As the race for President heats up, many people are flocking to vote for Donald Trump because he has said that he will stop Muslims from immigrating to the U.S., and he will build a wall against Mexican immigration, and make the Mexican government pay for it. He trash talks his opponents, whether they be presidential hopefuls, or critics, threatening to both sue and to expand the libel laws to allow for more suing of critics. Trump has said that he will endorse water boarding for use in torturing prisoners of war for information, and will bomb the families of the leaders of ISIS.
This has galvanized a large portion of the United States, mostly whites, who are now realizing that their long sleepy dominance of the U.S. is fast fading. As the numbers of non-European Americans has risen to 25%, and the country elected, what?, a black president, so have the stories of black people killed monthly by local police risen. Both the nation’s racial readiness, and the advent of cameras everywhere, has led to a new accountability for white dominated police departments. Whereas in the past the police could mete out whatever justice they wanted to the lowest rungs of society, now it is frowned upon, and liberal whites are shocked at what was going on all this time.
The middle class has been steadily shrinking, so parents have been urging their children to have a better chance of staying in the middle class by getting the all important college education, incurring huge college debt, averaging $35,000. Who has the most to lose with these changes in the U.S.? Blue collar America, especially white blue collar America. So Donald Trump appeals to the lowest, basest fears.
Jesus mentioned that hypocrites point out the sawdust in their brother’s eye while having a plank in their own eye. We project onto groups what we don’t want to admit is part of our own group. Are white people the problem? Surely not, we say. It has to be the immigrants! Statistically immigrants are much more law abiding than the general American public. Why? Because they have worked so hard to get here. They are more grateful, and they know to watch out more carefully what they do, because they are not from here.
Germany in the 1930s was in financial crisis with runaway inflation, and high unemployment, with stories of going to the bakery to buy bread with a wheelbarrow full of almost worthless money. The people were scared. So they elected someone who demonized groups of people: Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, mentally retarded people and the largest group: Jews. (For centuries Jews in Europe had been banned from owning land (farming) or being licensed in trades, like bakers, carpenters, blacksmiths, or leatherworkers. So Jews had gone into banking, clothing and jewelry in order to make a living. This created a stereotype of Jews in Europe, and an envy by those less fortunate or industrious. Hitler capitalized on the people’s fear, unemployment, projection and envy, and was elected to parliament. It took a few more years of maneuvering and jailing his opponents before he could be Prime Minister and finally Der Fuhrer.
Vladimir Putin has done the same thing in Russia recently, whipping up the Russian people’s fury against Ukraine and the United States as the economy and political power of Russia fades. Donald Trump is doing the same.
Who votes for Donald Trump?
1. The religious right. Fundamentalists, pentecostals and evangelicals have traditionally been more authority-minded and authoritarian than the general public. They admire people who use the military, and are often the first to encourage their children to join the military. They confuse nationalism with Christianity and believe they are loyal Christians when they go off to fight for U.S. interests.
2. Blue collar workers. People who have been marginalized by our society, starting work at minimum wage and barely getting a raise each year. Why would like to identify with someone who is rich, famous and claims to be able to make a profit.
3. White people who want America to stay white. When I was learning to read the reader we learned from was full of Dick, Jane, Sally and Spot. Now the readers are full of Juan, Immanuela, and Zenab. This panics those who want everything to go back to the 1950s when black people weren’t allowed to vote. Stop change! is the cry of poor white Americans.
but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them ?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them.