Trump’s secret and what we really need

Sometimes I switch on fox news in order to understand the thinking of the conservative America a little bit better. And tonight, I got a reasonable thought from Tucker Carlson, a guy I usually don’t relate with very much. In my words, he said, that what most political leaders don’t understand is that many ordinary people feel how much they are despised by the elite. And that’s basically the only reason for Trumps popularity among them. Trump is the guy of reality shows, who joins in at the wrestling arena, who has affairs with porn actresses, who orders tons of burgers at Mac Donald’s for the Super Bowl winning team, who actually and authentically eats Mac Donald’s fast food in private!

Trump is one of them

All what my peer group – the liberal academic class – despises, is embodied by Donald Trump. We laugh at him, we shake our heads, we declare him as stupid, we analyze his psychological constituency, and so on and so forth. We despise him, but this despise reveals one thing: our despise for an entire large group of fellow human beings and citizens. That might not be a very surprising thought – but what obviously is surprising for many of my fellow academic group members, is that these people feel and notice the despise. They are NOT stupid, as many seem to think.

All this does not excuse any of the horrible political decisions of Donald Trump. In fact, as much as I can say from a foreign perspective, the people that admire him the most have been hurt by his decisions the most. As a German I have no understanding for the unpopularity of a national health care system among his voters. The ones who would profit the most of it are the poor people. I don’t see why it’s a good deal to have the freedom not to be insured – but be completely lost when there is a severe health issue. There would be many more examples. But the supporters of Trump still love him – not necessarily because of his politics, but also not because they are stupid. It’s because he is not like the others but one of authentic “love” and without despise – towards this certain group. I can very well imagine how every time my peer group cries out in outrage, these people are full of joy.

All (or let’s say most) politicians stem from the educational upper class, they know how to talk, they know how to interact with other elite persons. And they share a personal despise, or at least know themselves to be superior to the certain group that voted for Trump. Even the ones who try hard to gain popularity among the Trump-milieu – the distance will always be felt. For some reason the billionaire upper class offspring Trump has managed to be an authentic lower-class guy.

The rioters are copying Trump

Looking at the pictures of the last days: these people illegally entering the Capitol are like a copy of Trump. A downtown man in an uptown world. Not only the words of Trump at the talk to the Crowd at the White House has encouraged these people, his whole presence in the last 4 years has encouraged them. These people have never felt the power, that other uptown guys have felt all their life long. They’ve been excluded from the world of power, simply by their lower education, by their lack of “sophisticated” language and so on. They’ve been suffering from a modern-day aristocracy: the domination of the well-educated. I don’t mean to defend these inacceptable acts, however, it reveals a deeper problem of our western societies.

The real problem: inequality of power

So, do we need more Donald Trumps in the future, to help the suppressed people to more power in the future? Maybe that’s what Tucker Carlson would think. What I haven’t mentioned are all the people that are despised by Trump: Blacks, Muslims, Mexicans, Liberals and so on. So of course, he is NOT the solution of the problem, he is a symptom. The actual problem is the inequality of power.

That’s not only an American problem, we have it in Germany and all around the world. Some groups of society have more power than others – due to ethnicity, due to education, due to wealth. The inequality of the people itself is NOT the problem (I’m not a communist who would want everyone to be in a uniform class). The problem is the inequality in terms of power.

The real solution: more democracy!

There is a solution, and that lies in democracy. However, all of our modern-day democracies are experiencing times of crisis. As social media increases our individuality and living in spheres completely separated from other social groups, we notice, that our “old” democratic systems are not sufficient anymore for guaranteeing our peace and freedom. We have to find new ways of distributing the power equally among ALL citizens. Voting is not enough – it has led to modern aristocracies. We need to move towards more democracy. There are good ideas out there, the most convincing to me are citizen councils where random citizens are by lot put together at one table to find good political solutions. There, different people from all backgrounds come together at eyesight, having and feeling all the same power.

So in conclusion: What we need are not more Donald Trumps, but what we need is more democracy.

7 Kommentare zu „Trump’s secret and what we really need

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  1. As … not a real fan of democracy, I can follow some of what you say, but I obviously don’t agree with the conclusion. That’s obvious.
    But I also don’t quite agree with all of the analysis before, because I think that part about the elite despising the poorer people … that’s what Trump says. But he despises them, too, quite obviously. They don’t mind. Because he sells white supremacy, and fascism. While of course the not-Trumps like Biden, Merkel or Scholz would do well in doing more for poor people and basically all marginalised groups, I think the short-term thing to do is not tolerate fascism anymore. Which goes pretty well together with the other things, luckily.
    But, and here I come back to the start of my comment, positioning oneself clearly against fascism requires letting go of that „both sides“ horseshoe idea, which is often embodied in the idea of dividing the political world in fascists and democrats.
    There are non-democrats who are not fascists. And I think it would be nice to acknowledge that now and then.

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    1. Thank you for your thoughts, Muriel! So you say: Trump himself despises his poorer fanbase, too, and the reason for their followship is not his lack of despise for them, but his fascism and white supremacy, which they quite like. I guess the problem with the way we both talk about it, is, that we simplify a lot. The people that voted for Trump voted for him for very different reasons. Evangelicals voted for him because of his anti-abortion position. Racists voted for him because of his racism. People in the proletariat-mileu might have voted for him, because of MacDonalds. So maybe both analysis‘ are correct – who Trump really despises or not, we’ll probably never know for sure.
      What I’m more interested in: you say, you are not a real fan of democracy. What are you fan of then?
      My idea of democracy with civil councils is, that it would put people together that are left, moderate, right, fascist, liberal, communist, male, female, old, young, rich, poor and so on. And all of them would have the same power: their very own voice, that counts. They would sit together with the task to solve important political issues together. I’m pretty sure, the outcome would be so much better than what we experience with our elected professional politicians. Examples can be seen in France or Ireland, and currently also in Germany (Bürgerrat „Deutschlands Rolle in der Welt“)
      A short term reaction in your words should be: not tolerate fascism anymore. I totally agree. However on a long term, I have to tolerate the fascist living in my neighbourhood, too, unless I want to become a sort of fascist myself. And the best base to live together to me would be a good democracy in the way I described it above. The fascist would notice that he is indeed a minority (and not speaking for the „people“), he would feel that he is heard, but as well his object of hatred is heard. Maybe be hearing and discussing he would even understand that his hatred and his ideology is bs.

