We are all products of the environment in which we grow up. Most atheists born into Christian societies still probably buy their children presents for Christmas. We adhere to the rules and customs of the culture in which we find ourselves. But what has spawned an individual so vile and hateful as Donald Trump? Is he the product of the so called “American Dream” and the American capitalist ideal?
It is very difficult for us on this side of the pond to see the appeal of this blithering idiot. How is such a racist, seemingly ignorant individual able to run for president? According to The Trump Organisation website he is the definition of the American success story. He was born into capitalist America, the son of a prominent real estate developer. The acquisition of money and power are the life blood of this serial capitalist. It is a version of democracy driven by capitalism that has given his extremist views a platform. If you have access to enough money in the USA you can buy enough support and votes to become relevant no matter how ridiculous your views. Just 158 families provided almost half the funding in the first phase of this current election campaign.
The freedom to step on anybody who is in the way has sadly become acceptable among some of the privileged in American society. It’s as if there has been a decision to abandon intelligent thought, to pander to the short term pleasure of greed. Republican candidates have struggled to improve their standing with women, Hispanic voters and African Americans. They have however managed to exploit the “super PAC’s” that have amassed the bulk of the money in this election so far. According to Ruy Teixeira, a political and demographic expert at the Center for American Progress: “The campaign finance system is now a countervailing force to the way the actual voters of the country are evolving and the policies they want.”
Historically, religious fundamentalism comes to the fore among populations that are poor or marginalised. Worryingly, the USA is bucking this trend. Relatively educated communities are quite fundamentalist in their views. Trump professes to be a Christian and his behaviour bares all the hallmarks of Christian fundamentalism. He has disdain for those he does not like or understand and preaches fear and segregation.
In reality, money is Trump’s religion and the basis of his beliefs. His remarks about Muslims, Mexicans and marriage equality play well on the ignorant and paranoid already brainwashed by Christian fundamentalism. Does he actually care about anything except power or wealth? Is he just out for himself or does he truly care about his version of America? The trouble with Trump is he makes a lot of noise without revealing anything of any concrete substance.
More guns, more power, more decadence and less intelligent debate seems to be the mandate of the Republican Party. There is a price to be paid for freedom; there are those who will abuse it and ironically bend it so much to their will that it no longer represents freedom. America prides itself on being the land of the free and yet a large section of its society does not want this freedom for all. Democracy, particularly in the form in which it exists in modern western society, does not equate to freedom.
So what do people like Donald Trump really want? What is the end game? An even more brainwashed electorate that will pander to the super rich and powerful. Surely the American public understands that not everyone can live the American Dream, that’s the point! If every body could it would cease to be the American Dream. It is just an ideal to which everyone should be able to aspire to, regardless of race or creed. It doesn’t mean that the more vulnerable members of society should not be protected.
The passing down of privilege and a sense of entitlement can be one of the worst types of abuse parents can inflict on their children. The victims don’t even know they are affected by their decadent upbringing. Greed can become embedded in the DNA of the privileged. Unfortunately, this then affects entire countries as this damaged elite dictates who governs and what policies are implemented.
If Donald Trump can teach us anything it is that the American model of modern democracy is broken. This is hardly news, sadly it was broken back in 2000 when George W. Bush took power without actually winning an election. Is it too late for reasonable government in the USA? One thing is certain, if this current model of democracy does not change, more extreme and fundamentalist regimes and individuals could come to power in the so called “land of the free.”