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Trump. The rise of a demagogue

Posted by: | February 23, 2016 | No Comment |

 

Donald Trump.

By now he is arguably the most popular man in America — next to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, that is.

Well what exactly does that say about America?

Donald Trump has made his claim to wealth and fame through his various real estate ventures and by way of media. However, this American business mogul has perhaps single-handedly contributed to the degradation of American integrity in a shorter amount of time and moreso than any other candidate in recent history.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump  has run on a populist platform, using yellow journalism — which is by definition, a form of deplorable journalism catered to the working class individuals of society that is based upon sensationalism and crude exaggeration. People who support Trump say the love him for his blunt outspokenness and matter-of-fact approach.

Well — I have a cousin that loves to get drunk at family gatherings and speak his mind—does that make him presidential material?

Trump has spent his entire campaign seeking support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices of the disenfranchised working class rather than rather than using rational argument. He is a demagogue in the utmost sense and his brash, reckless and racist rhetoric pandering to an unhealthy, ethocentric and xenophobic sense of nationalism is dangerous.

University of Texas professor, Patricia Roberts-Miller define’s demagoguery as  “polarizing propaganda that motivates members of an ingroup to hate and scapegoat some outgroup(s), largely by promising certainty, stability, and what Erich Fromm famously called ‘an escape from freedom'”.


 

“What, in the changed conditions after the war, Hitler was able most signally to exploit was the belief that pluralism was somehow unnatural or unhealthy in a society, that it was a sign of weakness, and that internal division and disharmony could be suppressed and eliminated, to be replaced by the unity of a national community.” (Ian Kershaw, Hitler, 1889-1936)


 

His numerous controversial comments regarding race have served to put America in the international spotlight, reflected less as a country founded upon values of freedom and democracy, but moreso founded upon questionable ethics, run by a plutocracy where unqualified leaders are able to come to rise touting sensationalist racist propaganda and flourish politically based solely off of the number of zeroes in their bank accounts.

After a Black Lives Matter protestor at his rally was assaulted, Trump responded by saying “maybe he should have been roughed up.” But it didn’t stop there. He also later posted to his social media and propagated a “wildly inaccurate” image of  skewed,  racist motivated crime statistics originally released by white supremacist individuals. The image stated that 81% of murders perpetuated against white individuals were by black individuals when in actuality, according to the most recent FBI crime statistics, it turned out that in fact that 82% of white homicides were perpetuated by white individuals.

His comments regarding Mexican immigrants were perhaps the most strongly worded and outwardly racist. Trump was quoted publicly saying


 

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”


 

The use of fear-mongering tactics and sensationalism in conjunction with yellow journalism in order to appeal to a disenfranchised working-class votes is sickeningly deplorable and unethical in the highest sense. Trump is pandering to working class, under educated individuals at the expense of already marginalized and oppressed minority groups in a country with an immensely poor track record for racial history.

When we as a country allow the rise of such dangerous demagoguery, we are telling the world that we as a country place values such as materialism and capitalism — money and chutzpa — over fundamental ideals such as ethics and morality. We are willingly and blissfully sacrificing staples such as societal progression, race relations, foreign policy and international security  — our integrity — and all in the name of entertainment.

 

 

under: Comm 455
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