I normally don’t write about politics on this blog. It doesn’t really interest me. Politics is a game to me, a game by people who are good at playing games, but not necessarily at ruling a country. I’m not a big believer in democracy anymore, I would prefer to see a country being run like a succesful multinational. Don’t elect people every 4 years, but let them grow from within into leaders that have a long-term vision, instead of only going for short-term results with slogans that sound good but have no real meaning.
That doesn’t mean that succesful business men are per definition good at leading. Some certainly are, especially ones that are decisive but can also work together with others to achieve their goals. But others, such as ones that reach their goals by being arrogant and not caring about their employees, are not the ones you want to see in power. They can be worse than the worst politicians.
To me Donald Trump is the ulitmate example of a ‘successful’ business man who can be extremely dangerous to not only the USA, but to the whole world. This man is a bully who does not care about anyone else, probably not even his own family. That’s what made him his money and that’s fine, but those are the same traits as some of the biggest dictators in the world. I would normally be hesitant to make a comparison to Hitler, but after what Trump said this week about not allowing Muslims into the US anymore, I think a comparison might actually be justified.
I am worried, because this guy is dangerous. The average Republican American doesn’t see it, because Trump’s dumb rhetoric is so simple that they don’t even think about his message. They want America ‘to be great again’, without understanding what that means. A great country does not close its borders, only a scared country. A great country doesn’t discrimate based on religion, especially not a country founded by people persecuted because of their religion. And a great country should be a free country, free for all to enter and free for all to leave.
I write this post after reading some of the comments on Donald Trump’s Facebook page. Reading those comments made me really worried. I know the average Joe generally doesn’t really think much about the world around him, and the comments made that very clear. His thinking is more or less emotional, based on simple messages (that’s why TV ads are so successful) and slogans that can be easily memorized and repeated.
I am worried because Donald Trump knows that and uses the same tricks as advertisers to get these people to vote for him. He wants to become the ‘leader of the free world’, another one of these slogans mainly uttered by people who have never been outside the US. They don’t realize that the US is not a real free country anymore, and has not been like that for a very long time. If Donald would win the elections (still a big if, but one that becomes more likely now that nobody is able to stop him and the masses seem to adore him) and would indeed try to bully the rest of the world, the USA is doomed and we may end up in World War III before we realize it.
I am worried because none of the US business leaders seems to be willing to make a stance against Donald’s racist words. There are some exceptions (Mark Zuckerberg’s note about Muslims always being welcome at Facebook being a notable one), but most companies don’t seem to care.
I am worried because I realize that his popularity is a sign that the US population is unhappy and wants to have a better life. People are looking for scape goats (Mexicans, Muslims) and Trump delivers that to them. I see parallels with what was happening in Nazi Germany. The way Trump talks about Muslims is very similar to how Hitler talked about Jews. The masses love it without thinking about it, just like the Germans during the crisis in the 1930s.
I am worried, because for a long time I thought that what happened in Germany would not be possible in the Western world anymore. Social media and free press would be able to stop it, but that’s not the case it seems. The debates on the Internet are tense, with many people really believing in Trump and completely defending his statements. Not as anonymous trolls, but with their full names and backgrounds on Facebook! How is it possible that people are so stupid that they don’t see what is going on? History is repeating itself and people don’t want to see it.
The other Republican candidates should make strong statements against Trump, because if they don’t the next thing might be that he will tell people that all Muslims should be rounded up. And although that won’t happen in reality, many people may see that as a statement to take their rights into their own hands and a new civil war could start. Far fetched? Maybe, but nobody could have predicted a year ago that Donald Trump would be able to get away with his current statements about Muslims.
I am worried, and I don’t know what I can do about it. I don’t live in the USA, but that doesn’t mean I should just sit still and not say anything. If everybody would do that Trump might eventually really be elected. So at least I want to put my thoughts on virtual paper and hopefully make some people think. Of course I realize that the people who vote for Trump likely don’t have the attention span to read more than a few sentences and would never find or read this post in the first place.
Is this a sign of the times? Real wages have gone down over the past years and that’s a trend that will only get worse. That is one reason why people are angry. Because of artificial intelligence and robotics most people will lose their jobs in the next 15 years (many people still don’t want to see this, but it’s inevitable with universal machines that get exponentially better, faster and cheaper, and won’t just do one job, but will eventually be able to do most jobs).
This will lead to mass unrest, unless visionary leaders take the helm in the US and some of the other big countries on this planet. With people like Donald Trump that won’t happen and the fact that he is so popular and gets away with racism might be a sign of what is to come. I have been contemplating a post about mass unemployment and potential solutions for a long time, maybe it’s time to sit down and write down my thoughts on those topics. They may be more relevant now already than I had realized.
I am worried.
