Washington, DC (TFC) – Donald Trump was inevitable. Given the course of history, there was little other path that the United States could take. Of course there are untold masses of people who identify with his racism, his hyperbole. Of course there are people who resonate with his message of “winning,” or of “making America great again.” No wonder, too, that the United States loves dystopian fiction; we don’t want to admit that Donald Trump is a viable candidate for the ludicrous title of “Leader of the Free World,” and we don’t want to admit that the dystopia is here and present – but both are true.
Yes, the situation, for many, is dystopian. Not for so many in the United States, perhaps, compared to people living on the African and Asian continents, but quite a few feel that way. They feel that they are threatened; their jobs are gone or severely underpaid, they have little access to education or health care, some have no access to even clean drinking water, as in the case of the people of Flint. All of this in the wealthiest empire the world has ever known, the paragon of might and power, the true and clear successor of Rome. As Upton Sinclair said in his novel The Jungle,
“There is one kind of prison where the man is behind bars, and everything he desires is outside; and there is another kind where the things are behind the bars, and the man is outside.”
The people see all these pretty things in their glass cages, and they are unreachable. 62 people control the same amount of wealth as the bottom half of the human race combined. This inequality is, of course, a function of the capitalist system that the United States has championed and pimped throughout the world, with the help of the other Western Imperialist powers. The trouble is that this lust for power and privilege leaves so many out in the cold. Thus, politics were invented by those in power in order to divide those they decided to fleece – which is where fascism is born, and indeed, the success of Donald Trump.
Donald Trump appeals to the whiteness of those who feel disenfranchised. This much is plainly apparent in his attacks on the Latino and Muslim population of the United States. The fact is, over the years, the division that the ruling class has imposed on the working class has sunk in. The capitalists have taken their jobs and shipped them overseas. Wages have stagnated. Many people feel that all they have left is their “whiteness,” the color that looks back at them when they look in the mirror, the face drawn out in lines of reflected light that say to them, “this is my identity, I am…”
Ah, but now that too is being taken away. “The Blacks” have risen up in Black Lives Matter, “The Muslims” are taking over with Sharia Law and ISIS, “The Mexicans” are taking what jobs are left. Women, too, are rising up and taking steps forward in the public and private spheres. What power, what agency, “Whites” have left is somehow dwindling. The division has grown to the point that it is backfiring on the establishment, status quo loving elite. They went too far, and now, this is what they get.
It is worth noting here that “Whiteness” is a construct. Racial policy was essentially created by ruling elites to justify slavery and protect the economic systems of their times. Many groups that were not considered “White” a century ago are considered such now, the Italian and Irish communities in particular, and the Jewish community only just barely now. It is an abstraction, a term of political and economic convenience. It even crosses spiritual lines; in years past, people of the Catholic faith were not considered to be truly “White,” regardless of their ethnic background. But it was a system of convenience only to the ruling classes. To everyone else, it has been a curse of epic proportions, a plague causing violence and disorder throughout any place where it has been practiced. Now, however, it is quickly getting out of hand. The ruling elite has only spare control over the effects of the division it has created; indeed, the indoctrination now runs so deep that they themselves believe it.
Donald Trump is a side effect of this long, terrible history of oppression and division. Here, we have a quintessentially American and almost fictional character; a loud, racist, proudly ignorant, spoiled, rich clown. Delusions of grandeur, lust for power and wealth. A misogynist and someone who repeatedly fails but continues to frame these failures as successes. He is also incredibly modern; a reality TV star, a celebrity, and a marketer, a person who has made his money selling his own name as a brand. This is the key to Donald Trump; the system has created a situation where the people know that they are fed up and confused, but they don’t know what to do. They have been trained to love their “Whiteness,” and to consume, and now enters someone who will sell them back all the privilege they feel that has been taken from them. A true snake oil salesman, as all true fascists must be, Donald Trump appeals to the existing divisions in society, wrought by centuries of capitalist greed and political corruption, by white and male privilege, by failed policies and lack of integrity and decency.
Donald Trump was inevitable. When we allow ourselves to be divided instead of working together, when political leaders serve the wealthy instead of the powerless, when the system serves only the class that has enough wealth to buy it, fascism and lunacy reigns. It is now getting beyond the ability of anyone to control, and we must ask ourselves –
Isn’t another world possible?