Guest post: Paranoia juice in the water supply

Originally a comment by iknklast on $1000 a ticket.

As an American (sigh), my experience here in the Midwest is that the people who vote for Trump (and those who didn’t) pretty much regard the president almost as a king in terms of power (he isn’t; the Constitution left him weak, but 20th century presidents grabbed tons of power and Congress let them do it). The Trump voters actually think that stuff is good, and will make America Great Again, by which they mean 1950s for women and children, and 1880s for business [women baking cookies all day and vacuuming in pearls; children being whacked in school when they act up (not their children, because their children are brought up ‘right’); children being required to pray, salute the flag, and have devotionals in school; and business not being fettered by unions, environmental regulations, or minimum wage].

They actually believe that making the world better for everyone actually made it worse for them, mostly because they believe in their own superiority and are sure that in a world freed from ‘liberal tinkering’ they would be on the top of the heap, rich and powerful, and respected both at work and at home. They are not aware that they are where they are because of unions, college grants/loans that allowed them to get their education, and women who did all the damn work so they could succeed. They do not realize that their most likely location in the hierarchy would be working long ass days without a guaranteed lunch or weekend, being paid in scrip they can only use at the country store, and dying young in an industrial accident. That’s because, in this part of the country at least, the educational system has been afraid to tell people anything other than the rah rah creation story of the country where simple farmers went out and won the war without any help (I had no idea the French helped us until college, where history was taught somewhat more accurately). They have been taught that they are the chosen, filled with manifest destiny, and that Western men (and only men) have built things, created things, discovered things, killed things, and established things.

In their world, history was simple and clean until FDR messed it up with the New Deal, and liberals took over and started running everything. Even when Reagan was in power, even when Bush was in power, even with Trump in power, even when conservatives have all three branches of government, they still believe liberals, Jews, women, and gays hold all the power and control all the governmental functions, money, and everything else. No matter that none of those groups have ever held power in this country, and that every small step we’ve taken we’ve had to fight, sweat, and die for, they believe that we have swept through the nation, carpet bombing conservative communities, taking sledgehammers to churches, and castrating males, while demanding worship and veneration (not all literally, of course, because they can see that the churches are still standing and that their balls are intact, but in a real way nevertheless).

So when Trump comes along, they embrace him because he believes those things, too, and is willing to say out loud what these guys have been saying (most of them out loud, in spite of what you hear in the media) for years. I know they’ve been saying it out loud, because I live right here in the heartland, where I can hear it even with my hands over my ears. It’s the same dynamic I saw here one summer when the farmers moaned that there had been so much rain they couldn’t get the irrigators in the fields. They can see the truth, it’s obvious, but they can’t see it because it doesn’t fit the picture of reality they have built.

One woman on the City Council translated to women running everything, though we’ve never had a woman mayor (and the woman who ran for mayor in 2016 was roundly defeated). One gay pride parade on the main street of town (which is not, of course, Main Street) and the gays have taken over everything. One Muslim working at our school teaching economics, and the Muslims are plotting to destroy the white man. Anywhere they see someone in power who does not look like them, and it’s Armageddon for middle-class white males. It’s like someone put paranoia juice in the water supply, or something.

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