Will the US Ever Become Civil?

Donald Trump has made this election nasty, but that is only the culmination of eight years of Republican racism, lies, hatred, and boycott of the democratic process. Trump has promoted ignorant rage that may well result in violence from his followers.

Various congellations of gun nuts have promised a revolution if Trump isn’t elected. That promise is wildly impractical at best, but it could result in spilt blood and worsened relationships all over the country. What would government officials do about bands of armed nitwits shooting automatic weapons from pickup trucks? Obviously, they will have to do something, hopefully jailing the rebellious without promoting violence themselves. Hopefully the “patriots” who brandish their machine guns will not be stupid enough to kill anyone. But there are no guarantees where hate and stupidity are mixed with mobs and guns.

Trump himself is a major instigator of violence. Every picture shows him yelling and accusing, looking more and more like Hitler every day. In every instance he rails against those who say things he doesn’t approve of. More and more of his own illegal and immoral actions are exposed. More and more women publicly accuse him of molesting them, and his rabid followers respond by publishing the accuser’s address and phone number, which leads to death threats. They prowl around her home, armed, in their cars. This is a very real and disturbing threat. At least one woman was forced to flee the country with her family.

Other Trump followers have sprayed Nazi graffiti on religious buildings of several types, and even attacked and injured various people who have a vaguely middle eastern appearance.

This is the sort of thing that happened in Germany as Hitler rose to power. No person in the US should ever have to fear for her life because of a raving demagogue.

Trump will claim that he is not the cause of such violence and threats. He never told anyone to attack anyone. If someone gets murdered on the street after he denounced them to the entire nation, it’s not his fault. The comparison to the Philippines’ new criminal president is a natural. Rodrigo Duterte, who is proud of his bad manners and insults, has said that every drug addict should be killed. Well, that’s exactly what happened. Over a thousand have been murdered by vigilantes, but Duterte says he had nothing to do with it.

In 1170 King Henry II in essence killed Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, with the same sort of raving. Nobody is fooled by such ingenuousness, not then, not now.

The US is far too angry and violent, and Trump is responsible for much of it. It will take years and a lot of effort to cool the flames. A good question is whether Trumpsters will even realize or care when their lives improve. Maybe not. Maybe being permanently ignorant, angry, and threatening is more fun. In spite of Trump’s outrages and endless lies they remain faithful to him even as all thinking people flee.

Trump-directed anger is showered on Muslims, Jews, immigrants, and other people perceived as stealing jobs or being terrorists. It makes no difference that their accusations are bogus. Haters will continue to hate regardless of contrary evidence.

Political comments  are particularly toxic on the internet. They are full of four-letter words, ugly accusations, and nasty invective that assumes every person of the other political side is inferior and worse. Much of this is because people are anonymous on the internet, and feel free to behave badly because of it.

You can be certain that a President Trump would isolate himself from the enemies he has created, but Hillary Clinton has always been quite free in welcoming anyone and everyone. She listens, and always has, which will be important as she assumes the mantle of the presidency. She knows that some of Trump’s haters have legitimate economic gripes that must be addressed even if the hater doesn’t understand that his life has improved because of her.

Certainly, political discourse post-Trump must be detoxified and turned in the direction of respectful manners. Good things rarely result from a screaming match.

It will take a long time, and we haven’t even touched on the explosive topic of skin color.


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Fear breeds more fear and misleads some to seek protection in authoritarianism. The self professed evangelicals need to revisit the New Testament. Jesus is the supreme role model. He was misunderstood by many then and is misunderstood by many more now.


  2. the short answer? No!


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