Sunday, April 15, 2018

Benjamin Carter Hett — What We Really Have to Worry About Isn’t Trump

The country is divided into two hostile camps, a division as much geographic as ideological.
On one side are the big cities, the centers of progressive politics and home to social movements for women, for gay people, for minorities, and to an unprecedented wave of immigrants. Many of the immigrants look and dress very differently from residents of longer standing, marking them as followers of a different religious faith. Many are refugees from an unprecedented wave of war and civil war. Many have entered the country illegally.

Then there are the rural areas. These have always been conservative, but now economic hard times and a pervasive feeling of humiliation are driving their conservatism to a new level of anger. People in rural areas attribute much of this humiliation to urban liberals who seem to care more about refugees and minorities than they do about their country cousins. The country people are statistically much more likely to have served in the armed forces and they feel that their patriotism contrasts with the deracinated, increasingly foreign cities. Religious faith, especially evangelical Christian faith, is central to life in the country. Rural people often see the cities as nothing but cesspits of every conceivable kind of vice.
Into this volatile mixture comes a politician who thrives on the exploitation of anger. He tells the suffering rural people that those urban elites, the religious minorities, and much of the rest of the world are responsible for their troubles. He is willing to say things that no other politicians would dare to utter. The rural people respond by giving their votes overwhelmingly to him. Soon the strange new politician is in power.
But this is not the United States in 2018. It is Germany in the early 1930s....
It doesn't suggest that Trump is Hitler, but rather that this is a disturbing direction for the US to be headed toward, with a very uncertain future and a largely discredited Establishment in the eyes of many voters.

AlterNet — History News Network
What We Really Have to Worry About Isn’t TrumpBenjamin Carter Hett | professor of history at the City University of New York

1 comment:

Matt Franko said...

"City University of New York"

The guy is just on the one side...