag stickers on your vehicle and screaming at others in the nearest comments section.  This is the culmination of all the elements laid out in part I.  Take a group of people who are all consumed on the Internet, frustrated with every portion of American government because they’ve had a thousand different opinions shouted at them on countless mediums, likely less than half of them founded in truth, and give them hope in the form of a recognizable candidate with legitimacy and success in no way connected to politics, and let that same candidate shout broad empty rhetoric that only serves to affirm and recirculate the same opinions these people have been carrying for eight years, and you have the Presidential Election of 2016.  The culprits?  All of us.  We all got greedy, we all flew too close to the sun, we all bit off more than we could chew, and we’ve all got so many knives sticking out of our backs that we have no idea who put them there.  God Bless America.

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