By Ramy Osman
Trumps win of the presidency has challenged many people’s perception of what America really stands for. People are having trouble coming to terms with what a Trump presidency will mean for this country. There’s no doubt that things are going to change over the next four years. But how it’s going to change might be as unpredictable as the recent election outcome.
As a fellow New Yorker, I’m familiar with Trump’s brash, crude, in-your-face way of dealing with others, especially with those who get in your way. His scorched-earth take-no-prisoners way of dealing with his opposition, is as much a reflection of the street hustling ways of New York as they are of the aggressive and bullying ways of the American government.
The reason why so many people are repulsed by Trump’s behavior during this elections season, is because he outwardly manifests the aggressive and violating policies of our government – policies which are camouflaged by sophisticated and elitist politicians. Even though Obama is a champion of policies that took people’s lives, properties and liberties, Obama is able to pacify his Democratic voters with his smooth talk and empty promises. Obama expanded the drone wars and the war-on-terror in the same spirit as Bush; He maintained Guantanamo Torture Camp and all the unconstitutional legislations which were initiated under Bush;. He expanded the police-surveillance state in ways that Bush couldn’t dream of; And he appointed cabinet members and empowered people from corporations that Bush bailed out.
Since these evil policies were not accompanied with brash, crude and bigoted speech, then the Democrats were wooed and silenced by Obama’s eloquence (kind of similar to how some Muslims were wooed by the eloquence of Osama bin Laden). Democrats ignored or endorsed Obama’s evil policies because either they were focused on his promises of health care, a better economy, and other government benefits; or they were stuck in the “lesser of two evils” paradigm (which almost brought corporatist warmaker Hillary Clinton into office). The Democrats have a clear record of enabling war, government overreach and cronyism. They’re part of the problem because they enable the government-corporate partnership which not only is a system of survival-of-the fittest, but is more so a system of survival-of-the-richest.
With all this American aggression against its own people and others, there’s bound to be consequences. Just like 9-11 was blow-back against American aggression in many Muslim countries, there are and will continue to be other instances of blow-back against America’s continued political, military and economic aggressions. Trump is political blow-back. And now that Democrats are confronted with someone who outwardly reflects the spirit of American aggression, they are repulsed by it.
But Trump’s aggression and belligerence is a reflection of how 60 million Americans are fed up with the status quo; They’re fed up by the financial and emotional harm they get from a system that’s rigged to benefit the elites (a system that Obama and Clinton are part of). To them, Trump is the aggressive outsider who would be able to shake things up and challenge Wall Street, the media, and career-politicians. Michael Moore accurately said that the struggling and former middle-class saw Trump as the “human molotov cocktail” that they can throw “into the system that stole their lives from them”. Essentially, Trump voters were taking their aggression out against an aggressive system.
This brings me to the question of what does America stand for, and why does it embody so much aggression? In order to answer these questions, I think we have to question the very nature and purpose of government. Is the purpose of a secular government, that it act as a savior, tasked with the responsibility of making people’s lives better (almost always at the expense of others)? Or is the purpose of government limited to ensuring that people’s liberties are protected, and that people’s rights aren’t violated by others (or violated by the government itself)?
It seems like the American government acts more like a savior, where people aggressively compete against each other to reap its benefits. The end product is the concentration of violent power into a single entity that is hardly a symbol of freedom, liberty and justice for all. The American government is a tool of the elites, corporations and of the power hungry. It’s a focal point that attracts people who want to live at the expense of everyone else; and it’s those who are most aggressive who will rise to the top. Politics is a profession of aggression. I don’t think Trump voters are hoping that Trump will change the nature of politics. I think they’re hoping Trump will at least tilt the level of political aggression in their favor.
I don’t expect much good to come from the Trump presidency. His campaign was more concerned about being a political insurgent than it was about upholding the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. He hardly ever used the words “freedom” or “liberty” during his campaign; and he repeatedly said things that would make Obama’s evil policies look peaceful. I don’t think Trump will jail Hillary or ban Muslims from coming to America – that was just his way of hustling himself into the White House. But I do think Trump will attract the worst elements of politics into his administration. After all, the political establishment are power-hungry and aggressive; So they’ll easily make amends with Trump and get along just fine.
My hope is that more people will stop endorsing the insanity of the two-party system. Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin, and are both responsible for the destructive policies of our government. People continue to play the political game of duopoly without realizing it’s really a monopoly, and it’s the voters who are getting played. It’s time for people to assert their independence from the system. It’s time for third-party or no-party.