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      1. Thanks for your response.
        A certain simplification is probably unavoidable, but to avoid misunderstanding, I certainly didn’t mean to say there was only one reason for all of Trump’s votes. Of course there are lots of reasons. Still, he is a fascist. This might have been unclear to some of those who voted for him in 2016, although even then, he was quite clear. Still, benefit of the doubt and all that. But whoever voted for him in 2020 knowingly voted for fascism, whatever else might have influenced their decision.

        „What are you fan of then?“
        I’m not a fan of a lot of things. I used to like Tim Minchin, but he has gone the way of old rich white guys, I guess. Or he was always like that, but I notice it more nowadays. Maybe both.
        Seriously, though: I don’t know what’s the best way to organise a society.

        „My idea of democracy with civil councils is, that it would put people together that are left, moderate, right, fascist, liberal, communist, male, female, old, young, rich, poor and so on.“
        Well at least there we have a solid disagreement then.
        Fascists don’t belong anywhere near where decisions are made, and nobody should put other people together with them, except maybe to ensure they don’t endanger others.

        „not tolerate fascism anymore. I totally agree.“
        Do you, though? You just said your idea of civil councils would be to put them together with other people to make decisions.
        So do you agree that fascism is not to be tolerated, or do you want fascists included in political institutions? Because I don’t think „both“ is an option here.

        „However on a long term, I have to tolerate the fascist living in my neighbourhood, too, unless I want to become a sort of fascist myself.“
        I was wondering how you actually see that. But I guess we really have a fundamental difference here. Because no, I don’t think anyonce should tolerate fascists.

        „The fascist would notice that he is indeed a minority (and not speaking for the „people“), he would feel that he is heard, but as well his object of hatred is heard.“
        And how do you think the „object“ would feel about that?
        Do you really think a sensible political discussion is possible between a Black person and a person who thinks all Black people should be killed?
        Do you honestly expect Black people to participate in such a farce and consider it „good democracy“? And do you think a system that expects them to do so is really a good one?
        (Black people are just an example, obviously.)

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      2. I would highly recommend to you two videos by the philosopher Ardalan Ibrahim. He describes my position very good. The lengthier video also talks about the problem you’re addressing – what happens when two people that hate each other simply because of the group they belong to encounter each other with equal power? It would be a new experience and it would be positive, I’m very sure about that. Tolerating a fascist does not automatically mean to tolerate fascism. I’m curious: What would you want to do with the person having sympathies with fascist thoughts in your neighbourhood? Here are the videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRz8Sa-S6Qc / https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NL0A2CT_i0

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      3. Did you just seriously describe a meeting of a fascist and a Black person as „two people that hate each other simply because of the group they belong to“? Do you really mean it like that?

        „What would you want to do with the person having sympathies with fascist thoughts in your neighbourhood?“
        Ecucate them. And keep them where they can’t harm others, which means, among other things, out of political decisions.

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      4. Hm, your question if I mean it like that makes me hesitate a bit. What’s so problematic about this sentence for you? Of course not every black person is full of hate for fascists, that’s not what I meant to say (however, I would not blame anyone for that). But by definition a fascist is someone who hates another person or degrades him or her because of race or something else that doesn’t fit into the ideology. The best way of healing that would be, to let them get to know the object of hatred as an individual human being with dignity (and thus, equal power). That would be the best and maybe even the only way of „educating them“. Or how would you want to educate them, so that it really has an effect on them?

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      5. I was going to ask about your definition of fascism next. Because I think we disagree there. Hating other people or degrading them doesn’t make one a fascist. A fascist is a person who wants to build a fascist society. The term is, admittedly, a bit vague about the details, but as a rough attempt at a working definition, I’d say fascism is a system under which human lives are valued according to their similitude to a certain ideal like aryan heritage or looks, „Whiteness“, whatever that is then, and so on. The ones who do not resemble that ideal do not get equal rights and are killed.
        I really have a massive problem with the quote I asked about because it implies a certain equality between the two positons. The fascists wants the Black person to die or serve as a slave because they are Black. And the Black person might hate the fascist because of that.
        So yes, in a technical sense, one might say they are two people who hate each other. (Although a fascist does not necessarily hate the pepople they consider less valuable. And the people less valuable do not necessarily hate the fascists. But say they do.) It is still not an equal situation. There is a clear moral evaluation.
        And requiring the (potential) victim to be used to „heal“ the fascist (which is a problematic terminology in itself, because a fascist is not sick, and comparing fascists to sick people is an ableist idea) is to use them as a tool, or maybe even more to the poin: require them to be used as a tool because of the very ideology that devalues them and calls for their mistreatment and (usually, in the end) death. I don’t think that’s okay.
        Also it is not necessary. I do not personally know a single Jewish person, at least as far as I’m aware.
        Maybe I should, sure.
        But I do not need to know them to not be an antisemite.
        Of course, I would not argue against Jewish people who want to help educate antisemites and/or fascists.
        But a society that expects them to do so, or even requires them, would be … and antisemitic society, in the least.
        Victims are not our tools to use to solve our problems.

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