"All sorts of entertaining" - Elizabeth Seckman

"Michael and his pals make me wish I lived in Adelaide" - Cherdo

"If I had a daughter, I'd send her to Australia to meet him (and marry him)" - Robyn Alana Engel

"An Australian version of me. Only younger. And Talented. And better looking. Okay, nothing like me." - Al Penwasser

"Whom must I fuck or pay to get a quotation at the top of your blog post?" - Janie Junebug

Friday, 12 February 2016

Trump Isn't the Problem

Much has been made of Donald Trump's seemingly-inexplicable rise to popularity. Every time I'm in public and his name is mentioned, it's followed by a series of exasperated huffs and curse words. He's described as evil to a level that hasn't been achieved since Hitler - and that is not hyperbole. In his one year running for President, he's come up with such gems as "Ban all Muslims from entering America", "Cut entire EPA & Dept. of Education budgets" and "Climate change is a hoax".

But why single Trump out? These opinions aren't unique to him. People who say he's the problem with the world are failing to see the bigger picture. Let me explain.

Have you ever tried to convince someone of you're opinion? It's practically impossible. You think you're making sense and your opponent is being idiotic or stubborn. Your opponent sees it entirely the other way. At worst, you both give up in a huff and complain to your spouse about the moron you just encountered. At best, you completely annihilate them, hitting them with such perfectly-crafted logic that they actually can't think of anything to respond with. They'll just resent you and keep opposing you just to save face.

So how do history's greatest speakers amass such a following? How do they come out with such radical ideas and end up changing the world? I think the answer is that they're not new ideas. They're things we already feel or believe. When Rosa Parks made her stand on that bus, nobody saw it and said"Hm, maybe we've been looking at our society all wrong." Instead, half of America said "Yes! I'm with her!" and the other half said "These black people don't know their place." The act forced everyone to articulate what they already believed and take up arms over it.

That brings us back to Trump. Once we accept that theory, we accept that Trump isn't making the world an evil place. He's simply creating an environment where people who already have those beliefs can speak up about them. He's a problem, but he isn't the problem. The real problem is the half of America that already believes that Muslims are a threat to their way of life or the half that thinks that having more guns will stop gun violence. The reason we've focused on Trump is that he's another one of those people, but with money and power. Take him out of the picture, and someone else will eventually take his place. If he does become President, I'll be laying the blame on his myriad of supporters, not on him. My solution is to keep educating the masses. Those that believe that being gay is an affront to nature or that man can't have an effect on the environment are unlikely to change their minds about it now. But we can teach their children, who can get the idea a bit better. Their children will be better off again and so on. Social change is a much slower process than we'd like it to be, but it happens. Just try to limit the damage in the meantime.


24 comments:

  1. I totally agree with you. The only point of contention is that it's not half of the U.S. Please don't saddle us with that massive burden. It's less than half-of-half. He won one primary with 35% of the the Republican vote. So, assuming 50% of New Hampshire is Republican, he only got 35% of that half. Your point though is correct, he is rallying an alarming number of lunatics, but the best description I've heard of his campaign's success is that Trump is the equivalent of a political primal scream. To his credit, he has alerted me to who the white nationalists are in my town so I know who to avoid.

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    1. Ah fair enough. You have the actual research to back tou up, I just went with idle observations :P

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  2. You're right, he just says it. But it says it all, which alienates him in every direction. Trust me, this conservative will never vote for Trump.

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  3. Years ago, William Burroughs was asked about the best way to fight the drug war. He said it is useless to go after the dealers because so long as there's a market, someone is going to come in to fill it. You have to address the addicts.

    Actually, that analogy seems so on point that I'm not going to add to it...

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  4. True, yet I believe both are true: Trump is evil, and there is already a great amount of evil in the country. I believe he is like Hitler, very much so, even more blatantly and more stupidly so. He has a draw and leadership style that people are drawn to, that's needed for people to take action on their evil/hate/ignorance. I'm with Pickleope and Alex though. He won't make it. His popularity is being exaggerated and he'll say too many stupid things between now and election time.

