The Warning in Trump’s Words

On Sunday, Trump ranted:

“Never forget our enemies want to stop us, because we are the only ones – that’s all of you and me, all working together –  who can stop them, we’re the only ones who can stop them. They want to take away my freedom because I will never let them take away your freedom . It’s very simple. They want to silence me because I will never let them silence you. And in the end, they’re not after me, they’re after you and I just happen to be standing in their way.  That’s true.”

Trump continued:

“We’re a failing nation, we are a nation in decline and now these radical left lunatics want to interfere with our elections by using law enforcement. It’s totally corrupt and we won’t let it happen. 2024 is our final battle. With you at my side, we will demolish the Deep State, we will expel the war mongers from our gov’t, we will drive out the globalists, we will cast out the communists marxists fascists, we will throw out the sick political class that hates our country and we will rout the fake news media, we will defeat crooked Joe Biden and we will drain the swamp once and for all….” *

Who cares what Trump says? We should just ignore him, right? One friend of mine saw the speech as merely threatening to do things . She called it mere “bloviating and pontificating.”

I’m not an alarmist. I don’t see the point in just ringing alarm bells about Trump. Neither am I interested in merely throwing labels at him: he’s a fascist, a bloviator, a narcissist, he’s unhinged, etc. And while I think looking at history gives us some clear markers about what is going on, I don’t think making historical comparisons alone is enough to wake us up to what is going on. We need to bring it home to our present-day lives.

What I see is that Trump repeatedly succeeds in garnering supporters who gladly buy into the myths he builds.

I think we need to ask ourselves why this is. How does a man under multiple criminal indictments (which by the way each make out quite strong cases) get any supporters at all, for anything, let alone for the office of the president?

What concerns me is not that Trump continues to threaten to do things. To be sure, that is bad enough but it is not where the real trouble lies – and the fact that intelligent people don’t see where the trouble lies is one of the more troubling things about it.

Let me clarify. I am not talking about what Trump says he will do.  I’m talking about what he is actually doing in his speeches.

Trump is under indictment in several jurisdictions for different crimes.  He tells his followers that he considers these indictments “badges of honor.”

He is using the indictments as a platform to incite further violence and insurrection.

He is using the fact that he is being charged by “law enforcement” as the basis for calling his supporters again to arms. To engage in civil war against their own neighbors.

He is in fact suggesting that we overthrow the law, overthrow the government.

Is he not therefore adhering to our enemies and levying war? Those are the two crimes delineated in the Constitution for treason.

How can you legitimately run for president while completely dismissing the very political processes you are using? Apparently you can as long as you claim you are saving people from their own country.

Ask yourself what is Trump’s appeal and why? My friend wrote: that she thinks “the majority of his followers are easily manipulated, easily influenced and like to be in a state of chaos and anger.”

This is not a sufficient answer to me. There must be an additional explanation. If true, WHY are his followers easily manipulated and influenced?  If true, WHY do they like to be in a state of chaos and anger?

Not all of Trump’s followers are the ignoramuses Progressives and Democrats would like to believe they are. On a psychological level, there is much more going on here.

It is my belief that Trump’s tactics work for the same reasons Hitler’s and Napoleon’s did. There is a deep psychological need for what he provides. This is the real worry.

By all appearances, Trump is copying from their playbook.

Hitler’s tactics worked not because he was smarter than those before him or more evil but because he identified and channeled deep-seated needs and fears in the populace. He created a public image of himself as their sole savior. The tactics worked because Hitler seized power at a moment in history when Germany was vulnerable.

Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise to power was almost identical. Vulnerable because the French Revolution had created such violence, destruction and chaos, the French populace wished for the hand of a strong leader to make things right. Napoleon was that man.

America is vulnerable and Trump knows it.  There is a strongly and widely felt need throughout the nation. He is tapping into that need and its roots. The roots of that need are very, very deep and go back a long, long way — unheard, unacknowledged, unaddressed.

This is very frightening because it means that it is not going away. The need is genuine and deep and full to the brim with pain and anger which MUST be answered or it is going to lash out. And it will lash out at any convenient identified target or class of targets. Liberals, Democrats, atheists, Pro-Choice people, educated people, Blacks or WASP-Whites, take your pick.

Our government is not perfect and unfortunately it has not addressed and is not addressing the needs of the oppressed. Trump claims to want to fix that but he won’t. He will lead us down a path filled with horrific violence, blame, and terrible pain.  Trump needs to be stopped and needs to be held accountable for the awful crimes he’s committing against this nation – not just the ones in the present and upcoming indictments but the crimes of treason and the genocide that will follow if we let him keep going.

Then we need to find a way to reach and meet the needs of those we’ve left behind – those who feel oppressed and disregarded. If we don’t, there will be another Trump.

* Excerpts from Trump’s speech can be heard here.