Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Trumped Up

Donald Trump is popular, and his popularity seems to be growing even as his words seem more abrasive. He represents a fairly large backlash, from those who have come to believe all the horror stories about what is happening to their country, afraid to lose what they have or think they have, and resistant to change. Change is coming. Good or bad, change is inevitable, and sensible people want to make it smooth and beneficial. They are willing to take the time, keeping an open mind for as long as possible, and dig deeper, whatever the issue or fear that confronts them. Donald Trump says “Bah, humbug” to all that. He says the American Dream is dead but he can revive it. He says he knows how to defeat ISIS but won’t tell us his plan. He says strange things about immigrants and war veterans that, judging from recent polls, must reflect the thoughts of many. He has tapped into a primal fear among those who see America slipping away into a socialist hotbed of liberal thinking. Not just slipping, plummeting. Hell, we elected a Black President, for Chrissakes. Even the supposedly conservative Supreme Court has turned bitterly liberal. The Donald speaks to that. He also speaks to the disillusionment we all have with the system that purports to be running our nation on our behalf. The system is broken, so many of us say, because the people we elected to hold office within that system cannot seem to find common ground for action. It is a complaint that has been registered frequently in the course of our history, but seems to be more steadfast, stubborn, and adversarial now than ever before. Donald Trump stands outside that system. When he opens his mouth the last thing he sounds is Presidential, yet his outrageous words express hidden sentiments many are afraid to express. He speaks for many about the dysfunctional family called American politics, like the crazy uncle who invited himself to dinner. The adults shudder while the children are amused.

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