…can kill you.
A CNN pundit compared Trump’s venomous rhetoric to my generation’s childhood favorite…Kool Aid. Thankfully, I wised up long before my daughter was born so that she was saved from the distinct pleasure of downing liquid sugar…the definition of Kool Aid. Perhaps that’s why she also has sense enough not to be enamored of Mr. Trump’s silly diatribes.
Trump’s latest love fest with Vladimir Putin included addressing the Russian leader’s alleged involvement with the murder of a widely known journalist from that country. A reporter who had the guts to speak the truth about Putin’s questionable politics.
During his latest presidential rally Trump claimed over and over that while he hated members of the media because they were disgusting scum who lie, he would never kill them. Kinda. At one point he paused, lips puckered as if contemplating whether he would or wouldn’t do the dastardly deed. Obviously, Trump aims for laughs because of the standup comic he is when playing for an audience. And, the sad part is, he gets those laughs from the folks who breathe oxygen from his every word.
Who are these die-hard Trump groupies?
Angus Deaton, the Nobel Prize Laureate winner in economics appeared on Fareed Zakaria’s Global Public Square this past Sunday. They discussed Deaton’s findings that the mortality rate among white Americans has escalated, while that of black Americans has decreased (although it is still higher overall.) According to Deaton, the affected class of whites have seen their economic livelihood disappear, mostly overseas where labor is cheaper. Most only have a high school degree making it difficult to find jobs to support themselves and their families. Many succumb to the downward spiral, turning to drugs and alcohol, or suicide for relief.
Going one step further, Zakaria suggested that these white Americans have turned to Trump as the answer to all their problems. Deaton could not confirm this suggestion, but said he would be looking into the geography from which his conclusions were gathered.
Before hearing what these two men had to say, I didn’t really think about Tea Partiers…as people. They were just a faceless group of men and women with crazy, extreme right-wing ideas. However it made sense that they would feel disenfranchised from an America that seems to be moving forward without them. They see the Democratic Party as staunch supporters of the poor and middle class, and mainstream Republicans as pawns of the wealthy one percent. It’s conceivable, therefore, that they would cling to Trump as their champion and savior.
Because they are a throwback to a generation where one took care of one’s own family, turning to the government for help is frowned upon. According to them, welfare is for slackers. And that’s one thing down-and-out white Americans refuse to be called…slackers. Not when they’ve grown up with the refrain…”pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps”…ringing in their ears.
What Tea Partiers and folks like them fail to recognize is that times have changed, permanently. The world is a lot scarier than it was in the past. It’s closing in, getting smaller and smaller with cultures overlapping whether we like it or not. Technology is so complex that experts are needed to help us maneuver cyberspace. We all need one another…to “cover each other’s backs”…against the real enemies determined to annihilate all of us…at random, willy-nilly.
Trump is like a sip of Kool Aid for those thirsting for a sweet reprieve. That’s all it is though…a momentary high. The crash back to earth afterwards is inevitable. Trump is just another temporary means of coping with reality…a drug…
…not a permanent solution.