Trump’s America isn’t great. Trump’s America isn’t strong, or proud, or honorable. Trump’s America is scared. Scared and devolving.
Seven days of post-inauguration doubt have confirmed republicans misremember Reagan. They don’t want to create shining cities. They frame policy within the confines of fear, perceived strength, and a desire to drive large automobiles. Trump’s Republican Party is base. Primal.
It’s no stretch of the imagination to guess POLITUSIC believes Reagonomics is a scam, but the Patron Saint of Republicanland had something to say about American morality that modern republicanism wholly contradicts. In his farewell address, Ronald Reagan offered his political vision for America:
I’ve spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.
Donald Trump’s vision – which to be clear, is the vision of the man pulling Donald’s strings, Steve Bannon – is light-years away from GOP Saint Reagan’s. By the end of Puppet Trump’s first week, he has closed commerce, defunded creativity, insulted proud cities, paved the way to pollute the oceans, and authorized barbed-wired walls without doors.
As I write, legal residents with green cards are being denied entry, and people are being pulled off planes. There is no grey area in a Puppet Trump’s world: Other is Other. Context, history, empathy… these are not part of the Trump Administration decision-making paradigm.
Families aren’t living in peace, they’re living in fear. Ports are not humming, they’re wondering why the president is willingly inciting a trade war.
And there is no heart in America. Not in Trump’s America. Humanitarianism, plurality – freedom – these are no longer words we can use to describe “what America stands for”. Not anymore, anyway. If America has a heart, it’s heavy. America’s chest hurts.
Trump’s Presidency is the end result of fear, blame, insecurity
When people of the world look at America, they don’t see what Reagan’s successor saw. They don’t see light. When the world – now the outside world – looks to America, they see a thousand points of beady eyes. Eyes bloodshot from squinting into the darkness trying to spot threats born from fear’s overactive imagination. Trump’s America isn’t great. Trump’s America isn’t strong, or proud, or honorable. Trump’s America is scared. Scared and devolving. Some might say terrorism has won.
Are there dangers in the world? Of course, as there have been since before humans became humans. But progress doesn’t hide in the dark. Humanity evolved because we didn’t hide in our caves. We evolved because we wanted to learn more, interact, and explore the horizon. Steve Bannon and Puppet Trump are scared beta males… and they’re pulling the country into their isolated cave. We are experiencing a reversal of the evolution of Humanity.
Humanity evolves just like animals, but for one difference: Humanity can go backwards
As republican campaign managers have known for years, fear and hate are the best way to rally republicans and win elections. Intense fear of a thing always leads to hate of that thing. Onto hate, stack decades of right-wing blame and conspiracies cast by conservative media… the end result is President Donald J. Trump: a man so insecure that he ties his ties longer in an attempt to extend his manhood. He barks from behind fences and he cannot take critique. He is a facade.
In America – particularly conservative and rural America – men are taught that being a good provider is what is means to be A Man. Money. Shelter. Food. The more money a man has, the more alpha he is within society.
Men are also taught that strength is defined by making hard choices when others cannot; being harsh in circumstances when “the women” would be too… frail or fragile… to make the hard choices themselves.
This is all part of social evolution: how human culture and society evolve through time. The nuances differ country to region to religion, but the foundation moves in one piece. When a man loses his job he cannot provide and therefore becomes less of a man: less alpha and more beta. When he has no authority within the tribe he becomes less of a man. Now apply that to the average Trump voter. To compensate for his ever-dwindling perceived manhood within American society, he tends to support decisions and policies that appear to be more harsh – because harsh is a reflection of strength, and strength is a reflection of Manhood. When a man has no authority nor ability to provide, bashing the ground with a stick to appear “strong” is about all he can do to prove he’s still a man.
The problem: this relgio-republican definition of Manhood is the exact opposite of that which makes Humanity function: compassion and empathy. Without compassion and empathy humans cannot bond beyond basic reproduction. There is no community, no creativity, an impasse to enhancing knowledge… and it’s debatable if we’d even bother to raise children into adulthood. As compassion and empathy crumble, fear and walls are built – people are barred from entry, and cruelty masquerades as strength.
Steve Bannon, Puppet Trump, and the delusion that is “American strength” are literally reversing the evolution of Humanity.