10 Mar 2016

Donald Trump and the mob. This is the US of A today

Based on an article by Micheal Bradley


A mob doesn't think; it feels. Its members have fully engaged the emotional parts of their brains, and everything else is temporarily switched off. A mob can do things which its constituents would never individually contemplate and of which they are later ashamed; the testimonies of people who participated in such horrors as the Rwandan genocide and, yes, what the Nazis did, provide plentiful evidence of this. Much of history is a record of lynchings, witch hunts, pogroms and genocides, all perpetrated by ordinary people who one day lost their moral bearings and became a mob.
To dismiss Trump's supporters as a dumb racist swill is to entirely miss the point. Almost everyone in the world is latently racist to at least some extent; when a big enough section of society feels lost and alienated from the power structures which govern them, and a putative leader comes along who speaks the language of their rage and promises to speak brutal, impolitic truth to that power; then if that leader understands the emotional levers of his audience, he can turn it into a mob and wield its force for his own ends.
That's Trump in a nutshell. He gets all this. He plays the cards of racism, misogyny, inclusion/exclusion, demonisation of The Other in whatever form is momentarily convenient, to manipulate the elevated emotions of the mob he has attracted and keep his face plastered all over the news. He wants to be president. It's possible, if the mob keeps growing and maintains its present rage.

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