Listening to some talking heads in the US there seems to be a collective downer across this once great nation. The diminishing American hegemony has quite a few gnashing their teeth and crying ‘poor me’. Of course, the Trump cult has this populist blowhard claiming he can arrest the slide by closing the borders and deporting people. Donald the compulsive liar is hoping to pout his way back into the White House. Americans looking for someone to blame for their less than stellar place in the world is putting their nation on a civil war footing.
Trump’s America Is Populist Blaming
The Republican Party has become home to radical populists all pointing the finger at the usual suspects. Blacks, foreigners, liberals, socialists, and women who don’t know their place. When times are tough weak people always look for someone else to blame. Trump is raging against those that, in his opinion, poison the blood of America. White supremacist rubbish. The truth is that China has outworked America. American bosses outsourced manufacturing to China and other developing countries. These CEOs were content to see the US become the financing and Intel property rights global landlords. Well, a select few Americans would derive massive wealth from these offshore moves. However, it would leave America vulnerable when global supply chains were threatened.
“A leading American progressive said Donald Trump was using “horrific … dehumanising and fascist rhetoric”, after the former president told supporters immigrants were invading the US and “poisoning the blood of our country”.”
Great American Fictions
It is interesting to observe how invested people become in this idea of national identity. It is a fiction really; it is not real this idea of being American or Australian. It is another fiction like so many of the things we all consider very real. Religion – a belief in a certain conception of a God. A supernatural entity that science has found no evidence for over millennia’s. Money – not linked to a gold standard and, therefore, just another fiction we all buy into. Our lives are so invested in these fictions and people regularly die for them.
You could say that these three things are most important to Americans. Money, God, and blaming the other guy for their woes.
The Politics Of Division
American politics has a history of negative campaigning. Indeed, it has written the book on pointing the finger at villainy. Americans are the experts on selling stuff. Long ago they discovered that people buy things based on feelings and not on facts. Politics is all about cultural values and identity. Americans sell sentimentality. These days the GOP is selling nostalgia – remember the good old days? Before America was wrecked by all those immigrants, blacks, greenies, commies, degenerates, and pushy women. The GOP is promising to turn back the clock to make America white again. Of course, this can never be achieved, it is political tom foolery.
Playing The Blame Game
The blame game has no happy ending for anyone. Populist governments when elected are invariably found to be riddled with corruption and cronyism. Incompetence results because these folks have no commitment or training to deliver good government for all Americans. On Trump’s last watch in the presidency nearly a million Americans died from the Coronavirus pandemic. In the richest nation on earth Trump’s administration couldn’t get the job done and protect its people. The fault lines in American society were exposed by the pandemic.
Ideological BS prevented the nation acting like a nation. Communities suffered because there wasn’t an overarching community spirit.
Populists Fail The People In The End
If you elect presidents and governments based on division and populist finger pointing that is exactly the kind of country you get. Americans looking for someone to blame is a failure to begin with. What did JFK say, something about not asking what your country can do for you but rather what you can do for it – I paraphrase. Well, one thing you can do is stop looking for easy answers to complex questions and trying to blame others for your situation. Charity begins at home. Look at yourself and take some responsibility. Only by working together in a spirit of unity will you overcome major challenges.
Robert Sudha Hamilton is the author of Money Matters: Navigating Credit, Debt, and Financial Freedom.