Thoughts on Donald Trump’s resurgence

Photo of Donald Trump campaigning at West High in Sioux City is by Bernie Scolaro and published with permission.

Bernie Scolaro is a retired school counselor, a past president of the Sioux City Education Association, and former Sioux City school board member.

Former President Donald Trump has won all the GOP nominating contests so far. On March 5 (Super Tuesday), the MAGA base in fifteen states and American Samoa will vote for a shallow man who somehow fills an emptiness inside them. It’s a sort of “Fat Tuesday” for Trump zealots. 

What insatiable need is missing from the common, everyday person that so many want to re-elect a person like Trump? What void lets us elect someone regardless of his cruel bullying? 

What void allows us to defend someone who lies continuously and makes decisions based on how he and his family might benefit, regardless of national security issues or the disappearance of the democracy that our forefathers fought for so tirelessly?

What moral void allows us to accept a leader who wants mass deportation camps? What moral void allows us to defend a “president” who enthusiastically separated children from their parents, or is non-apologetic for sexually assaulting women?

What political void is such that we allow a leading candidate for president to defend Russian President Vladimir Putin and encourage Russia to attack our NATO allies, while pushing false narratives to deflect from his own corruption? 

What political void allows us to elect a man with so little understanding of the Constitution or checks and balances of government branches, and clearly no desire to learn about or protect those core American values? 

What psychological void allows us to continually back a man whose narcissistic needs from day one in his first term was consumed with himself? (It was evident from his obsession over the size of his inaugural crowd.) He was so jealous and insecure about President Barack Obama that he continually seeks to undermine his predecessor and project blame onto him. He uses the defense mechanism of projection so often, I wonder whether he would recognize his own reflection. 

We all remember Trump’s famous line about not losing supporters even if he shot somebody on in the middle of Fifth Avenue. Perhaps his steadfast supporters experience the psychological phenomenon known as cognitive dissonance: “When confronted with facts that contradict beliefs, ideals, and values, people will try to find a way to resolve the contradiction to reduce their discomfort.” 

I would describe it as a form of heightened justification and rationalization instead of owning facts or changing one’s mind due to new information. That’s why it doesn’t matter to them that Trump was impeached, has been charged with 91 felony counts, and was instrumental in inciting the January 6 insurrection. You won’t change the MAGA brainwashed minds; they aren’t hungering for that information.

What I don’t get is the insatiable desire to re-elect a man like Donald Trump. Which needs does he fulfill in us? Is it a recklessness, a wish that we could be like him—say what we want, feel what we want, regardless of what it does to others? Are we that empty inside, that we are willing to digest whatever he is willing to dish out to us? 

Are we in a nationwide mid-life crisis that prompts us to risk all that we have become as a country in exchange for a white nationalist and America-only country where merciless dictators are praised? Are we somewhat blinded by the thrill of the danger as if being chased in the hunger games to prove that we can still survive? Have we not learned from Alexei Navalny’s death that this type of autocracy cannot end well for the majority of us? 

I hope we survive—just don’t forget to avoid Fifth Avenue. 

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *