After his first year in office, Trump has demonstrated one concept more than any other: Facts, reason, science, education, knowledge, history, evidence, data, ethics, morality, and the law play no part in the Trump administration approach to governing. Only manipulation through pathos or emotions count as they may be effectively dangled over those who don’t read much, think less, and are glued to Fox “news” and Facebook Russian bots to reinforce narrowness.
It is beyond time for Democrats and progressives—let’s call it like it is—Americans who love their country and still believe in democratic principles, ethics, and morality—to use the same tactics, although not for the same results.
Let’s start with FEAR and the Second Amendment argument for gun manufacturing proliferation: No one is coming for your guns. No need to because everyone has their own guns. Wait. That is logic. Back up.
What do you have to FEAR? There are enough guns for every man, woman, and child in the U.S., so if you are thinking your gun will keep you safe, remember the other guy has a semiautomatic weapon, too, and he has the right to either open carry or conceal his weapon. You’ll never know until it is too late. You won’t be able to build your walls high enough because the other guy’s gun has bullets that will pass through your walls and windows. There is no safety. Safety is an illusion. Really, your delusion. But be happy for your sacred stand on killing machines. You have made gun manufacturing CEOS wealthy beyond their wildest dreams as they suckered you into buying their weaponry. You have kept alive the dreams of the NRA’s $400 million a year lobby for gun manufacturers, and the perversely named Freedom Group sells over 1.8 million weapons a year and billions in ammunition.
Remember Fear: Buy a semi-automatic pistol for your three-year-old. She’ll have to learn to shoot sometime, and why not now? Let’s just hope she doesn’t kill you or herself. Let’s also hope you don’t kill your teenage daughter’s boyfriend by mistake. He shouldn’t have been sneaking around to see her, or better, yet, hope you don’t kill your son who was climbing in the window at night because he didn’t want you to know he had snuck off to see his girlfriend. Collateral damage, after all, for the right to bear arms guaranteed in the Second Amendment. Pay no attention to the actual wording in the Bill of Rights or the actual phrasing because you know the framers of the Bill of Rights meant more than just the Militia and more than just a musket. They meant for 1.4 million Americans to be killed and kill each other from 1968 to 2011—more, by the way, than all American wars combined. So be afraid. Be very afraid of your neighbors, your kids, your spouse, and yourself. Everyone is weaponized.
Moving on to FEAR of Immigration:
Let’s go right to one of the GOP/Conservative/earliest Trump supporters. Ann Coulter wrote, “Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It’s yours.” She went on to say lots of other things: “We should invade other countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity.” Not sure if Coulter wants the other countries’ leaders converted to Christianity before or after they are killed.
You wanted a wall. Trump let you think you started the chant. Never mind the part about Mexico not paying for it that Trump promised repeatedly. You’re paying for it, but facts are inconvenient to you, so let’s stick with pathos and FEAR. Immigrants are coming. Not the ones related to your family who came to these shores before. They don’t count, of course. Only the new ones. The ones who are bringing ethic foods, divergent thinking that feeds innovation and engineering feats. Whoops. Arguing on the wrong side for a minute. Fear the immigrant because he or she is going to take your job cleaning houses for under the table, low wages and no benefits. He or she will also be taking your job caring for other people’s children for very low wages and no benefits, and long hours. Just like those before you feared the Irish and the Italians and the Asians as they built our entire infrastructure.
Isolationism has many benefits in a global economy. Wait. What? How did you get tricked into that one?
More FEAR and other right-wing tactics to come…Or not.
Perhaps it will still be possible to persuade by means other than fear and manipulation. We’ll leave FEAR and deception to Trump and his ilk. Perhaps we will resist and continue to work, write, and create dialogues with with reason and hope.
Nancy Avery Dafoe