    Hope you're well, Michael.

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    1. Well I don't think his popularity will wane from the things he says - his supporters lap up every word of it. But thankfully there aren't enough of them to get him into office.

      I am thanks :)

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  5. I am with Rawknrobyn. And hope and trust that his voice (and those of the people who support him) get less hearing.

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    1. And he may not be the problem, but he is certainly a symptom which needs treatment.

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    2. Definitely. For some reason I'm not offended by his running for office like a lot of people seem to be. But that's probably because I can't see him actually winning.

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  6. I sometimes feel like we no longer vote for statesmen, but for the celebrities.

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    1. Is that a new phenomenon though? I feel like we've always given more weight to the charismatic celebrity-types. In my mind it goes back as far as JFK.

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  7. Trump doesn't stand a chance; but I believe any momentum he has gotten is just due to the fact that people want real change. And he is a change...not a good one, but a change.

    And just like I don't believe you're riding a kangaroo through the outback, you can be sure that the media's depiction of the U.S. is not always accurate. Thank God.

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    1. Yeah I guess I am seeing this from a long distance :P For example, we in Australia kept looking at the things Obama tried to do and thought "Why does the country hate him so much?" If I lived there, I'm sure it would be much clearer :P

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  8. Well written, but it's not a fifty-fifty thing. Fewer than fifty percent of Americans want Trump to be president. The "fewer" are so loud that they make it seem as if everyone in the U.S. loves Trump. I think I educated my children pretty well. Neither one of them would vote for Trump. My son is especially good to contact if you want to talk politics. I haven't given up on education, and I don't believe that Trump will be elected. Some people say they adore him, but when they go to their polling place, most won't vote for Trump--if he manages to get the nomination. I thought Hillary Clinton would waltz in to take the Democrats' nomination. Now I'm not sure. It's a confusing time. People shout that they want change, but they fight it. I want change. My kids do. At least I have health insurance now. Thank you, President Obama. I couldn't get insurance before the Affordable Care Act because of pre-existing conditions. Who doesn't have pre-existing conditions?

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Michael, in the Question of the Month participants, will you please change me to Janie Junebug Righting & Editing. I'm no longer Women: We Shall Overcome.

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    2. You're the first American I've spoken to that's been thankful for Obamacare. America's resistance to it has been confusing for us here because we have a similar plan and it's been amazing for us.

      Hm, I believe I did try to change it. I'll message Alex again about it.

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    3. I love Obamacare. The only thing wrong with it are the hoops they had to create to get it past obstructionist. Many Republican states blocked its expansion so the people who need it the most would not realize it was for their benefit. I don't need the benefit. I just recognize not expanding medicaid in some states translates into absolute human misery for some people. This is a good article.

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    4. Thanks. I can picture the class system that would be reinforced if some people had access to Obamacare and others didn't.

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  9. Zero out of two beer boys want Trump elected, which is way under 50%. Nah, just kidding, you're probably sick of hearing that by now. I look at it more positively - Trump is a great way to gauge new potential friends. Just ask what do you think of Trump?

    "He has so many great ideas!" - Annnnnd I'm never talking to you again. Thanks for saving me the hassle of otherwise getting to know you before figuring out you're an awful person.

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    1. Actually, in research for this post, I came across a succinct and comprehensive list of Trumps policies and beliefs. There were some things there that I could get behind. But of course, they were obvious things that plenty of other candidates are promoting, so it doesn't really help :P

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  10. It is a fearsome thing to think of Trump being elected. I will say the CIA will have a "come to Jesus" meeting with him if he is elected. The sword of Pericles applies to billionaires too.

    You are so very right that he is vocalizing what some people think. I think he is a salesman and is saying what a specific group of people have been wanting to say and he is using them. Meanwhile, mainstream Republicans will be voting for Bernie or Hilary is any of the current top three candidates win.

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    1. Talk about little things that you notice between cultures, I find it strange that you vote for multiple people within a party. In Australia you just vote for a party and that party puts the person in charge that they think would do best. You'd probably find that just as weird.

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