It is entirely possible that we Americans are guinea pigs for all the wacky ideas, revelations, and eureka moments that have been fixed for decades in Donald Trump’s mind. If he had never been elected President he would just be an old dude, who was once famous, pontificating about the state of America these days. He would be boring everyone by repeating over and over what he would do about the way America is treated if he could. All within hearing would have to listen to how he, Donald, would renegotiate all the bad deals that had been made on behalf of American. He would drone on and on about how none of those other presidents knew how to get a good deal. He would berate other nations about how badly they have treated America. He would project his sense of victimhood onto the world’s view and treatment of America. But his opinions would carry no weight.
But he is not just some obscure old man; not, as they say on Morning Joe, someone’s crazy uncle who ruins holidays. He is the president of the United States of America and every day we are living in Donald Trump’s brain.
Some of Donald’s pronouncements seem to have been placed in his brain in 1960; some seem a bit more recent. Is this proof that he evolves? Not really. It is perhaps proof that he occasionally finds a new guru. He used to be pro-choice for example, and now is anti-abortion. (In the NYT this week there was an article about what the country will be like without legal abortion.) But once Donald gets something in his brain he is convinced that he has found the exact truth of that particular situation, that only his truth is the truth, and he repeats that “truth” like a parrot. And since he is a narcissist he cannot be convinced to change his mind until he has his next eureka moment (when someone he admires teaches him a new phrase.)
Trump seems to have formed some of his biases against immigrants fairly recently and some he has pontificated about for some time. His bias against Mexicans seems to have been around for a while. The belief that all Mexicans are members of the M-13 gang is perhaps more recent. And yet as a businessman he also swallowed his prejudices and hired the least expensive labor possible, so many Mexicans worked for him and many may have been in the country without having gone through proper channels. Since he often refused to pay his workers, most likely the Mexicans who worked for Donald (who were probably not all Mexicans) did not like him very much either.
Donald’s fear of Muslims is more recent. Those opinions were most likely formed sometime after 9/11. There is no nuance to Donald’s feelings. Once he passes his judgment he believes it absolutely until he doesn’t. Donald sees America as a white and Christian nation and he is setting out to make it so. He feels threatened by the current waves of immigration and his fear is obvious from his big asks for funds for military defense and his desire to buck up our nukes. If Donald is paranoid, America is paranoid, because we now live inside Donald’s head.
How badly will we let Trump treat other human beings because Donald feels Mexicans (he calls everyone Mexican, even if they are from other South American countries) are takers. He is convinced that they have trampled all over Americans, stolen jobs (which few Americans want), refused to learn English, and that they are responsible for drug use in America (when it is actually a two-way street).
Perhaps because some poor immigrants are forced to take some pretty menial jobs to survive he forms the opinion that they are without value; they are animals. So, he sees no problem in separating children from parents as if they were kittens on a 1950’s farm. Families who are already running from trauma are being traumatized by a once welcoming nation in order to discourage refugees from seeking legal asylum in America. It is vile, and it puts America in some pretty bad company. America has never used children or women as pawns in either war or peace. When we resort to this kind of behavior we lose all the high ground and we damage the soul of American, once seen as a humane nation. A certain degree of meanness becomes commonplace and acceptable, making it less pleasant and less safe to live in these United States. We are not living in our usual state, the one where we decide American policy by compromise and governance. We are living out Donald Trump’s knee jerk set of principles and pronouncements.
Given his white supremacist leanings he would probably like to eject everyone who is not “white” from America, but he seems to almost understand that he can’t go there. Although when he told the athletes who “take a knee” to love America or leave it, I’m not sure where he thinks they would go. He must remember that they did not all come here by choice. Once I saw what happened inside a slave ship coming to America it made me physically ill. It made me think that reparations might not ever even be enough. And that wretched trip was not the end of the nightmare for once free people sold into slavery. Most slaves were treated like farm machines, possessions that could be kept in minimum comfort, fed because they needed energy to work hard, denied almost any little pleasure, abused sexually, and separated from their loved ones (denied family ties). We should be building a world where slavery is never allowed again but there are still pockets of slavery on our little world. Empathy does not seem to be one of Donald’s personality traits. Donald doesn’t like people who are captured. Still I don’t like to think about the lengths some people might be encouraged to go to in order to make America white again.
