Sorry for this long, jumbled post. I don't think i have a point here.. just a list of jumbled thoughts and general observations about the precipice we are standing on.
Fear -- Common Thread
1) The Republican party is not about common good -- it is strictly a grasp for more power. Centralized politics always is leads to power grabs, but I have never seen it this naked before. I read a tweet the other day about how it seems that Republicans are voting as if they will never have to run in a free election again - in other words, they are not afraid of losing an election based on their votes in Congress.
2) The people who are supporting Trump seem to be 'white people first' people -- 'Make America Great Again' really is 'Make America White Again'. Being white myself, I don't say that with the intention of insulting.
-- it's just my perception that MAGA is really about white people feeling threatened.
3) The people supporting him also tend to be conservative Christians. Same issue -- Christians feel threatened not being in the majority anymore. I read somewhere that 911 caused an upsurge in atheism! I suppose it's because 911 was due to religious extremism -- done in the name of god.
4) The people supporting him are afraid -- maybe afraid of losing their 'place' in the world. And Fox (let's call it the 'state news') is constantly drumming the fear beat.
5) The people supporting Trump seem to mostly be rural...and indeed rural society has broken down. Seriously -- I don't think urban people realize how broken society has become in rural areas. This is a source of fear for rural people.The common thread is fear.
I see the fear, but I don't feel it.
--> If a MAGA person sees a person in a turban...they become afraid, probably thinking 'what will this turbaned person do to me'?
--> When I see a turban on a co-worker, I tell him that I really like the color of the turban! (the man I'm talking about is Sikh and wears red turbans a lot, and I like the color red.)
I'm not acting all 'high and mighty' here -- just seriously, I don't feel the fear -- quite possibly because my life in general is pretty stable right now. Of course, I do have a good deal of concern about the children of immigrants becoming radicalized...and that radicalization is so very violent in nature. It seems to be a situation where the children become distant from both their own culture -AND- the dominant western culture. And radical ideology fills the void.
But to me, closing the doors to immigrants feels less like 'closing the doors to immigrants'...and more like 'closing the gates to pen Americans in' -- I worry that the gates are closing in the way they did for Jews who waited too long as the Nazis came to power, and then could not get out.
Speaking of power grabs
As I read the article about the Federal Commission wanting personal data on every voter since 2006, I saw this quote in the article: “…Kobach 'has a lengthy record of illegally disenfranchising eligible voters in Kansas....'
And that made me think of this Maya Angelou quote: “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/06/29/trumps-voter-fraud-commission-wants-to-know-the-voting-history-party-id-and-address-of-every-voter-in-america/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_voter-fraud-655pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory#
This article spoke to me:
"Terror management theorists believe anxiety over death is the driving force behind politics, art, literature, religion, science, and the rest of what we call civilization. In order to manage the terrible yet inescapable knowledge of our own impermanence, we seek out projects that offer us some promise of immortality, either literal or symbolic.
Breakdown of institutions --Loneliness is a vacuum that yearns to be filled. And when established institutions are unable to meet that need, fringe ideologies come to replace them. Thus Hannah Arendt wrote in The Origins of Totalitarianism that “totalitarian domination as a form of government … bases itself on loneliness, the experience of not belonging to the world at all, which is among the most radical and desperate experiences of man.”
Basically, the terror management thinking is that all of civilization is a reaction against the existential dread
we all have! And the breakdown in the community ties that bind is what has resulted in our political situation.
"Trump seized the White House by utilizing the oldest known recipe for legitimating political power: Cultivate an aura of immortality; remind your subjects of their own mortality by nourishing their fear of an alien Other; promise the extinction of that Other, and an escape from death’s shadow, in return for loyalty.
I can't tell if we are still on the precipice..or falling at this point.