The greatest enemy that the United States faces is not some foreign power, or religion but rather the enemy that lies within us. John Adams is known to have said that the two greatest worries that he had for the survival of our Republic and Democracy were Man’s willingness to be led and his greed. We see the embodiment of these worries in our politics today and in our society where we find the greatest inequality of income in the history of the United States.
Our founding leaders understood the negative impact and dangers of a permanent hereditary aristocracy. Money’d classes want to keep what they have and exert the power and influence that an aristocracy has to gain more power and more money to the detriment of the people. It is quite true that power corrupts and a lot of power corrupts absolutely. Well, the same is true of those who possess a lot of money and pass it on to generation after generation. The money’d classes more than tend to stifle the opportunity of others to have success. Perhaps it is part of human nature that the more money that you have the more money that you want to acquire. Power is after all, the greatest aphrodisiac. Greed has brought us to a place where the pursuit of happiness for the most of us has become most difficult. Greed is indeed an enemy far greater within America and far more dangerous to our future as a nation than any group of extremists that threaten us from abroad. No nation will attack the United States, but we may rot from within due to the greed of a new aristocracy with the eventual result that we no longer have a Republic nor a Democracy.
Two centuries later we seem to have forgotten the lessons of our forefathers regarding the dangers of having an aristocracy. A great inequality of income exists today. As a result of this inequality, as a result of incomes that are not sufficient to pay ones bills, anger and frustration reign. Americans feel that circumstances are stacked against them. They want to lash out and blame others or blame someone for their situation and unhappiness. The promise of a better life for ones children and the reality of a pursuit of happiness has become a sick joke. Revolution is in the air.
Donald Trump, candidate for President, represents a new threat from within. He represents, the second fear that John Adams so wisely knew would threaten our liberty and freedom, the human weakness of wanting to be led.
Mr. Trump fits the need of some of our citizens to be led. He offers us simple sounding solutions, he offers America order and safety and a return to greatness. This my friends is what Adolph Hitler offered the German people. People seek order in a time of chaos, and safety when fear is encouraged and real.
Trump is a master illusionist. He is like the carnival barker who promises you cotton candy, or a chance at the wheel of fortune. He beguiles you into thinking that you can find the hidden pea pod underneath the shell. But it is all a charade, you will not find the pea under the shell, and the cotton candy that you were enjoying will shrink into nothingness at the sign of the first rain. Nothing is as simple as Donald Trump promises. No America, Mexico will not pay for a wall to keep people in and we do not have enough money to build a big enough wall and secure enough wall to keep all of those who might want to come in out.
Donald Trump preaches economic nationalism in an age when the products that we buy are made with parts from different countries. It is a fiction to believe that America can return to the days during the 1950’s when we were the Manufacturing giant of the world. But let us not forget that Europe and China were still suffering from the pains of the Great war, World War II. And now we face new competition from several emerging economies such as Brazil.
Mr. Trump uses the tactics of old to gain popularity. He uses the big lie, name calling, and guilt by association. He like Hitler, places the blame for our condition on others, such as Latinos and Muslims. Trump has included in his sphere of derision his opponents, the disabled, minorities and the press. He has his own brown shirts intimidate others at his rallies. He even insists on a loyalty oath for those who come to see him in person. His audiences include white people to the exclusion of others. He skillfully taps into the frustrations of white women who have found life quite different than they expected. Taking care of your aged parents and having to have your children continue to live with you because they don’t make enough money to live on their own was not what these white women expected of the American dream. People like to blame others for their problems. They want to be led into the promise land.
Americans do not know their own history nor do they in many cases want to know. We fail to take heed of the lessons of history nor do we know and understand the true wisdom and lessons that our forefathers gave us. Many of us who have little education are subject to the beguiling notions and promises of the likes of Donald Trump. We now have a strong aristocracy that threatens our Republic. Fascism is a danger and an enemy that lies within America today. A willingness to be led and our own greed represents a far greater danger to our country than any foreign group of fanatics will ever present.
We need to reject our fears and be true to our past and our traditions. America has been great and we are still great, but that does not mean that we can not do better. Let us seize the moment and let our better angels guide us with a more optimistic view of our own future.