By Doug Newman – email me here.
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Donald Trump’s ascent to the White House is, every bit as much as that of his predecessor, evidence of the death of discernment in America.
Let’s forget, for a moment, all the gossip and noise and ask ourselves why is Trump so famous and why is he now the president?
Trump is famous for being famous. Have a look at the Forbes 400 list of American billionaires. Some are famous: Gates, Buffett, Zuckerberg, Jordan, Winfrey. However, most are not. You may have heard of their companies – Walmart, Amazon, Google, Starbucks – but not of them personally. The difference is that Trump has been in everybody’s face flaunting his wealth and trumpeting what he sees as his own wonderfulness since at least the 1980s.
We have never seen an egomaniac nearly approaching Trump. He makes Muhammad Ali look like a Milquetoast. The Bible prophesies – Two Thessalonians 2:3-4 – of the “son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped.”
Trump’s spiritual status is, as always, between him and God. I imagine that Trump is some sort of deist, believing that there is a god, but that he has no duties toward that god. And even though Trump is not the “son of perdition”, he exalts himself endlessly unlike anyone else we have ever seen in our out of politics.
Trump’s supporters are in just as much denial as those of any other president about his personal past. This goes double for his Christian supporters. They KNEW he was an adulterer who bragged about his adultery; they KNEW that “grab her by the p____” was just one of dozens of examples of him talking about women like trash; they KNEW he owned a strip club; and they KNEW he saw no need to repent as he felt he had done nothing wrong.
His conservative supporters KNEW he had for his whole life been a supporter of biglier, fatter, uglier, costlier, YUUUUGER, instrusiver government. His anti-war supporters KNEW he supported perpetual war all over the planet.
And they still supported him.
And they give the lamest excuses.
“He’s a businessman.” So are George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Ted Turner & Larry Flynt. So are all the Wall Street and Detroit executives who took all the bailout money. These people know as much about economics as does Bernie Sanders. Do you want any of them as dogcatcher, let alone president?
“He built things.” Quick! Tell me who quarterbacked the construction of the Freedom Tower in New York, the Willis Tower in Chicago or the Venetian in Las Vegas. You don’t know and I don’t know either because they haven’t been in our face 24/7 for decades.
“He created jobs.” So do lots of people. Look at this list of America’s largest employers. How many of their CEOs can you name? If you’re like me, not very many.
“He speaks his mind.” So does your neighborhood wino.
“He’s not politically correct.” Neither is the Grand Dragon of the KKK.
“If you’re against him you’re a liberal.” Being called a liberal by a Trump supporter is like being called a racist by an Obama supporter.
“God uses imperfect people.” Yeah, I know. He just let Obama stink up the White House for 8 years.
And finally, “He’s not Hillary.” Well neither are 320,000,000 other people. Is this the best you can do? “He’s not Hillary” is not a moral standard. Indeed, it constitutes a reckless disregard for morality in which anything and everything is acceptable because “he’s not Hillary”. If anything, it is a scare tactic.
In 1980, the big scare tactic was “anyone but Jimmy Carter”. In 2016 it was “anyone but Hillary”. Come 2020, the big scare tactic will be “anyone but ______” with ______ being someone worse than Hillary. All that will be necessary is for someone to be slightly less evil than ______ and that will be acceptable in the eyes of millions of “Christian conservatives”.
Obama Derangement Syndrome, and now Hillary Derangement Syndrome, have compelled millions to look the other way on all sorts of evil. You can’t vote for evil again and again and expect any sort of good result. You can’t vote for evil again and again and then complain about evil. You can’t ignore evil and have it magically become good.
And just being in denial does not make the truth go away. I won’t call Trump supporters “low information voters” as they endless amounts of information just a few keystrokes away. I will call them “high denial voters”. They simply don’t want to acknowledge the truth. They are not the only such people.
The late British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge had this to say: “People believe lies not because they have to, but because they want to.” In North Korea, refusal to believe lies means imprisonment and/or death. In America, people don’t have to believe lies, but they want to. In fact, they are absolutely desperate to believe lies.
In 1943, before he wrote 1984, George Orwell wrote of a “nightmare world” wherein, if the Leader “says that two and two are five – well two and two are five.” Americans pride themselves on being independent thinkers while at the same time succumbing to herd mentalities. The controlled right is no different than the controlled left: If people in their political tribe say it, they will believe it, no matter how preposterous it might actually be.
And this is at a time when we have more information available to us than any other people in the history of the world! I guess it is just something in human nature that finds comfort in conformity. Lies are often comfortable and the truth is often uncomfortable.
While the chair-warmer in the White House, no matter who that person may be, is no doubt a problem, he is not the problem that truly plagues America. And the problem is not in the houses of Congress, the courthouses or the statehouses. The problem is in your house and my house.
The first three words of the Constitution are “We the People”. “Constitution” is not just defined as a political document outlining the duties of a government. It is also defined as the composition of something. As long as the great masses of people are so easily influenced by whatever sounds good, and as long as they seek security in parties and politicians, they will, whether they recognize it or not, be under the heel of tyrants.
I say this as someone who once could very much be described by the previous sentence. Then I started reading between the lines and doing some independent thinking. And in the spring of 1992, I walked off the plantation. When will you do likewise?