Sunday, March 13, 2016

Tribal Rabble Rouser

Hair raising, absolutely hair raising. 

The above video on Donald Trump's presidential candidacy campaign has many disturbing aspects. Picking out one comment on the video:

The election process is finding people to blame for your problems .....and Trump is really, really good at it!"

A picture is painted not of a competent politician but a demagogue and "reality show" virtuoso skilled in creating what is in actual fact a fictional reality (if you get my meaning) and who knows how to connect to the crowds - or at least certain sorts of crowds who are angry and looking for targets of their anger. 

This article on the BBC news website is about the anger and polarization that is current in America at the moment. I think they ought to add "fear, insecurity and paranoia" to that - in fact the latter may explain the former. It is perhaps an irony that I became more aware of American politics when I moved into the intelligent design question and sensed the anger of IDists about publicly funded liberal-left academia. 

Trump appears to attract the right wing Christian evangelico-fundamentalists. Some evangelicals are anxious to show that Trump isn't a genuine Christian and that his embracing Christianity is just part of his theatre and spectacle. That's probably true, but it misses the point. Christian or not Trump connects with something in the evangelico-fundamentalist psyche and that is a little worrying because they clearly have a lot of common ground with Trump - they want what Trump wants. Like Trump they are intrinsically certain and insistent about what they believe. 

It's probably a an alarmist cliche to draw the comparison but without doubt there are parallels here with Hitler's Germany and those facist rallies of hi-emotion which stirred up fear, anger, paranoia and the identification of "sub-humans" who had lost the right to freedom.  Hilary Clinton had better win that election or else. Or else what? Liberals and Lefties getting knocks on their doors at night by enthusiastic and well armed thought vigilantes? The last thing we want is for the most powerful nuclear armed nation in the world to be run by these sorts of people.  But perhaps I'm getting paranoid myself; for such is the social ambiance of suspicion generated by the Trumps of this world.  

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