Warning: my potential controversial opinion to follow…
When Trump first started the campaign, he was nothing more than one of those annoying little yappy dogs who always had something to prove. He ran his campaign like a reality show and his media-savvy meant his campaign wasn’t as short-lived as I expected.
Now Trump has grown from a little yappy dog to one of those big, scary dogs you avoid when walking your neighborhood. He has the potential to be very dangerous as his rhetoric worsens and his base strengthens. He has nothing to lose and speaks to a base that’s more comfortable with what America used to be than what it will be.
I found two really good quotes that help explain or even confirm my fears. The first is from Ayn Rand:
Every dictator is a mystic, and every mystic is a potential dictator. A mystic craves obedience from men, not their agreement. He wants them to surrender their consciousness to his assertions, his edicts, his wishes, his whims—as his consciousness is surrendered to theirs. He wants to deal with men by means of faith and force—he finds no satisfaction in their consent if he must earn it by means of facts and reason. Reason is the enemy he dreads and, simultaneously, considers precarious; reason, to him, is a means of deception; he feels that men possess some power more potent than reason—and only their causeless belief or their forced obedience can give him a sense of security, a proof that he has gained control of the mystic endowment he lacked. His lust is to command, not to convince: conviction requires an act of independence and rests on the absolute of an objective reality. What he seeks is power over reality and over men’s means of perceiving it, their mind, the power to interpose his will between existence and consciousness, as if, by agreeing to fake the reality he orders them to fake, men would, in fact, create it.
He is creating the reality he wants and getting many others to buy in. He’s reinforcing antiquated beliefs that should’ve died out last generation. He’s feeding fear and not dealing in reason.
Another great quote that helps explain why trump is popular is from the original definer of capitalism, Adam Smith:
Through capitalism we gain, but we also lose. The loss, Smith felt, was felt most among the lowest classes – his particular example was employees in a pin factory – whose cramped place in the chain of production leaves no room for the enlargement of the mind and spirit, which the freedom of commercial society should open up. It was especially worrisome to Smith, because “in free countries, where the safety of government depends very much upon the favorable judgment which the people may form of its conduct,” a mass of ignorant, culturally degraded citizens easily becomes an immense drag on the system. They become easy prey to demagogues and applaud every attempt to undermine the foundations of that “natural liberty” which they have enjoyed the first place.
I had to look up the full definition of demagogue before appreciating the quote:
a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.
synonyms: rabble-rouser, agitator, political agitator, soapbox orator, firebrand, fomenter, provocateur
Nailed it! Okay, I’ll get back to talking about personal finance and BREAK FREE topics now!