As the winter wound down in 2009, Americans were confronted with a "new" conservative protest movement calling itself the Tea Party. Barack Obama had just been inaugurated as the nation's first black president and many white conservative/Republicans saw the election of Obama as a threat to white-majority control in the "melting pot" of the United States.
This Tea Party protest group pretended that what motivated them to be protesting a presidency which had barely even started was that they were T.axed E.nough A.lready. I found the taxed enough already thing to be quite silly because federal income tax rates at the time were at the lowest rates they had been in a generation or more. The Tea Party's mantra, however, I think, exposed the rationale behind the conservative protest group. "Taking Our Country Back"...was their motto.
White conservative Tea Party members were all about taking THEIR country back from, given the timing of the beginning of their movement, the black guy whose historic presidency reminded them that white-majority America's days were numbered.
My point here is that white conservatives who formed and made up the Tea Party saw themselves as....victims...of social, cultural and demographic changes in America which they could not control. The black Obama making his home in THEIR White House was a symbol to these white conservatives that their fears of becoming victims in THEIR own country were being realized.
In some perverse way, I believe that the 8 year relentless attack by white conservatives on the Obama...and the inexplicable bitterness and hatred still directed at the Obama today....the GOP obstruction, the hystericalizing of everything, even the bizarre, bile-filled rejection of legislation which helped 20 million Americans obtain health insurance.....is all of one piece. White conservatives perceive that the age of white-majority dominance of all things.....is being taken away from them....leaving them as hopeless victims.
Whites still make up approximately 62% of the population....and despite how strange it may seem....the white conservatives among that 62% regard themselves as being victimized right now by THOSE people. THOSE people are taking our country away, we must try to get it back.
The biggest reason why, mostly, white citizens are attracted to the Trump candidacy is because the billionaire plays into to the white conservative fear of being victimized for the sake of THOSE people. That's why Trump's "build the wall" and "get 'em outta here" routine is so outrageously popular with his supporters. The same is true with Muslim Others.
When Trump supporters say "he tells it like it is"....what they mean is that The Donald understands that they "feel" like victims. Donald, you see, gets it. And Trump not only pretends that he gets it....but that he knows who is responsible for making his white conservative followers the victims they perceive themselves as becoming. It's all the fault of "stupid, stupid politicians" who "don't know what they're doing."
On Trump's part, it is cynically brilliant....even though quite distasteful to observe.
So far, following Trump's foreign policy something, something....I've only found one person who has written about it who got it. That would be Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo. Marshall understands The Donald's foreign policy speech as a CONTINUATION of this "we are victims" feeling....only writ large over the entire globe...
Seeing America as humiliated and abused by foreigners is no more healthy, productive or based in reality than the idea that middle aged whites are under the heel of minorities and millennials.
Trump's foreign policy speech, not any specific sentence or phrase, but seen as a whole....portrayed an America being victimized by foreign countries and foreign leaders. NATO member countries are victimizing the U.S. by not paying for their own nations' defenses. Mexico and China are eating our international trade lunch, easily victimizing the world's lone superpower because "stupid, stupid people" who negotiate those trade agreements, and the politicians who pass those trade deals, "don't know what the hell they're doing."
Earlier today I snarked about Trump playing the dick card. Make no mistake, he absolutely intends to play that dick card as often as he can against our country's first female presidential candidate. However, the biggest...card...in Trump's deck is the Victim Card. Monopoly Mitt got caught playing that card when he was taped saying that the "47%" were victimizing the uber-wealthy. Sarah Palin's entire schtick is still based on her and her "real Americans" being victims of Big Government and "drive-by" media liberals.
Sarah and Mitt are pikers in comparison with how Trump is using, and will continue to use, the victim card. Trump's plan is to go full-spectrum victim. As Marshall stated, neither white conservatives nor America the country...."based on reality"...are victims. Instead, the reality is that whites still dominate all U.S institutions and corporations, media and politics....and will for a long time to come.....and America, the country, controls more of the world than at any time in global history.
Like the Tea Party, The Donald is not basing his campaign strategy on what's real or provable. Instead he's building that strategy on what he thinks the perception of enough voters will be going into November. Yes, when Trump throws down his Big Victim Card at his rallies, those who see themselves, or their country, as victims respond enthusiastically. The problem, of course, is that none of it is real. U.S. white citizens and America, the country, are not victims in any stretch of the word.
The disgusting part is that Trump knows that whites and our country are not really victims and is only pulling out his Big...Victim Card deck to trick voters into sending him to the White House.
Not gonna work.