JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TRUMP HAS TAUGHT THE WORLD SOMETHING IMPORTANT ABOUT AMERICAN SOCIETY – CLOSE TO HALF OF AMERICAN ADULTS ENTHUSIASTICALLY SUPPORT A MAN UNMISTAKABLY STAINED WITH RACISM AND MISOGYNY – A MAN WHO DESPISES EXPERTS AND DISPLAYS ALMOST UNPARALLELED TOTAL SELF-INTEREST   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT – WHAT TRUMP HAS REVEALED

Trump has provided some new insight into contemporary American society.

The world has long understood that there are some dark corners in that society, but Trump’s success has shown that they are not just corners. They are large portions of the society, amounting to nearly half.

Absolutely no person of conscience and decency could still support Trump, having seen and heard him for nearly four years. Yet he can still draw large, enthusiastic crowds.

He reeks of hatreds – racial hatreds and misogyny are prominent. We’ve had many examples of misogyny, from his words about Kamala Harris, whom he called “extraordinarily nasty,” to the recent revelation by a diplomatic insider that Trump called both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May “losers.”

Note that Trump also said this about Harris, “We’re not going to have a socialist president, especially a female socialist president.” A truly odd statement, serving only to qualify “female” as being a negative.

Trump used the expression “nasty woman” in the past for Hillary Clinton, so perhaps Harris earned the added “extraordinarily” because of her ethnicity? For there cannot be any doubt that Trump’s genuine obsession with Barack Obama goes far deeper than mere political differences. Just as his many pejorative statements about Muslims and migrants and refugees.

He also tends to despise experts, at least experts in many important fields, and he is not willing to share his audiences with them, apparently believing the self-serving speeches he consistently offers provide adequate information for a concerned public. On many topics, he already has decided what is valuable and what is not and done so without either listening to experts or reading them. That kind of predetermined judgment almost defines the word “prejudice,” and of course ignorance is closely associated.

He provides an almost unparallel example of total self-interest. He actually suppressed early intelligence about the pandemic that has now killed about 230,000 Americans out of concern that it would affect his chances for re-election, and his entire approach since then has reflected the same primary concern, the importance of his own re-election.

His recent stunt of getting up and leaving a television interview was because he did not like the interviewer’s focus on the pandemic. The question that actually caused him to get up and leave concerned his language about Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, yet another woman he insulted, saying she was doing a terrible job, when, in fact, she has been among the more conscientious governors in dealing with the virus.

Despite his efforts to tamp his prejudices down, knowing they are not in his wider political interests, his choice of words and angry reactions to people and his ceaseless name-calling reveal, almost like a kind of body language, a very dark psychology. What has been revealed by insiders of his still harsher private language suggests the idea of his making an effort to tamp things down a bit in public.

Of course, his political base identifies with these barely suppressed attitudes. He reveals enough to signal them whose side he is on.

Were it not for wider social pressures, and providing it worked for his re-election, this is a man who might well strut around in uniform in the style of 1930s European authoritarians. In fact, he almost does, with his closetful of predictable, expensive big suits and corporate power ties and his relish for big rallies with lots of arm-waving and hand-gestures. He is, without any exaggeration, an American entrepreneurial version of a fascist.

And again, the most disturbing thing about Trump is that he carries the loyalty and enthusiasm of a large segment of the American people. The ugly fact brings to mind the observation of the great American journalist and historian of the Third Reich, William L. Shirer, when he wrote, “Perhaps America will one day go fascist democratically, by popular vote.”

Posted October 29, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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