I have often wondered what it is in the human psyche that results in millions, or tens of millions, of people to enthusiastically and slavishly support some one as vile, vulgar and reprehensible as a Donald Trump. Some one who has openly put on daily display an astonishing array of non-stop mendacity, pathological narcissism, a bullying persona, a profound ignorance of world affairs, the most disgustingly lewd remarks affecting women, and a total dearth of anything resembling human compassion and empathy. The conclusion I’ve come to (which isn’t a pretty one), is that a large number of people out there cannot accept responsibility for the failings in their lives. If they’ve made some really bad choices in life it has to be the fault of others. If they can’t achieve a decent job or career, it’s because of those illegal Mexicans taking away their job opportunities. It couldn’t possibly be that they have failed to put in the time and effort necessary to attain marketable job skills. It has to be the illegals who comprise less than 3.5% of the U.S. populations and are usually employed in jobs most Americans won’t accept. Like performing gardening chores in blazingly hot 110 degree summers that we’re so familiar with in Las Vegas.
When you combine blaming others for the feelings of inadequacy one possesses, one has a bullying-type persona in the making. Nothing like searching for some one weaker to beat up on, in order to alleviate those nagging feelings of self-loathing. This creates the perfect world for the demagogue to step into and rile up the masses to his benefit. We all know how effectively and destructively demagoguery was used in the 20th century by the likes of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, Saddam Hussein, and others. Now we have our own, home-grown demagogue on the threshold of achieving absolute power. Besides all the inane, mendacious comments Trump has previously made, which I’ve chronicled in previous pieces, his latest ones show a cynical appetite for unprecedented recklessness. Send Hillary to jail because of her email fiasco, presumably without her Constitutional right to due process, is one of his more recent pronouncements. The Trumpinistas at his rallies cry “Hillary for prison.” Blind, unthinking demagoguery. His latest rant is that the election is “rigged.” This gives Trump the best of two worlds. If he wins, he can say that he’s so magnificent that despite a rigged election system he was able to overcome. If he loses, he will say that he would have won but for the way the Democrats and the media conspired to deprive him of his earned victory. This will allow him grounds to challenge the election results well after November 8. Remember that the election really isn’t over until the Electoral College casts its vote.
One has to go back 60 years in American history, to the 1950s, to find another demagogue who built his fame by destroying others through a reckless disregard for truth and honesty. I’m talking about Joe McCarthy, affectionately called Tail-Gunner Joe, and the era of anti-communist hysteria the gripped America at that time. McCarthy’s fame and potential rise to dictatorship came from declaring that the U.S. government and many powerful institutions such as Hollywood, major corporations, and others were riddled with Communists whose loyalty was solely to the old Soviet Union. He called hundreds of witnesses before his Senate committee, often declaring they were Communist spies or sympathizers, usually without a shred of evidence. Dozens of innocent lives were destroyed by McCarthy’s unfounded allegations in hearings before his Senate committee. Some committed suicide. McCarthy declared that if you disagreed with him you were obviously a Communist, a Commie sympathizer or a “Pinko.” He had an almost identical belligerent, bullying personality as Trump has today. But McCarthy traveled a bridge too far when he assailed the U.S.Army as being loaded with Communists. That led to the famous Army-McCarthy televised hearings, where, in response to McCarthy’s unfounded allegations, the Army’s counsel shouted out- “Have you no shame sir. Have you no shame.” Finally exposed for the fraud that he was, McCarthy began losing followers and started drinking heavily. By the late 1950s, McCarthy had drank himself to death.
So what would it take to expose today’s demagogue for the fraud he really is. Perhaps the knowledge of who’s behind the scene fueling his campaign. Trump has put this Kellyanne person with a pretty face on TV news channels as his campaign spokeswoman. But the real power behind the throne is a man named Steve Bannon, who definitely does not have a pretty face, but rather a sordid background. Bannon comes from a far right-wing fringe group known as Breitbart News that likes to dabble in extremist causes with overtones of fascism. His ex-wife has called him out for spousal abuse, and uttering anti-semitic statements. Its Bannon’s input that has led to Trump statements that “she has to go to jail.” Presumably, this would happen without a trial or due process were Trump allowed to achieve his ultimate goal. Another power figure behind the scenes is Corey Lewandowski, who managed Trump’s 2012 campaign which based on being a “Birther,” i.e. claiming Barack Obama was really born in Kenya, and thus, was not a U.S. citizen. The fraudulence of that effort was exposed early on, and Trump had to call it quits. The fraudulence of Trump’s 2016 campaign, however, is still seeing the light of day.
The election is 3 weeks from today. Nothing less is at stake than whether the U.S. continues to function as a democratic republic, or becomes a fascist-type dictatorship. After all, appealing to the worst of society has paid off for ruthless tyrants many times in the past.