Why Bashing Trump Supporters Isn’t Cool

Caitlin Johnstone

If I see one more millionaire comedian go to a Trump rally and make fun of how low-class and uneducated some of his supporters are, I'm gonna put my fist through my computer. I mean for God's sake, duh, yes, many of them are lower class and under-educated. That's the problem. That's why they're angry. That's why I'm angry. We know that their country has failed them.

You see shill comedians on corporate media churning out that smug, classist condescension every day, but it's not just the faux funnymen punching down on the disempowered for the benefit of the ruling class. I'm seeing more and more pundits and think pieces talking about how it looks like Trump's going to lose the election, but we're still going to have to deal with his supporters on the alt right when he's gone.

Excuse me? "Deal with" them? How are you planning on dealing with them, exactly? By ending the predatory trade agreements that have gutted rural America? By ending the Walmart/welfare system and imposing a livable minimum wage and a top-notch, fully-funded public education system? By closing the gaping tax loopholes that allow billionaires to avoid helping the human beings they're crushing into the dust for unprecedented profits? By imposing congressional term limits and changing laws that enable the wealthiest Americans to literally buy the votes of the entire legislative branch of the federal government to keep the Walmart economy in place? Is that how you're planning on "dealing with" them?

Because it sure doesn't look like that's what you're planning to do. It looks like you're all doing everything you can to elect an extremely wealthy former Walmart executive with a consistent record of corporate cronyism and taking massive donations from billionaires all over the world, whose husband passed one of the most damaging of the aforementioned trade agreements in NAFTA. It sure looks like you voice boxes of the neoliberal think tank are using the monolithic consolidated media power legislated into existence by Bill Clinton's Telecommunications Act to elect his Wall Street-friendly wife to the most powerful government office on the planet, at the expense of the people being choked to death by the very policies they've both been granted unfathomable amounts of wealth and power for facilitating.

Demagoguery only ever works on a desperate population. Do you think Nazi Germany happened because everyone just woke up one morning with a bad case of anti-Semitism? If you do, you didn't pay attention in history class. World War I had left Germany traumatized and depleted and the Treaty of Versailles had the German government paying reparations fees to the Allies who'd defeated them, which they couldn't afford, resulting in French and Belgian troops invading Ruhr to take goods and raw materials. There was some recovery, but then the Great Depression hit. Hitler was just the first hateful and charismatic opportunist to come along and say to these people, "Hey! You know how you have all these problems? Well, it's those guys' fault!" His party was a joke in the year 1928, receiving less than three percent of the vote, but then the economy tanked after the Wall Street crash of 1929, and people got desperate.

Demagoguery is built upon desperation.

Did you know racism wasn't really a thing for Europeans until they migrated to the Americas? I mean, there was definitely hatred and prejudice, but it was the Irish against the English, the English against the French, etc. They never thought of their skin pigmentation as an identifying characteristic, never thought of themselves as "white people," until they came to America. White slavery and indentured servitude were highly profitable practices in early colonial America, and in order to keep the European slaves and the African slaves from just teaming up and taking everything from their extremely wealthy owners, white slaves were promised a small amount of land and money for their services in exchange for keeping the black slaves in line. In their desperation, the European slaves were all too eager to help oppress their African brothers. Make them desperate, then divide and conquer. Here's a little talk by the brilliant Tim Wise about the slavery stuff if you're curious.

Demagoguery can only ever come from desperation; you can't scapegoat without a problem. Yes, racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia are being used to rally the victims of our exploitative system on the political right, but if you end the exploitation, you end the desperation. And that's all Bernie Sanders was ever trying to do, for them and for all of us.

"It is also time for a new peace movement in America, one that includes progressives and libertarians alike, both in and out of Congress, to organize on campuses, in cities, and towns across America, to serve as an effective counterbalance to the Demuplican war party, its think tanks, and its media cheerleaders."

We can't get there if we're playing along with the game where we get pitted against each other for the amusement of the aristocracy like something out of The Hunger Games to the jeers of sycophantic corporate comedians. We've got to stand together and make them take us seriously.

[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]