How much anger can one man generate?
By Matthew Fraser, Opinions Editor
The Trump rage machine drums up anger within its supporting ranks and from the ranks of the opposition.
There has been a storm above the White House for a few years now. Both Januaries of the past two years have had the storm unleash a new torrent to drench us. The killing of Soleimani last year rocked the world and led some to wonder if World War III was eminent, while the accusations of voter fraud and attempted insurrection and decertification of the electoral college votes on January 6 of this year showed precisely how precarious democracy in America has become. But these outrages have been flowing for the past five or so years—and it all traces back to one man.
The total state of America is never the doing of one person exclusively; decades of failures led to the destruction of the Rust Belt, the inherently predatory nature of the pharmaceutical industry created the opioid crisis, and the prison industrial complex began as a response to the 13th amendment. However, I believe only Donald Trump has managed to capitalize on these angers and channel them into his own profit machine in a way that has magnified these catastrophes while making the political storm inescapable.
Were it not for the utter disdain with which mainstream media has treated millions of viewers, the American people might be more inclined to take its promises and “truths” to heart. However, it was a shrewd New York real estate mogul who managed to capitalize on that media backlash to mobilize his followers against a system that looked down on them while embracing the wildest of Qanon theories as fuel for his own aspirations. Even liberal commentators and authors like Noam Chomsky denounce the lies, shortcomings, and failures of the media, but I think no one has driven an even comparatively large swath of the population into believing such absurd conspiracy theories and acting on them as Trump has. The Qanon flags and patches coupled with the images of people literally climbing the walls and breaking down the doors of congress showcase how deep the misleading of America’s people has become. All that before we talk about the litany of extremist and white supremacist symbols on parade at last Wednesday’s insurrection.
In my opinion, the presidential office has become a melting pot for ideas and angers that have never been addressed by the wider public or the political system. Whether it’s the monumentally low approval rating that congress has maintained over the past few decades or the sheer disregard shown for the poor average American suffering through the pandemic, all of these failures have landed on the lap of the president—and his only goal is to enrage. The blind eye and “stand-back-and-stand-by” response to white supremacy has left the back door open and unguarded to a movement the FBI has known as being the most dangerous in America for years. Even though Trump told protestors on Twitter to go home in peace, the call for the denunciation of America’s violence for what may be the first time in history. Only now, well over a month after losing the election, has Trump publicly conceded and promised a peaceful transition of power.
The Trump rage machine drums up anger within its supporting ranks and from the ranks of the opposition. It has taken the hatred endemic to the American two-party system to the furthest extreme and has allowed political street violence to enter the realm of our daily lives. From the summer protests and riots to the Christmas day bombing and the only now realised Election Day backlash, America has accelerated to its current state of simmering rage and fear. I had written earlier that America was burning, now I am more convinced that we can all see the flames.