Very well written and worrysome indeed. Please write that post on mass unemployment and possible solutions. It’s needed, the latest news here is 9000 layoffs at RABO Bank in the next years on top of the 10.000 already eliminated jobs there.I see almost jobless growth in the Netherlands as well. One should be worried about the future specially for their children or grandchildren. Post it on Facebook as well.
It is a terrible tragedy that we now come to a situation where the world needs responsible social leadership and Republicans support a man who is by all means a narcissist. He could not care a single bit about making America great again or the World a better place. All “The Donald” seems to care about is himself and his net worth. This is a man who would go after the weak, the people whose vote he does not need and scapegoat them to the masses. What is next? stormtroopers in Trump uniforms? The comparison with Nazi Germany is not far fetched considering his extreme views on immigration, a process that actually fuelled the growth of the USA over the past centuries. With his views he is going to turn America in a mess, an Orwellian State surpassing the one that was created with the Patriot Act.
I strongly disagree with your view that countries should be run as a corporation. That would just exacerbate the problems we now see with unlimited lobbying and election laws that favour the one percent. I do agree that 4 year or 5 year terms are not the way to formulate and implement long term policies that are needed to overcome the problems we are facing. This can be done through democratic principles but it means that people need to be well informed and their representatives should act on science and not the principles or beliefs on which the country is being governed now.
It is complicated to do so. Media are firmly embedded in the politics of lobbying and dissipate untruths 24/7. Representatives are well trained in raising cash but extremely poorly equipped to read and understand scientific reports and act on them appropriately. Just look at the problems to get guns of the street, the problems with fracking operations, simple issues such as gay and lesbian rights that are real time wasters as these should not be issues to fight but can be resolved easily by a strong leadership.
50% of Americans do not buy into Trumps rhetoric. I hope he drives some of the others into the same camp with his crazy ideas. There are people like Elisabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, they make a stand to the corporatism that has taken over the country on all levels. There is nothing wrong with business and I am not advocating the Gulag system here. We need to see real change this time. Obama promised it but is equally caught in a political system where fighting each other seems to be far more important than making real change.
Make America Great Again by including everyone, by having free education so people can start without hundreds of thousands of Dollars in debt. An America where entrepreneurs and inventors do not have to spend most of their money on lawyers to get going, where neighbourhoods are safe again not from terrorists but crazies who can buy a gun within minutes, which does not have to drag itself from war to war in order to spend money on the military industrial complex, an America where poor does not mean death because of no medical care, a country that actually locks up the white collar criminals instead of worshipping their wealth, that swaps the carbon economy for solar, geothermal and other technologies to become a leader in the new economy, that produces quality items again that last a long time and not crap that goes to the dump a few months later. That is not the country for men like Trump.
It would be a country for intelligent leadership. There is no lack of intellectuals, business and finance execs who could cooperate for the speedy creation of such systems and make America finally a truly great nation. People might not have to work 3 jobs full time to make a living, they can use time to participate with ideas, volunteering or just invent stuff in their garage, the place where probably most wealth has been created.
If people think the removal of immigrants is going to create such a country and volunteer only in tea party rallies, they are dead wrong.
Great post, Marc. It’s a tragedy, indeed.
Reminds me of my years in Rotterdam between 1940-1945. Nazism and the in prosecution of all Jews was introduced in Germany in in the early 30’s and proved to be successful at the cost of millions of innocent lives, amongst others my grandparents. Due to a passive attitude of the “love thy neighbour” majority in Germany, a fact for which later pope John Paul openly apologized, the “cancer” could grow.
Hopefully this mistake will not be repeated. Worldwide cooperation of all loving and caring Muslims, including all clerics, will be necessary and avoid lots of useless bloodshed. Religion is supposed to be for the good of ALL people and I hope one day “ALL CLERICS OF ALL RELIGIONS” will preach accordingly.
Excellent post Marc –
On your disenchantment with Democracy, you should also consider that the American form of Democracy has been perverted by corporate lobbyists and incendiary media platforms, whose interests are completely opposite from those of the American people.
As you imply, any system is only as good as its leadership — the American version of Democracy (like many American corporations) has suffered under the influence of incompetent leadership, and is no longer a free democracy. But the underlying system remains valid, while a ‘corporatism’ form of government would only exacerbate the current problems.
Regardless, I agree with your broader point about the Borg subsuming the human race, unless we figure out how to live peacefully with machines. You and I have talked about this before.
Consider writing your post as an Op-Ed in a major paper — it’s a subject that deserves wider circulation and consideration, and despite its depravity the ‘mainstream’ media has incredible reach and power.
I suspect your ideas would be incendiary enough to stand on their own, especially compared to the vapid blathering of The Donald.
Would be happy to work on it with you, too.
Sage, sounds like a good thing to work on together. Will call you.