Trump is the vile prophet of the ignorant, truculent and misinformed. In everything he says, there is something narrow, philistine, and under bred. He loves the applause of his followers, but at bottom, Trump displays no respect for them unless they agree with everything he says however dubious and unsound.
Trump’s followers are like people who travel deep into a desert waste in order to bury their IQ’s there. They are uncouth, crass, belligerent characters. They are further evidence of a general collapse of moral and intellectual standards. One man, bulky and built like an alongshore man was seen shouting with demented violence at Muslims, “You are all terrorists!” You are all terrorists!”
Or savor these quotes from Molly Ball’s article on Trump which just appeared recently in The Atlantic and which I had not read until today:
“In today’s time, if I’m a white person who’s proud to be white, I’m a racist,” says 44-year-old Kevin Stubbs, a land surveyor who shared his Marlboro Reds with an African American T-shirt vender on the way in. “Yet a minority can say that.”
“I do not feel safe,” says his fiancee, Loree Ballenberger, 42. “People are coming in across the border, and we have no idea where they are coming from.” She recently called her congressman to urge him to vote for a bill limiting Syrian refugees. (??)
“I remember seeing Muslims around the world celebrating after 9/11,” says Chip Matthews, a 63-year-old retired carpentry teacher in glasses with tinted lenses. So what if it was the Mideast and not New Jersey? “The basic point, I think, is true,” he says.
“I look at the pictures of those refugees and they all look like able-bodied young men, 18 to 30 years old,” says his wife, Patrice Matthews, a 62-year-old retired school-district worker. Matthews doesn’t see why we have to be the ones to help these people. “It’s their country—they need to take it back,” she says.
Basically the speakers are white lower middle class men and women. Their ideas appear to come from barroom conversations. The speakers have no culture. They have no knowledge, no perspective. They make us feel that delusion and ignorance flourish everywhere. Apparently they have never read a book. Reading is a high culture function, said Huizinga, and he is right. In reading the mind absorbs much more quickly; it is perpetually selecting, bracing itself, it skips, it stops to think and recall; it exercises a thousand mental activities which are denied to the mere listener. The ignorant don’t read. The speakers above don’t think; they are merely repeating what they have heard.
Trump never apologizes but then he has no need to. He is never wrong. He does not make mistakes. If caught in a lie, he stubbornly repeats it in a tone of belligerent defiance.Some of us were raised to think that the thought and actions of the Pope were infallible. Clearly, we had never met Trump. His followers either suffer from blindness or insensitivities of temperament, combined with certain witlessness. In Trumps followers, sentiment is allowed the larger part of forming judgments, in direct contradiction of the critical intellect. A vulgar and misinformed hunch is used to justify a choice that is based on untutored and base intuition. Unfortunately, the rabble is incapable of making distinctions, and as a result Trump is viewed with a perverted reverence. Trump’s followers lack the tools of knowledge and breeding required to analyze things perceptively. Their thought consists of repeating vulgar, hackneyed slogans, and their make up and emotions are fueled by resentment of others. They see things in black and white, and therefore see badly. They resent the effort of thinking.
There is an old fable in which an aggressive crow, a disagreeable bird, the terror of his neighborhood, awoke one day and gazed out at the forest from the top of his tree. The crow was very conceited in his views, and since he was quite certain he was right, he never altered them. So on another day when the aggressive crow declared that, “The sky is a beautiful yellow,” a new bird appeared, a crow, wearing spectacles down his nose. He was known as being very wise and full of cunning. As the two birds talk, the old wise crow then asked the bully, “Do you ever see the color blue?”
The aggressive crow was dumbfounded. “What do you mean, ‘blue’? What sort of question is that? I have been flying through these woods and treetops for years and I have never once ever seen ‘blue.’” And the aggressive crow became quite angry and started to flare his feathers. “Where would I see ‘blue,’ as you call it?”
That is Trump in a nut. Whatever he can’t perceive or mentally grasp doesn’t exist. The logical, the objective, the incisive, are basically ignored. Violent prejudice and passion overwhelm the desire to ascertain the truth. Higher and purer forms of civilization paid homage to the striving to become accurate in our judgments, but Trump’s proclamations are a blizzard of insults and misinformation. Trump believes that his popularity among the least educated of Americans is a sign of strength and evidence of his personal appeal. He has neither. His ideas are all downgrades of popular clichés and common restments. One sees in him an upsurge in ruthlessness, an increase of hatred for whatever he does not understand. Trump sees enemies everywhere as do his docile supporters.
At bottom, Trump is a vulgar, blustering lout. He has not any vestige of courtesy and disdains the idea of honor. One sees in his pronouncements and behavior a deterioration of American critical sense and its decline of judgment. He is the new Huey Long, the American Mussolini. Mussolini, used poison gas in Abyssinia, and sent one of his wives to an insane asylum, and murdered his son by lethal injection, and Trump has not yet sunk to those vile depths mainly the American public wouldn’t stand for such crimes. The American political systems prevents them. But make no mistake: Trump lacks any sense of restraint which makes him very dangerous.
Once the conflict between good and evil took place inside the souls and hearts of individual men. It now takes place between rival groups, each of which lays claim to represent the highest and most disinterested virtue. The conscience of the individual has been replaced by the conscience of the mass which is free to indulge in any sort of wickedness. The result will be the onset of a new barbarism and violence of the most brutal sort.