The article that I am presenting today covers material that has been presented in previous articles. Its purpose is not so much to bring on radically new information or ideas, but rather to emphasize certain previously discussed thoughts regarding a very important topic. I’m talking about the effect Trump’s indictments are having on his popularity. It seems that the indictments are having no significant negative influence on his popularity among his Republican base. In essence, Maga Republicans see the indictments as attempts to make trouble for Trump’s campaign rather than an attempt to simply try him for crimes that he has committed. And any attempt to persuade them that their ideas are wrong is futile. If anything, the metaphor I would use to describe their reactions is circling the wagons, as when a large wagon train in the old West would camp out at night and circle the wagons in order to protect the people on board as well as the horses and the livestock.
Now I would like to differentiate these hard-core Maga Republicans from some other Republicans and some Independents who have evidently indicated they no longer support Trump since his fourth indictment out of Georgia. If this fourth indictment has affected Trump’s popularity in a negative way, he still has enough core supporters to create plenty of disruptions in the U.S. He is still the leader of his cult.
And the metaphor I would use for describing what Trump himself has done as the leader of his cult is create a mythology. Granted, a minor mythology, sort of like the mythology that Davy Crockett, Tennessee frontiersman, developed for himself as king of the wild frontier in the 19th century. But a mythology, nevertheless. Like when Trump says that he could kill someone in the middle of Time Square and get away with it. This mythology is the foundation for an alternate reality. One either believes it or he doesn’t.
What is so dangerous about this alternate reality is that as the evidentiary reality of Trump’s crimes keep squeezing in and shrinking the mental space occupied by Trump’s myths, what is really being shrunk is the one mental place where Trumpsters can receive the abrasive stimulation that they need to pull themselves out of their experiential vacuum and out of the numbness that threatens to destroy them. Now that Trumpsters have found these myths, or should I say these myths have found Trumpsters, they need these myths in order to survive. And if the government does succeed in even one of these indictments, in putting Trump into jail, the alternate reality will not go away. It will either lead to another manifestation of violence like the insurrection or it will lead to the transfer of leadership to another narcissistic psychopath like Trump. The new leader will recalibrate the mythology so that he is included in it in a meaningful way, and the reconstituted group will proceed forward.
In previous articles, I think I have emphasized the unique importance of Trump as the leader of this authoritarian cult in the United States. Almost as if, if something were to happen to Trump, the cult would cease to exist. But now that the cat has been let out of the bag of Trump and the Maga cult, it’s going to be very hard to put it back in again. And this is because the reason that this cult exists has nothing to do with conditions in the political arena itself.
Hillary Clinton feels that American society has broken down, people are lonely and rather than let the Republicans continue to take advantage of this, we have to rebuild our communities. This sounds great, but how do we rebuild our communities if people are addicted not just to their screen devices but to all different kinds of labor-saving consumer devices. The point is that until we get a handle on sensory distortion from the encroaching presence of modern technological devices, the problem with Trump or Trump-like cults will not go away. We have to diminish the amount of time children engage in social media and watch television, all of which separate them from primary experience, and, thus, make their lives increasingly remote. We have to stop looking for the new labor-saving devices that will make our lives more frictionless. We have to find a way to re-engage with the external world through primary experience. The paradox is that after we have successfully created a world where all of our drudge work and all of our daily routine tasks are taken care of by our devices, our favorite form of recreational activity is recurring to the modern technology of screen reality. In other words, we just don’t seem to be able to escape the world of modern technology whether through work or recreation. This is partly due to what is available to us in our fields of experience and partly due to the reconfiguring of our nervous systems to be more receptive to the kinds of stimulation that are more available today, namely the vacuum and tension-pocket stimuli of modern devices. So, our nervous systems have been remodeled to absorb toxic abrasive stimuli and are no longer capable of properly absorbing the flowing blendable continual organic stimuli that they need to feel vibrantly alive. But if we are to rebuild communities and overcome loneliness in ways that don’t involve participation in Fascist cults, we must reconfigure our nervous systems in healthy ways and this will take time. Which is why, whatever happens with Trump, the dangers of Trumpism will be with us for a long time.