I’m not sure Trump ever cared two cents about health care because I doubt he offered it to his employees, but he is now convinced, as right-wingers are, that all government benefits are bad because they hurt business and the economy of America. What will American citizens do without healthcare? We did not have health care after World War II and before. Those were very different times though. Our population was smaller and there was no powerful coalition of doctors, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies (which, ironically was created when employers began offering health insurance. Capitalism deplores a vacuum.) Doctor’s fees were smaller, hospitals charged much less, emergency rooms did not exist. If your family was like mine, trips to the doctor were very rare. Folk remedies were more likely to be the order of the day for lower class Americans, and our life expectancies were much lower than they are now. There were no CAT scans or MRI, no robotic surgeries. Paying our hard-earned dollars into the system has brought some amazing changes to the field of medicine. Too bad we have to sell our futures to use them. Too bad our dollars were used to create drugs that have turned us into addicts. Meanwhile, inside Donald’s head it goes something like this – Me Donald, me think that all these government programs bad – they cost too much – me no like – cut them. Spend money on something like guns and nukes and a wall so Muslims can’t pour over our southern border to pillage and control us.
Donald was always a misogynist, although he would say, with a leer, that he loves women. But women are only useful to Donald as playmates and decoration, something beautiful to admire like a work of art in a museum. For Donald women with a brain, but who do not possess the ideal beauty that the world admires, might as well be men. However, they are not men. They are weaker than men. Donald does not admire people who are weak. Therefore women should stay home, exercise and avoid food, take care of the children, act as eye candy, but they should never involve themselves in men’s business, or govern nations. If they attempt to take over the roles of men they are to be humiliated or ignored, unless they are exceptionally beautiful, and then they should be ravished. In Donald’s simple brain, with its few and absolute rules, this is a man’s world.
Donald’s view of women affects his view (he has only the one) on foreign entities. He likes people who are strong. Women can’t be strong. Therefore, he like nations ruled by strong, ostensibly virile men; men like him. He made an assessment that our friends, our allies have been bad to us. They have abused American generosity, complained about our help (meddling) and they bad-mouth us too. What the world needs is a friendly coalition of nations ruled by men who will take no guff from anyone, who will protect their boundaries and throw out anyone who doesn’t belong, and then go off and feast and perform a manly sword dance. He probably plays that Saudi tape over and over while he scarfs down his cheeseburgers and smiles.
Some pundits are giving credit to Trump for the rise in Nationalism and xenophobia in Europe. Although his willingness to telegraph views similar to the populism in Europe perhaps gives other leaders permission to own attitudes that once were kept on the down low, the populism in Europe most likely is based on the flood of refugees arriving from the Middle East and especially Syria. Eastern European nations are barely recovered from their sojourn behind the Iron Curtain and they often merely tolerate the various groups within their rather unnatural post-war boundaries. Being flooded by people with no economic advantages to offer, who speak a different language and adhere to a different religion is a real problem they deal with every day. In Western Europe, where national identity is more secure, refugees are still creating many new problems for leaders to solve. Deportation is not really an option for these refugees because their own country has been devastated and is still at war. One could almost believe that Bashar Al Assad and Putin devised this war on purpose to throw the European Union into disarray. On the other hand Trump’s fears of being inundated with “others” is only imagined. He will not offer to have America share the dilemma of European nations that he labels as stingy. Besides, that would ruin any chance for a white, Christian America.
This is the guy who is running our country. We are just lackeys who act out the contents of his uncrowded mind. The rules are simple. You get no real prize if you obey Donald’s rules. You get his loyalty until it becomes inconvenient to offer it, or you no longer deserve it. You are a subject, nothing more, a contestant on the show called Donald Knows Best. We are all living in Donald Trump’s head, but his head has no use at all for most of us. We are here mainly so he can tell us how great his ideas are and so we can admire him when mighty observations he has concocted prove as accurate and effective as he tells us they are. We are Trump’s guinea pigs. We are living out any old thought or executive decision that happens to lodge itself in his psyche on any given day. Yikes!