May 01, 2016
When Trump said today "we can't allow China to rape our country," it reminds me of my conversations with folks on an airplane to Tennessee a few weeks ago, which is deep Trump territory.
No matter how often I reminded my airplane seatmates that I grew up in New York, I am an American citizen, I work for an American company, I went to school in America, I do not speak Chinese, that my family has been in America for more than 100 years, that my family served in the U.S. army, that I do not like China or the way their government is run, it did not matter.
I look Chinese. So the Trump supporters kept referring to China as "your country," telling me how terrible "your country" was (meaning China) and telling me what they thought of "your people" and "your leaders". Watch the pronouns "us" and "them" when you chat with a Trump supporter: they can't help it. It doesn't matter how American I am. I am "them." I am the bad guy.
The Trump supporters proudly reminded me they do not believe anything in "the media." They also did not believe anything I would say unless I happened to agree with them. That conversation was frightening in so many ways.
How to Mobilize a Mob
I hate how dishonest and corrupt the Chinese government is, and I hate the direction China is bringing the world: they have built an economy on exploitation, pollution, poor safety, and lack of ethics, and they have gotten the world to follow suit. But when Trump talks about China "raping" the U.S., he is not making the same economic argument I make when I criticize China. He is using racist code to mobilize the mob against the Chinaman. He is turning his supporters violently against me. Because of the way I look.
My father is a Massachusetts Republican and just returned from the GOP caucus where delegates get picked. He says the depth and strength of the feeling of support for Trump should not be underestimated. All these white guys think Trump is very interesting, that his language is just colorful. They think it will be great for him to "tell it like it is," and that it's "time for a change." They are incredibly defensive if you criticize Trump.
But they are wrong. Trump's game is not honesty and it is not change: his game is conflict.
First he went after Mexicans. Then the Muslims. Now he has started on the Chinese.
Who is Raping This Week?
If you are a wealthy white male BMW-driving Catholic highly-educated engineer living in the suburbs, you might not understand the problem. But make no mistake: Trump is not on your side. Trump only operates by turning people against each other, which means that eventually it will be your turn to be the minority.
There is something about you that the mob does not like. It might be your religion, your job title, your education, your weight, your bank account, your travels, your child's condition, or something your parents did. You won't anticipate it because your offense has nothing to do with who you really are. But Trump's skill is to find that reason that you are the "other." When he comes after you, it will be too late for you to speak up. The mob will already see you as the enemy, and nothing you say will matter. I experienced that in Tennessee.
This is how the Cultural Revolution played out. This is now Nazi Germany worked. We remember the Nazi's rounding up the Jews, but a mob under the spell of a despot will round up anybody they find disgusting: professors; landowners; church-goers; the infirm; the elderly; the Polish; the leaders; the unemployed; the writers; or the people who seem too sympathetic to all those disgusting people. Being white does not make you safe: it just means that you are not first.
Please do not support this monster.Posted by David at May 1, 2016 11:43 PM
Well said. I don't have anything of value to add, just my word in support.Posted by: Nelson at May 2, 2016 07:18 PM
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