More frightening than Trump

Let me first repeat – I believe Trump will lose in a historic landslide, and carry both the Senate and House Republicans with him.

But what if he doesn’t? What if he wins? The only thing that frightens me more than President Trump is the idea that there are enough Americans willing to vote to make him President Trump.

What would that say about America and Americans?

That we’re not the nation we have told ourselves we are.

I used to be scared of that, but I’ve decided it’s actually a good thing.

There’s an argument that the Civil War happened because the South realized that the “now or never” moment was fast approaching—that the scales were tipping faster and faster in the direction of abolition and that if the expansion of slavery was stopped even as more and more states joined the union, the writing was on the wall–eventually the slave holding states would be less than a third of the Union, and then they’d be unable to stop a constitutional amendment. All the other factors–industrialization, immigration, etc,. were likewise marginalizing the South more and more, and the longer they waited the weaker their position would be. In fact, they waited too long as it was–if there was ever a moment they could have won, it wasn’t 1860.

I think this is 1860 for “Real America”. The demographic tide is against them. This is a last hurrah. If Trump wins, it’s a nightmare disaster, it’s Lee winning Gettysburg, I really don’t want to think about it. But if he loses? I think we are okay. I don’t think Trump 2.0 can happen, even with a less-flawed demagogue, because every year “Real America” becomes a smaller and smaller piece of the population and the things they are so scared of become more and more the norm. If we can get through this, I think it’s going to be okay.

But, lord, the North could have screwed up and let the South win. We need to not do that.

Everytime I read more about the Civil War, it seems like screwing up to let the S win is pretty much what the N did over and over! :eek:

In a perfect world, the events of these past years could serve as the impetus for a more tolerant and inclusive society. Of course, like the North 150 yrs ago, that would require the greater force perceiving and acting upon advantages. OTOH, recent events could be one more step towards proving democracy a failed experiment…

Yes, until the Union stopped taking victory for granted.

Isn’t this the case whether he wins or loses?

If he gets 52 million votes and loses, that says almost as much about America as if he gets 60 million votes and wins.

I agree with the OP. The existence of an ignorant self-serving buffoon like Trump would be nothing more than a curiosity were it not for the political support he’s managed to gather from what appears to be a significant population of disaffected ignoramuses. That’s what makes him a dangerous demagogue.

The mention of the Civil War reminds me of a program that was on CBC Radio yesterday. It examined Trump’s slogan “Make America great again” and questioned which particular time period represented said greatness. The period of widespread slavery? The Civil War? The lynchings and oppression and discrimination that came afterwards? The Great Depression? The McCarthyism and witch-hunts and blacklists of the 50s? The revolutionary turmoil of the 60s, the shootings of JFK, MLK, and RFK? The Vietnam war era? The anti-minority and anti-gay discrimination of just about all previous decades until very recently?

I don’t remember all the specifics but that was the general idea, and the point was that we tend to have selective memories about the greatness of times past that turn out in reality to not have been quite so great, and that future generations will view today through the same rose-colored glasses. There’s a wonderful movie on that theme called Far From Heaven, which depicts an upper middle class Connecticut couple living an apparently idyllic life in the wonderful 50s. The movie is filmed in rich colors which add to the alluring effect, but as the movie progresses, it devolves into tragedy in which blameless individuals are caught up in the sordid and seamy bigotry of the 1950s.

Like the vile Islamophobia that he peddles, the supposed greatness of the past is just another fabrication from an inveterate con man.

I think the “good old days” folks are looking at it more holistically. Right after WWII, America was arguably the world’s most prosperous country, with the most powerful economy, a nuclear monopoly, largely unharmed by the horrors of WWII, had the admiration of many other countries, and one of the highest standards of living in the world. To say America was “great” back then -* all things considered, together as one package *- is not unreasonable.

How do you define “historic?” A 50-state sweep? McGovern and Mondale both lost 49 states.

Sounds to me like you’re saying if you look at the named “good things” and ignore the bad ones, then it looks from a distance like “greatness”. This is precisely the rose colored glasses problem I was addressing, and overlooks among many other things some of the deep and serious social problems of the era, when blacks were regularly lynched, gays were vilified, and women were expected to stay home and cook and dedicate themselves to their husbands. There was a booklet produced back in the day which purported to help African-Americans traveling by car find places to eat and sleep along the way without being killed. Good times!

