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The Trump Surge and the American Psyche

The two stout legs on which the Republican Party firmly stands are bigotry and greed. In order to grasp control of American public attention to meet the demands of its two core principles, the Republican Party reaches out with a left hand of lying and a right hand of hypocrisy.

The candidates seeking to be the Republican Party’s nominee for the presidency of the United States in the 2016 election are competing with one another to win the affections of like-minded and cash-contributing voters (euphemistically called “conservatives”) by projecting what they believe to be the best displays of being embodiments of their party’s core principles, which are most skillfully shrouded in politically effective (“electable”) variants of the party’s two essential techniques for the manipulation of the public mind.

Donald Trump’s popularity has surged in the affections of Republican partisans because he has projected the most fulsome embodiment of the core principles (“the soul of the party”). His is the epic image of great personal wealth financially insulating bombastic declarations of deeply cherished bigotry, and is thus a display of ponderous personal power that is the envy of many far and wide. Donald Trump is the incarnation of the “freedom” that so many wish they had the bankroll to give them the courage to display.

Republican presidential contenders whose fiscal and ideological armaments are deficient by comparison will trumpet craven ravings aimed at derailing Trump’s progress toward nomination, by appealing to public sentiment that is unfavorable to immigrant and racial bigotry (without going too far along this line, of course), and also to partisan sentiment against speaking ill about the hero status of prominent military veteran Republicans, as Trump has done recently regarding John McCain. However, it is entirely permissible (and enthusiastically pursued) to disrespect the military valor of veterans outside the Republican Party, recall the “swift-boating” right hand.

Despite being a transparent core bore buffoon of Republican partisanship, Donald Trump is for that very reason immensely popular with the people whose closely guarded belief system he vaingloriously displays. Donald Trump is the crass and ungentlemanly Don Quixote of American plutocracy. So, he is quite popular, and his presidential bid is a logical effort because there are many Americans who wish they could pour themselves into a Trumpian mold.

It is this last and sad realization about the Trumpian Spectacle that is the important sociological lesson to be drawn and acted on in politically positive ways. Focusing the time and energy of political progressives on Donald Trump, the individual, is a waste because his actual value to American society is otherwise inconsequential.

The real challenge is to recognize what kind of society has to be changed (and how), for its own good, and that of the rest of the world.