Vox Populi: A Public Sphere for Politics and Poetry
No doubt about it, Donald Trump represents a great tragedy and a threat for the American political system. But in spite of the GOP’s feigned reaction of horror to Donald, he is entirely their creation, and based on his wildly successful campaign to date, he accurately reflects the acute bigotry, hatred, and narcissism that the GOP has been spoon-feeding its base for decades. The GOP has long been America’s loudest propaganda blow horn, extolling thinly disguised classism, bigotry, narcissism, cruelty, hatred, war, and ignorance-as-a-badge, for well over half a century.
Trump is the manifest fruition of the teachings of the Republican Party. He truly is their end game, and even though the GOP will never admit it, the religion of fascism and hatred that Trump preaches is exactly what the GOP’s benefactors and propagandists, namely the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch, et al, have been funding and building via billions in propaganda and paid-for legislation, for decades. As just one example, the Koch brothers themselves and through their organizations, plan to spend nearly a billion dollars manipulating the 2016 election season alone. The Kochs are businessmen, and this unprecedented sum of money represents a calculated investment for them ̶ and a full-on assault on our “representative” government.
Sadly, the GOP religion of hatred, white supremacy, and fascism, is an easily-tapped vein in the American psyche. Barack Obama was twice elected to the presidency and most of us rejoiced and felt that the nation had finally turned a corner. Not so fast. Hatred for Obama by the right runs deep. The messages of raging contempt that pour from the Republican Party, Fox News, Limbaugh and others against Obama, minorities, and liberals in general, legitimize and inflame the hatred that many in the Republican base feel. The recent vitriolic rise of the extreme right in the GOP began with the election of our first black president. This is not about objective disagreements over policies or priorities, about education or the size of the military. This election cycle, the entire Republican primary has been largely void of facts. No, this is hatred. This is classism and racism. And this is a long-term, orchestrated effort by those with billions to spend, to enshrine those perverted values, and through Citizens United, a right-wing SCOTUS, ALEC, and other avenues, to bring fascism to the US. And they are winning. Depending ultimately on Democratic turnout, Trump may or may not be elected. But the age-old currents of tribalism, racism, and hatred still run strong in the US of A. Sadly, a look in the mirror at American society today, 150 years after we “freed the slaves” is still quite an ugly image. How tragic for the “United States of America”. Regardless of who wins the Democratic ticket, we all must remember to vote in November. We must.
Copyright 2016 Daniel R. Cobb