Americans have been for the most part, non-consciously riding on a moneyed, patriarchal train.
Primarily wealthy men have been dictating how our society is to be “managed.” There are quotes here because as far as I know we don’t live in a dictatorship, yet behavior in the United States has been enforced by keeping people poor, without opportunity and in the dark about the realities of war and our relationship to the world.
This has successfully been undertaken by utilizing terror(ism) to scare the crap out of people. Fear is a primary human emotion and it may be our most powerful, because it engages our sympathetic nervous system of fight or flight. If we think we are on the brink of death we’ll do anything to keep breathing.
This practice has been around for decades, but it came to full bloom in 2001. The Bush administration, with the heavy hand of Dick Cheney used 9/11 to get a patriarchal, neocon agenda pushed down the throats of a mostly peace-wanting, post-Vietnam society.
Frighten the villagers and they will frantically agree to Papa Bear’s roar for war.
Since then as a political collective, fear has been used to get the Patriot Act passed, allow for the continued abuses on Wall Street, Obama Care to be on the chopping block, racism to flourish privately—as well as publicly—and Donald Trump to be considered an appropriate candidate for President.
When President Barack Obama was elected in 2008 it brought a nasty, racist underbelly to the surface. Donald Trump has dog whistled the same diseased aspect of our populace into a frightened, raving mob. He’s doing this because for him, winning is worth any cost and he’s one of the guys who wants to keep Americans snugly secured within the shackles of fear.
Donald Trump lusts to be at the top of the money pile and the rest of us terrorized into being at his beck and call. He’s having a king-esque toddler tantrum, without a good parent to take him off the floor of the candy aisle—minus the candy.
Unknowingly, he’s also waking up the rest of America (those who think that a wall will keep us locked in, more than it will keep anyone out). This population of Anti-Trumpers are the parents who’ve finally, suddenly, discovered that our spoiled kid needs to be taught that a tantrum isn’t a solution.
This is the benefit to the ugly theater that is playing out on the political stage. Both sides of our frightened, hungry, desperate and angry masses are demanding change at the same time. If it seems like this is the end of the world as we know it–it is.
I believe the current, disturbing and unstable fight in our political process will ultimately bring about a long overdue birth of humanism.
There have been other “look at me” labor pains announcing that we are on the brink of something. The sharp rise of violent police interaction with our people and subsequent protests. The arrest of Bill Cosby for sexual assault, a sweeping movement for marriage equality and the movie Spotlight winning best picture at the Oscars.
Each of these occurrences displays a cultural angst with what is.
Trump is the heckler to our burgeoning awareness, highlighting what is still very wrong with our country, what has been wrong for decades—quite possibly since the inception, when our ancestors violently took this land from the Native Americans.
Big mouth, mean, spoiled, fear mongering Trump is what humans can no longer be—if we choose to live long and prosper (thank you Dr. Spock).
Those of us who are paying attention are ready to bring about holistic change, top to bottom, sideways, in all forms of living. It’s why Trump’s rise has coincided with a call for a democratic-socialist agenda, pioneered by Bernie Sanders. A year ago this would have been considered nearly impossible.
All Americans are asking that we no longer be governed in the manner that we have for at least the last three decades. We are at the convergence of opposite ideologies for the same reason. Everyone’s unhappy, but one side wants to go faster on the moneyed patriarchal train, while the other is choosing to go in the opposite direction, flipping the switch to right what’s not working and begin again.
The birth of a new way of thinking brings the end of another. Death throes are never pretty. The way we have existed is no longer healthy but that doesn’t mean that the old stage, the one that is no longer useful, will fade away. Births and growth spurts are eruptions, not quiet metaphors.
The world is evolving, humans are changing. In some this will bring out the small and ugly. While in others it is seen as a time to become the best of our best selves. No longer identified simply as men or women, young or old, the color of our skin, the amount of money in our pockets, political party, religious beliefs or originating country.
We are a world of people. We are humanists. Witness our volatile, not-so-pretty birth.
Author: Deb Locos
Editor: Travis May