I was so relieved when I woke up this morning to the thought that the RNC was finally over, but that only lasted a second. The sad fact is we now have 3 months of pure frustration, distortion, divisive politics and a dumbing down of the American Electorate.
How can we explain the sheer lack of care in fact checking, dangerous rhetoric and hate speech of the Trump Campaign? It is not as if we don’t have more mass media access today than in any other point in history. We definitely have instant access to news, issues, facts and fact checkers. In fact Trumps speech was purely scrutinized hours before he delivered thanks to its’ being leaked by an insider before its delivery. But, the fact is the truth doesn’t sell any more.
We have become so used to quick snippets of information, headlines, banners, lack of depth, “Reality TV” we don’t seek out information like we did 20 or 30 years ago. The founding fathers knew that the electorate was ill-informed when the set up our representative democracy and electoral college in 1789. I would argue that the electorate has become even less informed. The media only reinforces our already skewed beliefs, and if they don’t we seek out another website, post, group who more closely resembles our already slanted opinions.
Is our system doomed if Donald Trump becomes the President? I have been teaching US History and Civics in high school this summer and i must tell you, while I have had to restless nights worrying about the current state of our political discourse, I also have a lot of faith in the genius of our Constitution and the checks and balance system that has survived for more than 200 years. What worries me more is the possibilities of violations of first amendment rights of free speech, the slant toward fascism and the human propensity for following the leader like lemmings. We saw after 9/11 the lock step progression of support for war in Iraq and Afghanistan without question. It was only years later that true discourse occurred in relation to these policy decisions.
The whole message of Donald Trump’s campaign is: America First! Nationalism vs. globalism in it’s truest form. We have seen this before it is nothing new. However, it is ever more dangerous in our modern world where there is no true super power. Now we have added elements of terrorism, the internet, an information over-load and fatigue.