I was reading “Divided by Meaning” by Chris Arnade, who does a really amazing job of profiling Trump supporters, for who they really are - and that’s just people. People like me and you. They’re not stupid; he keeps insisting. And he’s right.
They are not stupid, but they are angry and afraid. Anger and fear causes people to do stupid things and to be outright hateful. Trump and crew are now planning to “scorch the earth.” And that’s before he even gets into office. Wow.
I’m not surprised though. Because I know these people. I’ve known them from various walks of life — and it’s not a race thing, (sadly, I know black people for Trump) but it certainly is a limited worldview, uneducated thing.
I tried to expand said world views at the local community college where I taught Composition, for a number of years, where I taught my fair share of back seaters. Trump supporters are back seaters. This is Arnade’s description of them anyway. I think it’s a clever one, because it gives you a real good visual and analogy of these peoples’ lot in life; and what it feels like to be one of them. (And because he didn’t want to leave anything to the imagination, or perhaps because he wanted to really spur it, Arnade provides actual visual: photos. They are compelling. And yes, this is your America.)
During the past decade in America, so many of us have been pushed into back seats that we thought we were too good to occupy. We work too hard. We are too smart, too well-educated. We live in the suburbs. We love Jesus. We were born here. We are men. Oh, and here is the topper…we are white men. We can’t possibly be expected to sit in a back seat? Are you kidding me? That’s not how this thing works! This is Merica!
Well things have changed a bit. (It’s called globalization. It is our new economic reality.) Globalization has landed so many of us where we least expected to be, in the back seat, despite all above.
What to do? Vote for Trump!
I’m not doing this. If you want to know how my ballot will be cast, check out “I’m Voting with a Gun To My Head.” That’s how I am dealing with all of this.
I’m just putting you inside the mind of a Trump supporter, but only very briefly, not with the depth and caring and compassion of Arnade. (And I think that’s cool. Very cool, how he does just that.)
Arnade points out that many of America’s back seat kids (primarily the white ones) feel as if Trump is giving them a voice. They identify with him. They truly believe that in some strange way he represents them.
Well yes and no. On the world stage, where the multi-billionaires roll, Trump is a backseat kid. But he is not, I repeat not, representing America’s back seat kids.
He is using them simply to propel himself to the multi-billionaires (multibills) table. He only throws shots at the multibills, because they won’t let him have a seat. It has zero to do with any sort of empathy or concern for America’s backset kids who identify with Trump. Trump will use his supporters like toilet paper, literally, which is to say he will dispose of them. But not without first wiping excrement all over.
Hillary already has a seat at the table. She’s a player. Because of the way our world and our politics have changed, all politicians are players. Trump wants a seat at the multibillionaire’s table and he is getting there by hijacking our political system. (And, he’s probably thinking, everyone else is doing it, why can’t I?) Most corporations do this by back-pocketing the players — not by becoming them. Well, Trump has other plans. He will get a seat at the table one way or another. He’ll take Hillary’s. (And of course all the macho-men are with him on this, and the brainwashed women too…who in the hell does she think she is to have a seat at the table? Little missy needs to sit down, shut up and cook Bill some dinner and bring it to the table, right? A woman with a seat at the table? Never that. Never. All of the sexist small minds, male and female, will internally combust, should this happen.)
So Trump’s going to take her seat. Maybe he wasn’t at first, but he’s got a taste of the real big leagues now - and he has to go for it. He’s gotta make a play for the money and the power. Because of his base — he’s pumped! It’s risky though. He is gambling on a seat at the table with Russia, Iran, and Syria. He is not pandering to U.S., Great Britain and Israel because that seat at that table has been reserved for Hillary. This switchroo, should he pull it off, could drastically change every American’s way of life — and probably not for the better, but that matters not.
All Trump cares about is the exponential wealth such backroom deals would put within his reach. And the power. Anyone who disagrees with him, can go to prison or be executed. (FYI Trump supporters: this is how dictators roll. But I’m guessing it’s all cool. You have no king but Caesar.)
An American presidency will line the Don’s pockets quite nicely. It’s a gamble; and we’re just a country. The multibills gamble with countries all the time.
If you are an American citizen, you may be asking what about us? None of these players give a damn about any of us. Not really. We are all just incidentally here, living in a country the multibills own, whining and complaining about how they manage their stuff: their banks, their property, their water, their energy, their information technology, their cheap illegal immigrant labor. We still complain even after they give us all the illusion of being able to “own a piece of the American Dream” and having choices and being able to vote for them. Try to see it from the multibill’s view. Ungrateful pawns all of us. They’d like nothing more than for all of us to sit down, shut up, and do exactly as told. Some of us are still smart enough to see through all of it, and recognize what’s really going down.
The rules of engagement are changing swiftly. Corporations, once content to stay in the background of politics are now stepping directly into the foray. That’s what Trump represents; and he is, in this sense, a true maverick and innovator. He see’s the opportunity and he’s taking it. He wants to be in the multibills club, damn it! The Koch brothers aren’t letting him in. Doesn’t he know? Real business moguls own politicians, they don’t become them.
If Trump gets into the Whitehouse, he will flush his supporters like soiled toilet paper. I know he said he’d never do this — but he lies, blatantly, and nonstop. Who would believe him? His supporters, despite the fact that he cares nothing for these people. His whole career has left a trail of bodies, just like these people, behind him. Everyone who supports Trump, ultimately gets burned. (Except his kids, maybe, but who knows what their private lives are like…to have to deal with that on daily basis. My God.) And yet, his supporters just love him…because they want to be him.
Here’s the thing…as much as people dislike Clinton, Trump is just like her. They are two sides of the same coin. The coin is money and power. They both want it and are getting it by leveraging pawns — their supporters. Trump decided that he could do this best by pitting them against one another; and he picked precisely the right kind for this ugly job — the angry, the marginalized, the white unheard and discarded. Believe me. I feel for them. They’ve always gotten a bum deal, and have primarily kept themselves in the dark about it. I want them to be heard…just not like this. Not via endless chants and rants of mindless, senseless hate and fear and intolerance and insanity. That is a cancer that will eat us all alive.
But yes, Trump is a lot like his supporters, a back row kid not even invited to the main event. He doesn’t even have a ticket. Because he has been snubbed, he will jack Hillary’s ticket and if he can’t do that, he will burn America’s house down. He’s going to stir up all this hate and fear and intolerance. He’s going to make sexual assault cool, even when it’s creepy. He will show us all. All of us, who refused to pledge blind allegiance to him, who had the audacity to be disgusted by his rapey remarks, will be shown what it is to snub the Donald. He’s already implementing a “scorched earth” plan — against us all; and this is before he even gets into office.
But the thing is, when Trump finishes scorching the earth, what then? Everyone will be burned because fire is fire - and fire does not honor identity politics. And where are we going to live when our house is nothing but ashes beneath our feet, standing on the earth that Trump has scorched?
Yes I get it. Trump and his supporters are rioting. Trump is doing it because he wants a seat at the multibills table and his supporters are doing it because they want to live decently, meaningfully and without fear. (Isn’t that what we all want?) But as bad as our living conditions are now, can you imagine how much worse they will be after these scorched earth Trump riots?
Well, I’ll sell the T-shirts. They’ll say, I survived the Trump scorched earth riots! I’m taking orders now. Let me know if you want one. Trump supporters, I’ll even give you a discount.