Donald Trump has a powerful tool at his disposal. He has the power of Vigo the Carpathian, that infamous and fearsome villain from Ghostbusters 2. I am not calling Donald a villain per se. He’s no more villainous to me than the vast majority of American politicians. I think he’s just playing their game better than them since his lack of legislative record allows him to say anything.
Win or lose for Mr. Trump, there are going to be a lot books written about this election cycle devoted to his effect on American politics and its future. Journalists, documentarians and partisan analysts will study how he’s managed to do what he’s done so far.
Assuredly, there will be many reasons attributed. No less his wealth and ability to eschew big donors as well as his business background and loud personality. But he had all of that to start and back then it did not appear he’d get anywhere.
Donald Trump did not start the rise that we have yet to see ebb until he became Vigo the Carpathian. Vigo’s power of course was that he could channel the hate in society to make himself more powerful.
We must remember that Donald did not start his campaign talking about walls and muslims. He just followed the lead of the American people and its media. He merely used the hate and fear spouted at different times on cable news and by us to get attention and gain points.
Last July, a lady was walking with her father on a pier in San Francisco when she was suddenly shot in the back and killed. No one knew what happened or why initially but the story exploded in the media with speculation about gangs or serial killers to whomever. Eventually, it became disclosed that an undocumented immigrant with a criminal past had been taken into custody. Once this was disclosed, there was only one narrative: Violent Criminal Illegal Immigrant Previously Deported Murders Woman – Migrant Crisis In America! The media’s hate and fear machine was kicked into high gear with salaciously-titled articles and perspective-less talking heads opining on what must be done. Of course, every candidate was asked to give a policy statement immediately. All of this and the poor lady had not yet even had a funeral.
At the zenith of the hoopla, and addressed to gain points among a particular voter segment whose emotions had been most heightened by the tragedy, Donald harnessed their hates and fears and announced his wall to a thunderous applause. He spoke about Mexicans killing and raping and swaths of the specific primary voters he needed to support him at that juncture ate it up. All he did was the follow the lead of the U.S Media and its viewers. Like Vigo, he absorbed their hate , used it and became more powerful.
The actual truth about the death, while still tragic and avoidable, was not nearly as salacious as the news had described. The homeless immigrant with a prior history of theft and drug use found a gun in a dumpster. The gun was wrapped in a t-shirt when it fired accidentally, ricocheted off the ground and killed Kathryn Steinle. The perpetrator did not know the bullet hit anyone and never intended to fire the weapon. Not quite the “Immigrants Are Out To Kill Us” that was pitched by much of the media at the time Donald proposed his wall. Didn’t matter though. The message was timed right to deliver the points he needed.
The same thing occurred with San Bernandino. The fear and hate machine, which has done a effective job of equating terrorist with any criminal that is a muslim, turned the dial to eleven when the identities of the shooters were disclosed. Quickly, we were told the shooters had professed allegiance to ISIS on Facebook and the American people were driven again to state of heightened emotions.
When the noise was as loud as possible, Donald announced his travel ban and willingness to consider a national registry for muslims. Donald tapped another supply line of our fears and hates to make himself stronger. Of course, it didn’t matter that the allegation regarding the shooters professing allegiance to ISIS on Facebook had been retracted. The message was again timed right to gain points among the groups of people he hoped would vote for him.
Let us not forget that the hate of the establishment that pervades within so many Americans was his original appeal and continues to buoy his campaign despite his more outlandish rhetoric.
Amazingly though, not only does Donald thrive when our hate or the media’s hate is directed to a particular group, minority or class but even when it is directed squarely at him.
Never has a single candidate sustained such vicious insults and ad hominem attacks from so many widespread sources and thrived. With each passing week, the volume within the mainstream media about why we are supposed to hate Donald multiplies.
Yet when it is directed at him, it only humanizes him to the large portion of our populace whose vote is not already devoted to one party. These crude attacks and attempts to limit his free speech only show the other side is as equally vicious, hateful or as absurd as they perceive their enemy to be. When the insults and hate are directed to his wife or family, such as those on my Facebook feed posting old nude photos of Melania Trump, the humanizing effect upon Donald Trump is tenfold.
No matter its source or direction, our hates and fears only empower Donald Trump. The same way it did Vigo in Ghostbusters 2. Except at the finale the American people will not be joining hands in a love-fest, singing pleasant songs together to combat anyone. And the US Media is never going to change its fear-mongering and hate-baiting ways.
This is not a movie with a scripted ending. Instead, it is the real world rise of Donald The Carpathian.