I THINK I’VE GOT IT!!!
For those of you who have read my blogs for a while, you know that I have long sought an answer to how it is possible that 40 percent of Americans do not seem to see the same Trump that the other 60 percent of Americans believe they see so clearly and unhappily.
FINALLY – I THINK I’VE GOT IT!
And, it turns out the answer is so simple that it is hard to understand how and why it took so long to find it.
The reality is that ‘the 40 percent’ see Trump just as clearly as everyone else. But, unlike ‘the other 60 percent’, they like what they see for essentially two basically overlapping and combined reasons.
Let me elaborate and explain that first.
Then, I will identify an antidote to be tried.
I do not want to swamp you with too much confusing data. When you find it, and see it for yourself, you will be startled and really believe it.
I turns out that there is an amazing correlation in how those two different groups of people see Trump so differently based almost entirely on their level of education and their negative view of what government means in their lives.
Notwithstanding obvious sensitivities in illuminating touchy comparisons, it is statistically obvious that the overall educational level of the 40% is significantly below that of the 60%. And, the same 40% do not trust government in their lives, while the 60% recognize the necessity of government, even though 2/3 of them have no college education.
When you blend those two factors into an illustrative Venn diagram,
the result is clear to see and recognize: 40% of the public are both undereducated and are enamored of a President who is disdainful of government, and who is unabashedly parading his ignorance on a daily basis as a rejoinder to those “elites” who surround him (and attempt to rein him in) as his supporters feel they are reined in as well.
The 40% who seem to stick with Trump through thick and thin view him also as their ‘agent of change’, a norm-smashing embodiment of how they feel about the country!
The antidote to deal with this distorted vision of the real world is –you guessed it –more and better civics education. It hopefully can be used both to address today’s circumstances as well as a long-term restoration of democracy. It will not be simple, easy or quick.
Every institution in American needs to address their constituencies with civics lessons which failed to reach lots of people in their youth. It may seem lame to have to start over to educate the population. But, as it is a big part of the problem, there really is no other choice.
Trump’s support obviously isn’t universal anywhere. The “traditional” Republican view, focused on defense, foreign policy, and fiscal restraint, has little place in a Trump world. Many of those traditionalists today serve in the U.S. Congress, and it can still be hoped that enough of them will ultimately step up to their duty and support an impeachment that leads to Trump’s removal.
That must be done in terms simple and respectful enough that almost everyone can begin to realize that Trump’s anti-government postures and routines are intended to make Trump himself the only alternative.
Trump is sticking it to the ‘old guard’ not by standing up for “Joe Six-Pack” but by making government an extension of himself, for his personal benefit.
Of course, most of the 40% will eventually surely discover that Trump’s promises were largely empty, and ultimately, they will realize they had been cleverly suckered.
Until we address the gaping lack of understanding and embark on a massive civics’ education, America will continue to remain vulnerable to a next Trump, McCarthy, or P.T. Barnum selling their own brand of fakery at some point in the future.
Trump may be something of a mad genius to have seen and exploited the weakness in our democratic process, which is the emergence of a hunger for authoritarian control among a segment of the populace despairing of its fortunes in a swiftly changing world.
Yet, it seems to me more likely that he personally actually embodies [embraces?] the correlation, which reflects his worldview and behavior. His ignorance, of course, is famous, and he seemingly cherishes it? And, he’s made it very clear that he sees no value in government, except as a vehicle for his own glory and enrichment.
All he had to accomplish in the 2016 election –because Hillary Clinton was so flawed –was to sell himself to an audience already waiting to receive his message. Enough of them fell for him because he seemed so rich, powerful and popular on TV. Wait until they see his tax returns!
Now, that the source of the 60/40 conundrum seems much clearer, our challenge is to enlarge and sharpen the big picture clearly enough, so that it might be seen by all for what it really is!
While that is happening, we have a decent chance again for clear sailing into a democratic future!