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.