Approximately 50% of the U.S. electorate is engaging in the democratic process to eliminate U.S. democracy and democratic institutions by voting for Donald Trump and his legislative accomplices. These sycophants voted for a President who:
- Destroyed our international alliances,
- Admired, cozied up with, and functioned as the lackey of fascist dictators,
- Diminished our leadership standing around the world,
- Further polluted our planet by ending environmental protections,
- Fought to eliminate quality and affordable healthcare,
- Criminally mismanaged a serious pandemic and colluded in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people,
- Demeaned healthcare professionals and members of his own Coronavirus Commission,
- Promoted science fiction while scorning real science,
- Destroyed a good economy he inherited from the previous administration,
- Eliminated thousands of small businesses under his “watch,”
- Conducted a failed trade policy hurting our farmers and consumers,
- Provided massive tax breaks to the super rich and very little to everyone else,
- Promoted economic policies that significantly extended wage and wealth gaps,
- Consistently failed to pay his fair tax share,
- Never disclosed his personal finances,
- Failed to even attempt to improve the nation’s crumbling infrastructure,
- Separated children from their parents and isolated them in cages,
- Invigorated racist, xenophobic, misogynist, homophobic, ableist, Islamophobic, antisemitic, anti-trans, and anti-immigrant sentiments and actions further terrifying and marginalizing large segment of the population,
- Supported domestic terrorism in Charlottesville, Virginia with neo-Nazi white supremacists,
- Condoned the killing of a Washington Post columnist by his authoritarian Saudi friends,
- Reluctantly and half-heartedly requested a search and capture of the alleged maker of package bombs,
- Demeaned the U.S. military by referring to service members as “suckers” and losers.”
- Consistently attacked and question the credibility of our free press,
- Mocked people with disabilities,
- Fought with angry passion to further arm the population with military style weapons,
- Promoted gun rights while violating human rights,
- Invaded local cities with federal agents to end legal street protests, which were largely peaceful until troops arrived inciting violence,
- Perpetuated unfounded and dangerous conspiracy theories,
- Acted out his fascist want-to-be dictator instincts by undermining the separation of powers clearly articulated in the United States Constitution,
- Jeopardized the major institutional pillars of our democracy,
- Attempted to cast doubt on and sabotage the electoral process,
- Accepted foreign involvement to subvert our elections in his favor,
- Treated political opponents and non-supporters as “un-American” traitorous enemies,
- Consistently threatened to sue, prosecute, and “lock up” political rivals,
- Converted the former Republican Party into his cult of personality,
- Molded the “Justice” Department and the courts to his will,
- Turned the concepts of “bipartisanism,” “compromise,” and “negotiation” into epithets,
- Pardoned criminal supporters,
- Encouraged armed gangs to intimidate legislators,
- Corrupted the supposed wall separating religion (mainline Christian denominations) and government,
- Lied virtually every time he opened his mouth,
- Acted on instinct alone devoid of political ideology,
- Disinterested and ignorance of historical precedents and history generally,
- Disinclined to consider facts,
- Consistently unprepared,
- Disloyal to people loyal to him,
- Unconcerned about people who supported him,
- Demanded and needed constant support and attention,
- Transformed a usual week to what felt like 23 days and sometime more,
- Tweeted untrue, vile, and vicious diatribes,
- Bullied from his bully pulpit,
- Consistently demonstrated incompetence and disinterest in governing,
- Chose incompetent members for his cabinet and staff with conflicts of interest,
- Violated ethical standards, and emoluments and anti-nepotism rules and policies,
- Further divided our nation through fear, intimidation, and lies,
- Demonstrated time and time again his narcissistic sociopathic personality placing self-interest over any concerns for the U.S.-American people telling the country “be damned,”
- Violated established and appropriate norms of behavior,
- Turned the unprecedented into the commonplace,
- Lacked the character, temperament, and ability required for the office of presidency.
And Donald Trump’s voters supported him by asserting:
Yes, give us four more years of that!
During the late 1940s, researchers, led by Theodor W. Adorno, studied the historical conditions that paved the way for the rise of fascist regimes in the 1920s and 1930s, World War II, and the Holocaust. They theorized about individuals who would support the growth of fascism.
They suggested that people of a certain personality type, which they labeled the “authoritarian personality,” were most ripe for extremism, in this case, those most susceptible to anti-Jewish prejudice and anti-democratic political beliefs.
They relinquished their autonomy and critical thinking facilities for the prospect of going back to a future reminiscent of a (mythic) idealistic past of economic, political, social, cultural, and personal security, where their “ingroup” won and led, and those “outgroups” served obediently and acquiesced to “ingroup” needs and demands.
They pledged obedience and allegiance to a powerful leader or social institution. In other words, they surrendered their freedom for the promise of social and personal security, which usually includes the suppression of those outside the circle, the “others.”
Then entered the mighty strongman, Donald J. Trump, a dangerous demagogue.
He painted a gruesome image of a post-apocalyptic United States, replete with vicious marauding gangs, gunshots whizzing throughout the inner cities, decrepit crumbling structures and highways, rampant poverty, declining socialist-inspired health care systems, imminent terrorist attacks, ruthless criminal drug-dealing rapist invaders from our southern border.
He continued to incite hatred and violence at his rallies, and fear, stereotyping and scapegoating all Muslims and so-called “illegal aliens,” promised to punish women who have had and their doctors who have performed abortions, argued that he would continue to restructure the Supreme Court to an untra-conservative majority, which would, thereby, reverse both Roe v. Wade and marriage equality.
And he perennially pledged to “Make America Great Again.”
Hërr Donald non-so-solemnly proclaimed during his acceptance wandering diatribe at the Republican National Convention:
I am your voice! I alone can fix it. I will restore law and order.
Trump never asked anything of his supporters other than their full loyalty by placing their total faith in him. And the authoritarian personalities followed brown-shirted in lock-step.
Trump raised white grievance to a high level of political philosophy.
He asked his followers to wax nostalgic to the television shows from many of their youth: “Father Knows Best,” “The Donna Reed Show,” “Ozzy and Harriet,” “Leave it to Beaver,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Full House,” “Coach,” “Home Improvement,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Growing Pains,” “7th Heaven,” “Cheers,” “Family Ties,” “Friends,” and so many others all reflecting the mainstream popular image of the U.S.-American family as white, middle class, with a nice home in the suburbs, and with all family members accepting their assigned raced and gendered scripts.
Democracy, though, demands an educated electorate. Democracy demands responsibility on the part of the electorate to critically examine their politicians, and to make truly informed decisions. Democracy demands of us all never to relinquish our freedom and authority for some promise of a comfortable security by returning to a fairy tale past.
When we relinquish our freedom for security, this gives rise to: “I don’t have to think. I’m a Trump supporter.”
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