Welcome to One Trump’s Great America
Masses of Americans are rejecting the litmus test of the “real conservative” (anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-taxes and anti-government) and instead flocking in support of Donald Trump. He has tapped into the frustration of many Americans who are tired of politicians who abandoned the work of governing for obstruction. And now the celebrity businessman candidate is overshadowing the conservative establishment.
The appeal to many Trump supporters is precisely his political outsider status, his plain-speak, his simple tough guy approach, his brash language and his call to return to a previous America, one he calls “great.”
Trump’s strong showing in the republican primary election has much to tell us and it is time we all listened. It is time to stop erasing his candidacy as something less than legitimate, to pay attention, and to listen to the anxieties and desires of this moment that it reveals. What is clear is that the real conservative born of the 1980s does not speak for the republican base today. What is not so clear is what’s to be made of this base?
Trump repeatedly states that, “people are responding positively” to his message. He goes on, “the messages are very positive. You know, ‘Make America Great Again’ is a very positive message.” What is Trump’s Great America?
We get something of this America from the day that Trump announced his candidacy in June of 2015 when he stated that Mexico is not sending their best to the U.S. “They’re . . . sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people, . . .” He went on to promise that if elected president he will build an impenetrable wall to protect the U.S. from these Mexicans.
And in the aftermath of the 2015 San Bernadino, California terrorist attack, Trump said that, “Muslims should be banned from entering the U.S. until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” Then in March he stated that, “I think Islam hates us.”
In stark contrast to his usual passionate opposition to terrorism, Trump played loose when learning that he was endorsed by an American bred terrorist organization, the KKK, through it’s former leader David Duke.
The Trump formula for America is one where white people are the only real Americans and the only ones who matter.
For decades Trump has revealed his view of women. On the one hand, he praises his wife as beautiful and smart. On the other hand, he dismisses women who challenge him as either hormonal or ugly having referred to women as “unattractive both inside and out,” “animal,” “slob,” “a beautiful piece of [expletive],” “an extremely unattractive person,” and in response to an inquiry about his name-calling by Fox News host, Megyn Kelly he stated, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes–blood coming out of her wherever.” (See Full Article Here)
In this America women are either beautiful or ugly, sex objects or a wife, and always defer to men especially those named Trump.
This new base of the Republican Party is drawn to Trump’s Great America where real Americans are neither Muslim nor Mexican and where the experiences of African Americans simply do not matter. In Trump’s Great America real men have large . . . hands and put women in their place. And in Trump’s Great America one can be born on third base and claim to be a home run hitter for making it across home plate all the way . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . from third.
University of Illinois at Chicago students and others sent a message to Trump and his supporters on Friday that they reject his vision for America. These students have a vision of America rooted in the actualization of the nation’s ideals – equal rights, liberty, and the same opportunity for success for all who will work hard. The pro and anti Trump contingencies are exposing a fault line across the U.S. The success of Trump’s call for a Great America that is greater for white people and greatest for economically advantaged white men is due to a fragile masculinity that is seeking to restore it’s domination through white superiority and putting women in their place. Anxieties over identity and a dwindling of unchallenged white privilege are finding a place to roost within a camp called Trump.