Trump’s most important reminder

Who would have thought two years ago that a U.S. president would publicly side with a Russian leader against NATO, the EU, and the intelligence communities of the U.S.? And that tens of millions of Americans (mainly Republicans who had long been hawkish on America’s global rivals) would immediately back him up?

Let this be a reminder of how quickly history can change course and how quickly masses can be mobilized to do what seemed unthinkable a year or so earlier.

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10 thoughts on “Trump’s most important reminder

  1. I would have thought it, two years ago. The warning signs of this man’s ignorance were there, but American voters were too busy toying with their smartphones and playing around on Facebook. Evidently, they still are.

    “The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble…Such being the case, all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare essentials and those must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped formulas. These slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward.” – Adolf Hitler, from “Mein Kampf” (1925)

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      • Definitely. I think all political leaders do, both good and bad. I added the Hitler quote more to reference the “masses,” and in response to Daedalus Lex’s question “Who would have thought…?” Crowd mentality is feeble, and can help bring demagogues to power. We’ve just seen it happen in America.

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  2. I can see a reason why the change wasn’t so dramatically surprising. One aspect from 1968 played out again in 2016. In 1968, the left wing attacked the democratic candidate over the Vietnam War, with slogans like Dump The Hump. Now we come to 2015-2016, and the left winger and democratic voters disparaged their own candidate. Somewhere in this blog I have a poem on this subject, “‘I Don’t Trust Her.'”

    Thank you for liking my poem!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Alan, you need to add a “search form” to your site so we can search terms like “I don’t trust her.” Meanwhile, post a link to the poem here (or send to drggautier@gmail.com). I was eleven years old in the summer of ’68, old enough to cheer quietly for the counterculture while my grandma screamed about “damned hippies” into the TV. Looking back from this end of the telescope of time, it seems they should have been in Miami Beach tearing down the Republican convention. I guess feeling like your own people are going the wrong way can focus the criticism internally – sometimes counterproductively so. I share your chagrin about the feud between Bernie/Hillary supporters. Although that feud was between Left and Center, the even larger feud coming to a head for liberals is what it means to be Left – the feud between the residual Civil Rights/Hippies radicalism, rooted in ideas like universal rights, shared humanness over skin color, and a wonderful chaotic freedom in the public sphere, versus emergent identity politics, which emphasizes tribal identity, stifling of dissent, and a reconstituted good guy/bad guy battle based on skin color and other demographics. (I don’t remember “Dump the Hump” but I kind of like the poetics of it 😊) Btw, I think you would like my novel, Hippies 🙂

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  3. Here’s the link to the poem, written in January 2017 (ten days before my Mac died. I’m now on a Chromebook). https://alblau999.wordpress.com/2017/01/06/i-dont-trust-her/

    I guess you weren’t 21 in 1968! Attacks on the democratic candidate by the democratic voters gave the nation and the world Tricky Dick (Richard M. Nixon, president form 1968 to 1974). So, we had “I don’t trust her” and “lesser of two evils” in 2016

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    • Thanks, Alan. “Pinnacle of cynical delights” captures the present state of suffrage nicely. No, I wasn’t 21 in 1968, nor in 1972, but I seem to recall a tangent problem in ’72 — not the confrontational dissolution of ’68 but a kind of euphoric ideological overreach (McGovern) that left many moderates going the other way, with the same beneficiary in the White House.

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      • No one I knew had any idea of the effect on middle America of all the alternate lifestyles being covered and distorted in the news. The number-one or perhaps the only left-wing issue expired in April 1975 when the VC won. Reagan’s becoming governor of California didn’t saying anything, and no one knew what was happening until November 1980. I put the start of the American oligarchy at January 20th, 1981.

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