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Trump's fantasy world filled with yearing for an ‘America’ that never existed

Dec 16,2020 - Last updated at Dec 16,2020

Donald Trump will be vacating the White House on January 20 but he will not be going away. Since he launched his bid for the presidency in 2016, he has systematically taken over the Republican party and constructed a parallel universe for his deluded followers using lies and misrepresentations and appealing to their prejudices, beliefs and fantasies. "God," pronounced "gad" by some, has even been recruited to the Trumpite cause. 

His happy warriors gleefully call for the result of the November 3rd presidential election to be overturned although Democrat challenger Joe Biden won the popular vote by seven million and the Electoral College vote by 306 to 232. Without a shred of evidence, they continue to claim the election was "stolen" and cry "fraud" even though Trump's efforts to change the reality have come to naught. This does not phase his "base" and hangers on. Even the rejection of arguments brought to the Supreme Court by Trump's legal team with the aim of discarding some 20 million votes because they were cast by mail have failed although conservative judges, three of whom were appointed by Trump — have a six-to-three majority over liberals. Their decisions on Trump's appeals were unanimous.

Trump loyalists cannot be budged by the universe of reality. They continue to abide by the universe of make-believe, although 59 fraud cases have either been dismissed by courts or dropped becasue Trump's lawyers could not produce evidence of misconduct. A Quinnipiac University poll released last week revealed that 77 per cent of Republicans stick to the false notion that the election result was fraudulent and 70 per cent hold that Biden's win was illegitimate.

Republican legislators and state officials are under massive pressure to go along with the Trump line because he has the support of voters. Only an handful of Congressional Republicans have dared to speak out against Trump. Senator Mitt Romney, who congratulated Biden on his victory a month ago, said Trump's campaign amounted to "madness" and was "dangerous and destructive". Two other senators, Lisa Murkowski and Adam Kinsinger have urged fellow Republicans to accept reality while Republican-majority legislatures in the four states targeted by Trump's disenfranchisement bid — Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin — have refused to go along or to be intimidated. The cost to the US democratic system of governance is too great.

Trump's fantasy world is filled with a yearing for an "America" that never existed: an "America" where whites were the master race and blacks and browns kept their place on the margins of society. This was an "America" where the whites were comfortable in jobs and homes, men went to work, women stayed at home to cook, clean and raise children. Boys played baseball and football and dated the prettiest girl in class. Girls aspired to marriage as their career. Men and women largely led parallel lives. Men acquired rifles for hunting deer and shotguns for shooting pheasants and ducks and played poker or cruised pubs with male friends on weekends. When freed from housework, women went to cozy cafés for coffee and gossip. Men went to war when called to serve while women remained at home, waiting for them to return whether living, wounded or deal heroes. Hollywood films of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s fed the magical belief in the non-existent "America".

The "America" that never existed and was in a state of flux. The idealised stereotype was always under challenge from blacks, browns, women and children. Many had "expectations" beyond the pipe dream world and the determination to challenge those who would keep groups and individuals in assigned social, economic and political roles. Blacks protested apartheid at lunch counters in diners, in schools, and on buses. Browns mounted strikes over low pay and poor conditions for agricultural workers. Women marched against relegation to second class status and children won scholarships to universities where they earned degrees which enabled them to rise from working class to middle and upper middle class status. Black and brown industrialists and professionals became middle and upper class, women became doctors, lawyers, and academics and entered politics and boardrooms. Children no longer listened to their elders and went their own ways. They joined outlandish social movements, took drugs, and flocked to California before re-entering the real world of work and homebuilding, their minds filled with new ideas.

In reaction to these unsettling challenges, Republicans adopted increasingly conservative ways of thinking and politicians who expressed them while Democrats attempted to hew to centrism against the left-ward tug of liberals and outright leftists. The result is the current kulturkampf, or culture struggle, which divides the US and has been exploited by Trump to take over the vulnerable Republican party by using lies, claims of "fake news", outlandish misrepresentations and bullying to create a parallel universe where reality is rejected by its inhabitants. They are the left behinds of the 20th and 21st centuries not the people who will forge the future.

They scoff at climate change, regard COVID-19 as a hoax, and claim to be individuals but adopt common ways to thought, action and dress. They attack anyone they consider antagonistic, taking their cue from Trump.  Monday's confirmation of Joe Biden's  victory in the presidential election by the Electoral College has not compelled Trump to concede.  Instead, he plans to carry on challenging the result of the election.

This is a dangerous choice to make. Two days before the Electoral College issued its verdict, some 700 Trump loyalists converged on Washington and clashed with Black Lives Matter and leftists supporters of the result. Yellow and black clad groups of Proud Boys toured and vandalised the US capital's historic black churches, reviving images of white supremacist, white gowned and hooded, Ku Klux Klan members slaying blacks and burning their homes and churches in halcyon days of idealised, never existent "America".

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