We are witness to a revolution that has been fomenting since the end of the Civil War. America had forgotten those of the frontier, the people who forged their way across this vast country to build a better life for themselves. They found it for a while, but when the world moved on, they were left behind for the most part. In the South, they were ripped off after the Civil War by the carpetbaggers. Then they saw the black population succeeding when they were not. It was a bitter pill to swallow when those they had considered inferior pulled ahead through struggles and tenacity.
Middle America, the heartland where cities were built around factories, thrived as the industrial revolution increased along with exports and world markets. The 1950’s showed a country where progress abounded for anyone wanted to work for it, and the baby boomers were the products of enthusiasm, possibilities and the expectations of a better lifestyle than their parents.
The barons of industry, people like Donald Trump, decided in the late 1960’s that they weren’t making a vast enough profit if they paid their employees a living wage. With enhanced transportation, they could close those plants and go to places where the labor was cheaper. In their wake, they left behind destruction: ghost towns, unemployment and shattered dreams. Since then, those they dumped out of their complacency have had to fend for themselves. That hasn’t been working out too well. Business now looks for the techies, the ones who have kept up with the digital age. Jobs for the uneducated, jobs requiring strength and raw labor, became scarce. That is the reason use of fossil fuels and coal mining has been such a matter of contention between the parties.
In the 1980’s everything was picking up again, no major wars, the country was on an upward swing well into the 1990’s. Then new millennium arrived, 9/11, and the financial crisis. People were again dispossessed, lost homes by the millions and the final nail was put into the coffin of dreams held by the middle class. But the south and the mid-west were still suffering from the older wounds and the bitterness and hate passed down for generations. Just another reason to hate was piled on. No one cared much about them. They had been left to fester in their own ignorance and were discounted in their hate for a successful black president. The vitriol and bigotry being spewed on social media was largely ignored as being from cranks.
But Trump paid attention. It must have appealed to him when he kept up the birther argument to see how many ‘likes’ he got. Trump was also conversant with Hitler and his strategies. Unleashing hate, dividing people one against another is a very old and successful trick—divide and conquer. He used exactly that, and he won. He was correct when he said he could go out and kill someone on the avenue and he wouldn’t lose his following.
It’s hard for gullible people to see behind the curtain, even when the truth is staring at them from the speaker’s own words in recorded conversations. Like the woman who marries an abusive boyfriend “When we are married, I can change him, things will be different.” But that is never true. People always show you who they actually are if you only pay attention. Listen to the words and what they mean. Not listen only to what you hope they are saying, what you want them to mean. What you want them to do for you. It never happens.
No one in America has any interest in history. If it wasn’t on twitter last week and didn’t concern the Kardashians or some other no-talent public figure, it is of no interest. Most of America doesn’t know what WWII was or who Hitler was or what he did to his country. They have no clue he is the blueprint for the man who they have just elected as president.
We get what we deserve. The entire government is now controlled by right-wing ultra conservative religious fundamentalists. Trump was supported by the Klu Klux Klan, the Christian group formed after the Civil War by the anti-black, white supremacists and Evangelicals. Basically the philosophical equal to those who supported Hitler. Now those who were left behind during the digital, technological and financial success of citizens and immigrants on both coasts of the country.
America has just become a savage fascist country. Brutal. Revengeful. Sad. This is the death of the American experiment. If you want the proof that humans are not caring or kind, but petty, greedy and cruel, look who we have elected to govern us. We are liars to the core, thinking of ourselves as being good religious people of faith, caring about each other, families and children, but will follow anyone who appeals to our basest sociopathic nature, even if it goes against our self-interest. Look at the recent elections in the Philippines, Brexit and now Trump. The phenomenon is not unique to the USA. People are relishing throwing out those who dared to come to their countries to take advantage of a better life—exactly like the parents of all the citizens who just voted.
ISIS has accomplished what it wanted. Frighten people so much they would forget the good part of their humanity. Act against a whole religion they had been living in harmony with for generations. Make the world a grooming ground for potential terrorists.Turn neighbors and friends against each other. Have Mexican names discriminated against, have all Muslims looked upon as potential terrorists.
A scab has been picked off the festering wound that has gone on untended for over 150 years. The pus is out in the open for a shocked nation to see how deep the infection has gone. Trump has vowed to heal the injuries that have been suffered for so long. What remains to be seen is what he will be able to deliver and what changes will be made to benefit the entire country. Changes in Social Security, our Allies, medical coverage, taxes, the Supreme Court, a useless and expensive wall, police brutality, torture, international relations in a difficult time? All are in the offing. These are delicate matters to be dealt with carefully and with forethought of the consequences as they can impact our country for generations to come.
We shouldn’t be shocked. Instead, we should understand that all we have been taught as kids, to show respect for others, to be kind, help thy neighbor, and obey all the 10 commandments, have been nothing more than millennia long failed attempts to place restrictions on mankind’s basic nature – a vicious, narcissistic animal that loves violence, putting down the less fortunate, and cares for nothing other than itself. Sure there are altruists, but we have just learned they don’t have enough power to fight the rampant hate, even though they are in the majority and keep on trying. I guess that’s why some people are called saints.