Tolerating the unthinkable to gain a feeling of safety and certainty

Most Americans seem to be tolerating the unthinkable to gain a feeling of safety and certainty.

Trump is proof that many Americans are ready for a strong-man President that provides a feeling of safety and certainty. It seems many Americans have little appetite for debate or discerment. They don’t want to hear about the nuances, the outliers, the exceptions. Neither do they want to hear about the unintended consequences, long term implications, or theoretical possibilities of his actions, directives, or policies.

Most Americans seem to just want to feel safe, feel they can make money, and feel America is winning. In supporting Trump most Americans seem to be accepting of his shenanigans and misconduct. They seem to feel that his bad behaviour, Tweeting, and personal failings are but a small price to pay for the America they want. To these Americans, Trump is their ‘useful idiot’, expressing what they have been wanting to say publicly for decades but felt that the politically correct crowd had them in a corner. To them, Trump is implementing policies that may be a tad draconian, hurtful to some, or inconvenient for others, yet these policies make them feel safe and provide them certainty. (Whether they do or not is irrelevant; they make them feel good – and that is all that matters.)

These Americans seem to love that Trump does not complicate things, keeps it simple, and is brazenly blunt. They like that. They have better things to do than to be consumed with politics. They just want to vote for him. Again. And again. The alternative – they seem to be thinking – is unthinkable.

He is clearly playing to the American addiction to hyper consumerism, self imposed censorship, escapism in sports and entertainment, fear of the unknown, and simplistic dual thinking… And – to most Americans – that’s ok. 

Never mind that he is appealing to our worst selves:
– envy,
– greed,
– selfishness, and
– tribalism.

(That’s ok too. Whatever works, baby!)

Never mind he is questioning basic assumption of how our government works.
> Why should the judiciary be independent of Presidential pressure?
> Why can’t we use military force to accompany immigration raids?
> What is wrong with soliciting foreign assistance to squelch a political opponent?
> What do you mean the President can’t shift money around to pay for his political promises?
> So what if the President publicly favors one news source over another?
>If he can’t pardon friends after being indicted, what good is the Presidential power to pardon?
> Who cares that the National debt is mushrooming as we pay for corporate socialism and bail out farmers?
> Who says judges have to be Ivy League intellectuals or be impartial in the face of social issues like abortion and LGBTQ+ rights?
> Why can’t the Commander in Chief choose to align with Russia more than Europe, Saudi Arabia more than Mexico, Vietnam more than Cuba, Israel more than Palestine?
> Why shouldn’t a President benefit from the Presidency?

In most every case above, there may be a legal rationale to question it, or a practice or protocol that set precedent for presidential behaviour. But in most there is simply no black/white, hard and fast, universally accepted argument that is beyond question – as the recent impeachment trial demonstrated.

In Trump we have a new type of President: A strong-man who rules by brute force, Tweets, and brassiness. He does not need a Congress. The Judiciary is here to serve him. And so is the Military… And that seems to be ok with many Americans.

The only check to this situation that many other Americans see as right out dangerous and an affront on America is that old school process called ‘elections’. But, even elections are not beyond the President’s capacity to shape for his purpose of staying in power. Now he can direct voter suppression, social media fear mongering, and blatant propaganda.

Nothing short of a massive voter turn-out and clear landslide victory will get Trump out of the White House. And even with that, there is no guarantee he would not fabricate a crisis where he stays in power. If he wins in 2020 and is still around in 2024, we will definitely have a very different America for decades to come… And that seems to be ok with many Americans.