Trump and Fear in 2020

Donald Trump is a master of manipulating one of the most powerful forces in the human consciousness: fear. All master salesmen know how to use the fear of missing out to their advantage. Trump made you feel like your American Dream was being stolen, and he was the only one to protect it from all of those who weren’t looking after you.

Human beings have an inherent, primal response to fear: fight or flight. Not going anywhere, or perhaps stuck in same place, working class people were sick of eight years of Obama, anxious at their prospects, tired of a complicit establishment, and wanting someone to fight for them. Trump gladly obliged and urged Americans to fight back themselves.

At least one man in Fayetteville listened:

Prior to the events this week, I think Trump had a greater than 50% chance of being re-elected. The primary reason was that despite all of his aggravating nonsense on Twitter, he hadn’t made any real policy blunders. The economy is doing just fine, people generally like tax cuts, and Trump hadn’t started a war. In the meantime, Democratic candidates were tripping over their vision for the future, specifically whether they want to annihilate the current health care system and start from scratch. Most of the opposition to another Trump term centered around the man himself, which typically isn’t good enough to defeat a sitting president.

All of that changed with a drone strike in Iraq.

We’re now sending thousands of troops to the middle east to deal with growing unrest, and the Iraqi Parliament asked us to leave the country. In the midst of all this, Trump is threatening escalation against Iran in the form of “disproportionate” attacks, sanctions, and military strikes on “cultural” sites.

I’m going to take a quick detour, because the last one really aggravates me:

Cultural sites are political and religious sites that carry inherent meaning. When you destroy a cultural site, you are wiping away the identify of a group of people and a piece of human history.

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Ancient City of Persepolis – Destroyed by Alexander the Great in 330 B.C. – Iran

Imagine how angry you would be if the Iranian President threatened an attack on the Golden Gate Bridge, Mount Rushmore, or the Washington Monument. There’s a reason the Twin Towers and the Pentagon were attacked on 9/11. Trump is advocating the same kind of thing, only in Iran, “cultural sites” often mean places of religious significance.

Americans do not attack cultural or religious sites. It’s a war crime and violates treaties that are decades old. Not even the Nazi’s did that, choosing instead to claim these sites as their own, rather than destroy them.

Nazi German flag being raised over Acropolis, 1941.

After the news of the drone strike, we quickly learned that thousands of our neighbors in Fort Bragg were being shipped overseas. Lines to get on base are backing up the All-American Freeway in the morning. It’s more of the same, but it’s still terrifying. “WWIII” and “draft” are trending on Twitter. That’s what happens when your Commander in Chief gets on there and threatens “disproportionate” military action.

Trump is scaring the hell out of America all over again, only the reason for the fear is not Mexicans, or Chinese, or swampy democrats, or crooked Hillary. The reason for the fear is Donald J. Trump. No one knows what he’ll do next as he trips his way through this hornet nest. The political landscape for 2020 is changing under our feet, and it’s not to the President’s advantage.

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Maybe Jr. will help in his father’s crusade. It’s now become likely that they’ve got less than a year to finish it.

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