According to our resident Delphic barnacle, Rush Limbaugh, Donald Trump as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has come “out of nowhere.”
Let’s talk about that.
We live our lives in an online environment characterized by hateful, ideologically violent ad hominem attacks, hit-and-run partisan rhetoric, and the guilt-free savaging of people we call friends. We have done for years. Day in and day out. And you are what you eat.
Women assume all men want to rape them. Whites assume all blacks want to rob them. Blacks assume all cops want to kill them. Americans assume all Muslims want to blow them up. And we all assume that anyone who disagrees with us in any way must be our enemy, and at the very least can never be our friend. And the kicker is, none of these are completely groundless assumptions.
We live in a world of exceptions proving rules.
When I walk across campus, I am nearly run down by people so absorbed in their iPhones that they forget other people exist. We carry on conversations with distant strangers (twits with tweets that we are), while our nearest neighbors are virtually unknown to us. And when I do happen to catch someone’s eye, it’s often hard to distinguish between latent fear and outright dismissal.
We are terrified of everyone and everything. We populate our world with ghosts and specters of threats and danger (we ain’t talkin’ Patrick Swayze here!), and we embody those spirits in the forms of all the Others we don’t know how to approach: Muslims are terrorists, the transgendered are perverts, Mexicans are rapists, and African-Americans are thugs and welfare queens. Full stop.
Then, to put the friggin’ cherry on top, we wrap all this bullshit up in a nice, neat bundle of jingoistic self-satisfaction: we are the U.S.A., dammit, and we’ve stopped by to save the day! Can we help it if the rest of the world is too blind to see how much it needs our “assistance”?
We are a nation of self-absorbed, narcissistic, multiphobic war hawks with a collective God-complex.
Donald Trump? Yeah…what a shocker!…