Thoughts on the Upcoming Aftermath of the 2016 Election

L. R. Laverde-Hansen By L. R. Laverde-Hansen, 10th Oct 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

Because we are witnessing the reality show known as the 2016 Presidential election, it might be hard to think there is a dire warning--and lesson--coming from it. But there is.

"We have to have a real discussion in this country"

When this Presidential election is over, we have to have a real discussion in this country. Not so much about Mr. Trump himself, but about the millions of people who rabidly followed him, despite hearing over and over again of some of the most vile, indecent and repugnant views of any serious presidential candidate in recent memory.

That Mr. Trump is horrid has long ago been established as a given. And the irony is that many of his supporters are decent and law-abiding citizens. So why are they flocking to a man who, under other circumstances, they would not come near, let alone follow so strongly? We can simply file in under accusations, of "racism," "sexism," "xenophobia" and other bigotry, but that is for me just the tip of the cliched iceberg.

There is an underlying sentiment of fear and/or loathing among large masses of the public: a perception that the world is going to blazes, that someone else must pay for the situation and maybe a devil is the only one who can handle it. Technically this should not make sense, as the stock market is rising, real incomes are rising, unemployment is in decline, America's position in the world is as strong as ever and the current President has high approval numbers as his Administration winds down.

Now imagine an economy tanking, incomes falling, unemployment up, America's prestige in decline, and a President disliked by a majority of his (or her) fellow Americans. Imagine that national mood.

Now imagine a different demagogue: one who is less crude, but just as cruel as Mr. Trump. A demagogue seemingly steady enough to assure (or at least enchant) most critics, but rough enough to inspire blind devotion in masses less rational. A demagogue equaling Mr. Trump's ability to grab headlines, but subtle enough not resemble a cartoon villain. A demagogue whose disgusting comments are never leaked to the public. A demagogue who calls for identical--or even worse!--policies than Mr. Trump, but so smoothly articulates them that political adversaries are unable to counter them with anything more than bland appeals to decency and common sense (rarely successful with such an ascendant charisma in a dire time). A demagogue who could quote the Bible better than Satan himself.

The fact that Mr. Trump is doing as well as he is doing, given he lacks so many of the attributes of this hypothetical figure, and given he is not campaigning in the midst of a bad times, is disturbing in itself, but a real warning of something still more sinister rounding the corner. Believe it or not, if we heed that warning, we can spare ourselves a true catastrophe one day.

When this Presidential election is over, we have to have a real discussion in this country.

Written and Composed in New York
October 10, 2016

Tags

America, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Politics

Meet the author

author avatar L. R. Laverde-Hansen
Poet, playwright, commentator. I write wherever I can. Currently I reside in the City of New York.

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Comments

author avatar Steve Kinsman
15th Oct 2016 (#)

Excellent article, L.R.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
21st Oct 2016 (#)

But will the dialogue be too late by then ???

God help America that only two candidates could be found as options to lead that once great nation at such a crucial time as this .

It doesn't bear thinking about.

Many blessings L.R.
Stella

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author avatar L. R. Laverde-Hansen
21st Oct 2016 (#)

Great to hear from you, Stella! In the end, yes, the nation is the hands of another.

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