The Real Origin Of Trumpism

 

 

The single question that is the most crucial for American Conservatives to answer in the wake of the rise of Donald Trump within Republican politics is this one: what was the precise nature of his appeal as a primary candidate? Without the answer to this question the Conservative movement as a whole cannot move on  from this point in a constructive way. The movement must diagnose and perhaps repair its present condition before it can proceed to serve as a guide for the rest of the nation on to the path of liberty.

First of all, Trumpism is not a consequence of stupidity. There are some fairly intelligent people who have gotten on board with the whole thing. Second, it cannot  be merely a product of anger. While anger is a factor it cannot fully explain what we are seeing here. Third, although the media is in love with the racism angle, it is an unacceptable explanation for anyone who actually knows many flesh and blood Trump supporters.  The real culprit here is something that could be heard for years on the waves of Conservative talk radio from many everyday callers. It is hopelessness. As long as a person has hope they will naturally remain rational in their approach to things; they will deal with the world as it actually is, which is to say, on the basis of evidence. But when a person loses hope they will search for something to cling to wherever they can find it; whether inside or outside of the bounds of reason. Sigmund Freud coined the term “wish fulfillment ” to describe this impulse.

Donald Trump has assumed a wider array of Liberal-Progressive  stances than any major Republican presidential candidate on record,  by far: from taxing the rich, to universal healthcare, to abortion, to gun control (supported Bill Clinton’s assault weapons ban) to hiking  the minimum wage. Even on the subject of immigration he had described the Republican stance as “mean spirited” before he came to assume his present stance which is far more extreme by every measure. Donald Trump has made a a tacit agreement with his supporters: suspend your reason, forget history, and I will, through rhetoric,  become the candidate of your dreams.   The danger here is that once Trump’s true identity has been revealed to them ( a self promoter who will say what he needs to in the moment to get what he wants) that hopelessness of which we spoke will no longer have any illusions to indulge in, and these supporters will write off everything. What have we heard from their own lips ? “Donald Trump is the ONLY MAN who can fix this country”. Logically, what would that have to mean if he was exposed as disingenuous? Logically  It must mean that the country cannot be fixed.

American politics has over time grown increasingly cynical. On the one hand it is the natural tendency of Progressive ideology in its push for its Utopian alternative, to sow cynicism into a society about every aspect of the status quo ( or in other words, about all the good that presently exists). On the other hand, all of the repeated successes of Progressivism over the decades have lead to an anger and a bitterness on the Conservative side.  This has created an overall cynical environment. The remedy for cynicism is idealism. We must rediscover the inherent idealism of a free enterprise society;  The kind of Idealism embodied in the sunny but determined political rhetoric of a Ronald Reagan. And an idealistic realism is the only effective weapon against a Utopian cynicism.

To put things bluntly, our frustrations and emotions are entirely irrelevant in this matter: despair and hopelessness are luxuries to which we have no right whatsoever. We stand in the midst of two inviolable obligations: the fate of millions of children both present and yet to be born, and the legacy of those that came before us; men who greatly suffered, sacrificed, and continued to press forward even when success seemed impossible to them,  because they had us in  their hearts and in their minds. No, despair is something to which we have absolutely no right.

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