Trump is pushing a message based on fear, exclusion and isolation
Donald Trump went to Mexico in August this year. Yet again, he made not only a fool of himself but also a mockery of the U.S. political system. He met with the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, and they then held a dual press conference. Mr. Nieto told the world, in no uncertain terms, that the man next to him was a fool who manipulates people by telling them bold-faced lies based on their irrational fears. He also told everyone about the guns that flowed in from the north that ended up in the hands of the powerful drug cartels. Those drug cartels, in turn, ensure your children have access to the best narcotics that money can buy.
Trump’s response was basically a fifth-grade ‘I’m rubber, you’re glue’ retort. He followed that up by letting the Mexican people know that they would still be paying for his ‘Great Wall of Trump’, which would keep the undesirable brown people out of our country so that good, well-mannered white folk can live upstanding and virtuous lives.
He then arrived in my current hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, where he unveiled his 10-point immigration plan. This plan includes the immediate mass deportation of over 2 million unregistered immigrants, the building of the ‘Great Wall’, extreme racial profiling of Muslims, and ideological certification to ensure that all visitors to our borders share our American values. If you’ve never read George Orwell, I’d suggest you put that on top of your reading list, because under Trump, you can forget the idea of a free society built on the strength of diversity and equality. You will either agree with the state or be an enemy of the state. The crowd, made up primarily of white supporters, cheered with a maniacal glee in their eyes, throwing shades of 1938 Germany all over the place.
As you would expect, this message resonates with many people in the United States. Such people fall into two separate classes: rich, well-educated white people or poor, undereducated white people. The upper class whites keep their mouths shut but they funnel money into the candidate’s pocket. The lower class whites are loud and spew hatred because they feel disenfranchised in today’s society, and they believe their traditions are being stepped on. This, ladies and gentlemen, form what has been called the Alt-Right.
The Alt-Right is a label for what basically amounts to the politicization of institutionalized racism. There is a vocal crowd calling for legitimate segregation of races in our nation. They want the ability to practice blatant racism with no consequence. This is the new dawn of fascism in the 21st century.
Trump stands at the forefront of a movement as its talking head—a megalomaniacal sociopath concerned only with satisfying his own narcissistic ego. As unintelligent as the things are that come out of his mouth, he’s smart enough to know what gets him cheers and he knows how to read his crowd. He’s a showman. He’s the circus ringleader. He’s pushing a nationalist message based on fear, exclusion, and isolation. He’s a demagogue spewing rhetoric that is not unfamiliar. It is the same hatred and bile that every dictator of the 20th century vomited.
The people behind him are much more insidious. They are known bigots and racists, notorious organizations like the KKK, and any of the hundreds of neo-Nazi, white nationalist, or neo-Confederate groups that can be found nation-wide. They truly believe that a white America would be the best America, and they are not afraid to take the steps necessary to ensure that happens. Even more, you also have a large majority of undereducated whites that simply feel as if they are getting pushed to the side, ignored and forgotten. They feel they have no voice, and they believe Trump is their voice.
The first sixteen years of this new century have been quite eventful in a historic sense for our nation. We have experienced tragedies and wars that are nigh incomprehensible. We have seen the election and reelection of our first black president. We have seen great leaps forward in the never-ending battle for equality. We have also witnessed the emergence of a dark undercurrent in American culture, intent on destroying any progress that has been made, and sending us back to a day when people were property.
I argue that this election year is one of the most important we’ve seen since 1860. Yes, it’s that pivotal moment. Years from now, our children and grandchildren will look back to what we do now and judge us accordingly. It’s time to mobilize. There’s no more sitting on the fence. You, personally, have a chance to stand up and be part of a political revolution. Together, we can reshape this country to more accurately reflect the intent of the ideas put forth by our forefathers.
If we don’t stand up, if we don’t act as one right now, I fear that we will find ourselves living in the beginning of our own dystopian apocalypse scenario. An America based on a hate-filled hegemony will not stand for long. The oppressed will eventually be forced to stand up for themselves. There will be violence. Is that what we want to leave as our legacy?
Sketch: Vishnu Nair