As I watch the non-stop coverage of Donald Trump I wonder.
Currently the cameras are fixed to the sky – at Trump’s giant name-tagged jet performing a fly-by over an angry crowd in Alabama. A crowd that desperately wants to “take their country back.” In one way or another, be it rich or bombastic, they all want to be like Trump.
Lord help us.
In the republican presidential primary shock and awe state of mind that many of us find ourselves, I wonder at what point in a country’s lifespan does the country itself become a complete and total dumbass – and as a consequence – begins its inevitable dissolution into ancient history. After empires fall they’re left thereafter to be understood only vaguely as dates and names taught by elementary school teachers. If lucky, they’re later brought to life by Australian actors in association with Industrial Light and Magic and whoever else wants to make a dollar from the chaotic nature of empires.
I’m not restricting the United Dumbasses of America assessment to the thousands of people in Alabama who are currently waiting to offer an angry, flag-waving, Trump-scowl-driven “Wa Hoo!” to the cameras.
I’m talking about all of us.
A country is only as good as its combined citizenry. A nation’s intelligence is collective. One genius-level citizen cannot teach reason to a country full of bumbling idiots high on false bravado and a fear of shadows. The steady 25% of republican primary voters who appear to support a candidate who advocates kicking out anyone who doesn’t look like a middle-aged white man from the south are the symptom of a larger national problem. The cause is the rest of us who allow such factions to fester due to a lack of education and a tolerance for intolerance. The same thing has happened countless times in history. Yet every on every cycle those who tolerate intolerance believe the hyper-nationalistic faction will grow out it. Yes. Dumbasses all are we. So says History.
Countries come and go. Anyone who believes otherwise has already fallen into the “I’m an idiot” pit of nationalistic hubris. Most often the catalyst for the fall of a country is, quite literally, the exact sort of combination of hyper-nationalism coupled with a large wealth gap and a poorly-educated public.
Donald Trump is America’s most successful gladiator, and cable news is his Coliseum.
We are the mob – liberals included. Independents included. Moderates included. Democrats merely have higher seats and spend just as much time watching the crowd as we do watching the show. Both views show a bloodbath. When a country reaches this sort of emotion-driven stagecraft as a governing norm it has two choices: focus on education, or get ready for eventual implosion. The emotions and thought processes behind “build a wall”, “anchor baby”, and booing in anger don’t build countries. They end countries. Especially when the opposition to the noise is too damn complacent to demand a stop to the insanity.
This isn’t a doomsday prediction. I’m not channeling Chuck Norris, here. There will not be a thousand years of darkness. I’m talking about Human History and how it progresses in time frames that are too long for a single media medium to track. Cable news channels that started the hoopla will be long gone by the time the U.S. comes to a close.
It takes a long time for an empire to fall apart, but the symptoms are clear. For the sake of the country, we can no longer tolerate intolerance. The reason Trump is winning is not because of the 25% of republicans who like him… it’s because of the 75% of us who don’t.
We need to stop appeasing and start teaching. It’s the only way to stop the crazy.