A lot of writing and broadcast commentary over the past 36 hours over what the stunning election of bombastic billionaire Donald J. Trump means to America.
Quite a bit of analysis on “how and /or why did this happen” and what it means for the future of the nation called America.
Why did it happen? Anger, mostly, from a larger-than-realized number of Americans who felt left out of the the mix of things by this country and — sadly — feelings by those who are white and Anglo-Saxon that they are rapidly becoming a minority in a constantly changing demographic of a diverse nation.
That latter feeling began to emerge eight years ago when America elected its first African-American President, a move that many thought was a crowning moment that could finally put racism away but, instead, brought it to the forefront.
We saw that racist anger vocalized by self-styled “populist” groups like the tea party which promoted the concept that America should only be a white nation governed for, and by, those who are fair of skin and ultra-conservative in nature.
We saw the rise in white supremacist organizations and militias. Such anger was not only focused on African-Americans but also against Hispanics and others from nations who came to America seeking a better way.
Those found a way to stroke their anger and hate through social media and online web sites dedicated to outlandish racist claims that Barack Obama was really born in Kenya and was a “socialist.”
The hate was also directed at those with different lifestyles — gays who sought to openly love and marry others of the same sex, transgenders who felt trapped in bodies that were opposite of who they should be and those who practiced religious faiths that did not recognize the teachings or beliefs of Christianity.
Fundamentalist ministers promoted anger and hate towards gays, calling them “sinners” and used hateful language to promote the concept that their way was the only way to believe in a deity.
Those without jobs blamed illegal immigrants who often worked in service jobs that many native Americans felt were beneath them. Contractors, builders and others found that Mexicans would provide quality work that others in this country would look down on and bitch about.
The anger grew and became a movement, one that the controlling “elite” ether ignored or did not realize has become a dominant political force.
Into that mix came Trump, a brash, ego-driven man whose pursuit of celebrity matched his desire for wealth and control. He saw ways to feed that anger with coarse commentary and promises that played well with those who were willing to believe someone who claimed he could provide a world he cannot possibly deliver.
Trump thrives on adulation and the angry whites with less education than most and far less money than many appeared in large rallies that shouted his name and sang his praises even as investigations proved the object of their lust was a man who exploited women, defrauded small business operators, frisked those who bought into his claims and who promoted a lifestyle built on debt, unpaid bills and broken promises.
Trump was not like others who sought the Presidency and that was all his supporters needed to know. The got their news from partisan web sites and fed their paranoia with the conspiracy theories provided by their new hero and self-promoted savior.
They conveniently ignored the fact that their “savior” of the common people was born into wealth and privilege and had millions from is father to start is career, yet failed more than once after he squandered his money and bilked those who believed in him. So he used other people’s money to reinvent himself time and again.
Is he as rich as he claims? Nobody knows for sure because he won’t release his tax returns. We know he uses money from others and claims it as his own and even bilks charities. Now he has a nation’s treasury to drain with and a frequent ability to drive others into bankruptcy.
As a lifelong newspaperman who spent an ill-advised diversion into the dark political world as an operative for a dozen or so years, I understand the seductive world of mass hallucination provided by Trump. I helped provide too much of the propaganda that drives the rabid right-wing today and feeds the angry masses who have fallen, once again, for a false messiah who uses hope of the easily-conned for personal gratitude and power.
When the Trump fantasy disappears and the crash comes — and it will come hard, fast and furious — it will leave the dreams of the easily-conned shattered and devastated with less hope than they had before.
They were warned but they ignored those warnings and when their hopes fade and their dreams become nightmares, the nation as a whole will suffer.