Trump is not the real problem. He's just a creative and sadistic puppet. The real problems are the religions that are forcing their followers to support him. Yes Fundamental Protestantism and right wing Catholicism, these are the real culprits. Both hate democracy and have been trying to undermine ours for a very long time. They are finally succeeding.
I've long been saying that Trump himself is not the real problem. He's coming up with a Watergate-level scandal on a weekly basis, he and his family are using the office to promote their "Brand" and increase their own sales, he's somehow gotten the taxpayers to pay for a very expensive separation between him and his wife - even having the audacity to charge the Secret Service for rent on a floor of Trump Tower to keep Melania and Baron safe.
A much bigger problem is what his supporters who pushed him into office do and believe. Many of them distrust the scientific method. It's not just creationism, nor just anti-vax, nor anti-climate change. If these things can make them money, they'll do it, or claim it. Encouraging the scientific method is dangerous, as it promotes critical thinking - something that the Texas school boards declared illegal a few years ago. If we don't think critically, we'll believe anything. If we take action against climate change, even concern, we will in all likelihood think about burning fossil fuels, think twice about buying products from those companies who pollute in big ways, and might even encourage women to do something other than birth as many babies as possible.
A major reason that many were behind Trump is hate and anger. Anger that we don't have the lifestyles of our Greatest Generation parents. Anger that there are no support level jobs even for those with college educations. Anger that we do not have access to healthcare. Anger that some people are getting "free stuff" while others are working multiple jobs and scraping by. Anger that working and saving one's whole life did not prepare them for retirement, and their corporate retirement plan went belly-up in some banking and financial crisis.
People hope.... and pray... and are told the reason that our prayers are not answered is that they're not in earnest. That we don't hate the same people that the Greatest Generation did - we got rid of Jim Crow, we got rid of a lot of anti-homosexual laws with long prison times, we accept interracial marriages as we accept same sex marriages. And, we are told that those things offend God, and we are shown the translated Bronze-age book that tells us that, as well as other important facts such as some birds have 4 legs, that epilepsy is caused by demon possession, that the ratio of the radius of a circle to its circumference is exactly 3, that the sun revolves around the earth, that unruly children should be taken to the city gates and stoned to death, and no one knows what causes the tides to go in and out. And, more importantly, there is NOTHING that humans can possibly do to damage God's earth.
Only the staunchest fundamentalists hold by the first several, while many more hold to the last one. Science education could eliminate the last one, but we appear to be turning back to a time where feelings, belief, and superstition supersede scientific knowledge. Trump is only a symptom. Is there a way out? I honestly do not know if it's possible.
Beth, I see exactly what you are saying and especially with the "anger." After that just usher in the "free stuff" and you have many people that I'm around daily. I know a woman that drives a HumVee and lives in a mobile home. She fits that pattern. She also doesn't believe that she will ever be getting any of that "free stuff" and she's a big Trump supporter. Since the "free stuff" would include healthcare for everyone people like this can easily be against healthcare. Just how Paul Ryan and the boys are going to start you a 401K plan that would cover everything is not exactly explained.
Now when these people realize it's not 1950 any longer and "Leave It To Beaver" is not the American way of life as they think it should be, the "hate" enters the picture. Anyone that is not your color is stealing your "free stuff" and that is just wrong. These people first want to help themselves if any help comes, but that "help" is not color blind and not for all.
In a nutshell you have explained how Trump Is "uniting us all" but NOT in any way that really should be. I still say that while we clamor with this situation they will steal us all blind.
I strongly agree and think we should broadcast this far and wide. Do you podcast?
Trump may not be THE problem but he is A problem, particularly in that he is the focal point and avatar of the larger issue of American reactionaries trying to drag us back to a less enlightened time. Understanding that, we have three jobs:
None of these jobs are easy, but the last is likely the hardest, because people who cannot or will not look past the surface are also generally resistant to recognizing their own errors. Right now, Trump and the GOP are trying to take too many backward steps, some of which will be very difficult to undo, especially as regards climate change, and each one of those has to be confronted and opposed.
Resistance is not only not futile; it is MANDATORY.
Correct on all points, Loren. The only thing stopping or slowing the GOP right now is the 2018 midterm elections. After that look for more crazies to go along with Drumpf.