The mob rules
EDITOR: Among the many emotions my smart, engaged friends feel these days is bafflement. We are perplexed at how the great United States of America is being led by a spoiled cheater, liar and bully, by a man driven by slights and insecurity.
Virtually no one of standing, including the great bulk of his own supporters denies that Donald J. Trump is all of those things. And there is ample evidence that he is motivated by narcissism and revenge.
So how can a person with such obvious character flaws and emotional illness maintain support?
Why don’t more good Republicans call him out? There are plenty, and most are silent.
Why don’t they stop the incompetence and corruption by cabinet secretaries as well as by the president’s family?
Why do we all focus our collective attention on President Trump’s tactics and tweets while decisions about nuclear arms, great alliances and dangerous enemies are made by someone who is not credible, who is ignorant and... maybe... worse?
Despite this overwhelming sense of political vertigo, one explanation is clear – feckless leaders of the GOP are downright afraid of the party’s new hardcore supporters. With, because and in support of Trump, there are millions of Republican voters who mirror their leader and make choices out of fear, anger, ignorance and envy:
* We know that Trump stokes fear among his base with largely erroneous threats from: immigrants, “radical Muslim terrorists,” trading partners and on and on.
* We know from his rallies that his supporters are furious.
* There are countless polls showing Trump voters to be less educated.
* And due to some great research we also now know that they fear and resent a loss of status and a fear of displacement,
So, while more educated, more urban, more diverse and more competitive Americans, indeed a majority of voters, are flummoxed by the collapse of so many standards, we must face the evidence that we are being led by a man with a terrible character who: uses fear, stokes fury and exploits ignorance in a symbiotic siren song to his supporters. And they, like the sailors of Ancient Greece, will sail on to the hard rocks of reality.
We can hope that more Republicans like Steve Schmidt, Senators McCain, Corker and Flake, as well as others renounce this kind of behavior and constrain this pied piper. But for now, we must face the fact that the mob and their mob boss rule.
This was Benjamin Franklin’s great fear, that great offices would be filled by demagogues responding to the angry, ignorant and fearful.
Mobs don’t think. Mobs are emotional, destructive forces driven by panic and hate and vengeance.
The first and greatest democracy of the modern era is being led by someone chosen in large part because he identifies foes and attacks blindly just the way a mob does.
A great many Republican voters elevated a person so unbridled, so willing to ignore the facts, break the rules and beat someone up because they wanted that. And they still want that - someone to do their blind, dirty work.
If not, why are they still supporting him?
Donald Van de Mark
First it’s them; next it’s you…