And consider this, just on the subject of military power: The US was indeed a huge military power then, and today it still is – even more so, because today it is uniquely preeminent. But if your measure of “greatness” is military power, then the Soviet Union was “great” back then, too. And the trouble with that is that the Cold War dominated US and global politics. And with the mellowness of time we tend to forget the extent to which it did so.

This was when bomb shelters were being built everywhere, air raid sirens installed throughout cities, school kids taught to duck under their desks in the event of a nuclear attack. Many thought catastrophic nuclear war was virtually inevitable, and Cold War militarism dominated the national psyche. In the 50s Wernher von Braun wrote an article about a potential US space program, anticipating that it might be possible to create a manned orbiting space station. And the main purpose of such a space station? It would be able to rain down nuclear destruction anywhere on earth in a matter of moments. Good times! :rolleyes:

I can understand people hating Hillary so much that they’ll vote for Trump. What I don’t understand is all the enthusiasm for the guy. A loudmouth billionaire(?) narcissistic egomaniac who cheats his creditors and badmouths veterans. I just don’t get it.

I recently had a conversation with a 20-something college student who said, “I wish I had been alive during the 1980s.” I replied, “No, you don’t. The 1980s were not a good decade. Reagan, AIDS, Chernobyl…” and he said other people had told him the same thing. Enjoy the music and laugh at the clothes, and disregard everything else.

Here’s a picture of one of those black travel guides.

Electing Trump would tell the world that America may be going the way of all empires. Electing a demagogue is the first step. What he tries to do after election will determine how our country goes. If he attempts to declare martial law to enforce his notions of “making our streets safe” and detaining anybody he thinks needs to be deported, the military will either go along with it, which would mean living in fear of our own government; or will refuse, which would in effect represent a coup de etat. That may seem extreme and alarmist, but other countries in history have gone down a similar path. The guy is entirely too chummy with dictators.

That’s an interesting thought that I hadn’t considered. It would be like making a horse a Senator. I believe there’s been some precedent for that.

Agreed.

Which would be a major improvement over making a horse’s ass a President.

Just wanted to say this is also my second nightmare.

Trump in the White House is an absolutely terrifying thought in itself, but the idea that 50.005% of Americans (give or take a SCOTUS justice) would vote him there makes me think of the last scene of Run to Hide Behind the Return of Dawn of The Planet of the Apes… whichever one has the hero set off the nuke. I think having a majority of citz who really thing Trump is the right choice, under any circumstances or ideology, would make torching the Continental 48 a good thing.

The most common expression of support for Trump is “He says what everyone is thinking.” Next time you are in the general public - grocery store, etc. - look around and ask yourself if you would want a random person there to be president.

I do admire the marketing genius that made being smart (elites) and nice (politically correct) bad things.

Not sure if I’m there on this one but for sake of discussion: Elect a black man as president, we are allowed to criticize the president, when told that that doesn’t include racist comments label him as “divisive”

Trump’s basic message is, “Burn the whole establishment–Washington, Wall Street, and all the rest–to the ground.” The real question that people should be asking is, what did mainstream politicians do that made so many people so upset that they would turn to someone like Trump (and Bernie Sanders as well)?

The mainstream Republicans will fight tooth and nail, dig in their heels, and do whatever it takes to prevent tax rates on the richest people going up by a couple percentage points. And they’ll fight hard for abortion laws that are guaranteed to be overturned by the courts. But other than that … ?

And the Democrats care very deeply about blocking the construction of pipelines and making sure that transsexuals can use the bathroom of their choice, and other things that matter a lot to Hollywood celebrities but not much to the majority of people. But other than that …?

So if you’re a working-class person whose community is beset by problems of poverty, unemployment, drugs and alcoholism, who’s supposed to represent you? It’s perfectly clear why such people would grasp at anyone who promises to attack the rich and the Washington establishment.

A large constituency of working-class voters feel that not only has the economy left them behind, but so has the culture, that the sources of their dignity, the dignity of labour, have been eroded and mocked by developments with globalisation, the rise of finance, the attention that is lavished by parties across the political spectrum on economic and financial elites, the technocratic emphasis of the established political parties. I think we’ve seen this tendency unfold over the last generation.

It’s going to be bad either way.

The pendulum the Trump nut jobs are riding is not stopping after the election, it has years to go before it peaks.