Apparently, 73 million people voted for Trump. We know that the 1%ers are a big part of that, given their insidious lust for money, but that still leaves 68 million hateful ignorami in our midst. Fear and ignorance drive this horde, denying rights and freedoms to anyone with a different way of life.
For those who think that we all just have to sit down and talk, I encourage you to read Wajahat Ali’s Reach Out to Trump Supporter. That should cure you of that delusion.
To understand these people, one only has to paraphrase David Attenborough’s forward to Cameron’s To the Furthest Ends of the Earth on the nature of explorers: Trump supporters (explorers) are not, perhaps, the most promising people with whom to build a society. Some might say that these people become Trump supporters precisely because they have a streak of unsociability and need to remove themselves at regular intervals as far as possible from their fellow man. In other words, these people tend to be self-centered jerks.
And so what do we do with these hate-filled loons? The knowledge is there and they won’t read it. Instead they call it fake and lies. They will not listen. This is not a case of separate bubbles of perception. This is a hateful, ignorant group who will not engage. Time could work, if not for this collapsing world. Our chances are becoming nil to zero. Could they be given a time out or something? Maybe we could come back to them in a year?
And for those who think that we all just have to sit down and talk, I encourage you to read Wajahat Ali’s Reach Out to Trump Supporter. That should cure you of that delusion.
Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America chronicles the possibility of Charles Lindbergh, American hero and Nazi sympathizer, defeating Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1940 election, leading America into isolationism and violent Antisemitism. Most striking of all about this alternate reality is its similarities with today’s Trump America: “…when they turned on the news, they were devastated by the speed with which everything dreadful was happening.” (329) In the book’s postscript, Roth reprints Lindbergh’s speech against involvement in World War II on September 11, 1941:
The subterfuge and propaganda that exists in our country is obvious on every side. These war agitators comprise only a small minority of our people, but they control a tremendous influence. Against the determination of the American people…they have marshaled the power of the propaganda, their money, their patronage. The Jewish people’s greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government.
Trump, identical to Lindbergh, refuses to address the hate and violence that stems from words like these. And instead soldiers forth, blind and naked, leaving us to wonder where this reality, not as alternate as most would like, might lead.
So-Called President Trump’s refusal to answer questions is nothing new. Charlton Heston nailed this role beautifully in Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine. As did Tom Cruise in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia. Well, as have many young folks from time immemorial.
Ava DuVernay’s Academy-nominated documentary 13th exposes the intrinsic flaw of America’s 13th Amendment. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
While abolishing slavery is well and good – how did it ever happen in the first place?! – the amendment allows for the practice to continue through the penal system, a system that systematically incarcerates black males in America, a population that, only 4% of the overall population, accounts for 40% of prisoners. DuVernay outlines America’s dismal history of discrimination and servitude, citing Jim Crow laws as well as the systematic targeting of black leaders such as Angela Davis and Black Panther Fred Hampton.Presidents Nixon, Reagan and Clinton are all indicted for the role in the morass as well as So-Called President Trump. Most insidious of all is the monetization of the mass incarcerations – corporations such as WalMart and Time Warner directly profiting from these policies – as well as the understanding that another iteration of the racist laws awaits us all. DuVernay’s film needs to be seen. Okay, so what are you doing? Watch it now!