The Know Nothings were an anti Catholic, anti immigrant group in the 1850’s. They often met in secret and feared Catholic, Irish and German immigrants as a threat to the white, Protestant order of their day. Donald Trump has christened a new bellowing sect of paranoid, largely under educated whites who are lapping up Trump’s anti Muslim rhetoric as tonic
for the bigotry and open hatred they are only too happy to preach. Trump’s followers are buying their adult diapers in bulk. Anyone who is visibly different from them or believes other than they do are so many petri dishes for their contagion of unreasoning fears. This admittedly staid video below touches on the origins of Nativism in this country. I include this for basic context.
Trump’s Nativism movement is burning up the polls and is making the human black hole called Ted Cruz seem nearly sane in comparison. It is fashionable to blame the media but it deserves its share in this case. Trump has meant inflated ad rates and blackened bottom lines for the cable TV pimps who know that you don’t get in the way of a good earner. In their avarice, the cable networks have morphed The Donald from a profitable sideshow to ringmaster of a neo fascist movement that has ripped the mask off the GOP. It may not be fascism in its purest sense but the intolerance and fear at play in the land is dangerous. Fear strangles constructive thought and that is what FDR meant in that famous speech.
I seldom use old, historical videos to make my points but it’s time to make an exception. FDR understood that being overtaken by fear would paralyze the ability to think and act constructively when confronting a crisis. This country lived through the largest attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor on September 11, 2001. I hardly need remind you of that day with visual evidence. There was little talk of closing our borders to Muslims then, only catching the terrorists. Perhaps George W. Bush invading a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11 was the first step in turning America into a place where people believe that their opinions are the same thing as verified facts. It’s hard to argue with anyone who believes that they think, breathe and excrete the truth. Trump’s “by product” is fertilizing every fallow mind in the nation.
As lofty as FDR’s warning against fear was, Japanese Americans were still sent to prison camps in their own country because many could not get over some of their fellow Americans resembling the enemy. Have you ever wondered why Americans of German heritage were not sent to their own prison camps? George Takei, yes, Mr. Sulu of Star Trek fame, called out Trump by inviting him to see his Broadway show, Allegiance. The show tells the story of Takei and his family being forced out of their home in Los Angeles and sent to live in horse stables in Santa Anita Park during World War II. From there, they were shipped to an internment camp in Arkansas. Trump has yet to take Takei up on his invitation. Saudi nationals like Osama bin Laden took down the Twin Towers. Where were the calls then to stop all Saudi emigration to this country or pulling the thousands of student visas allowing Saudis to study here?
Trump is so toxic on the international level, The British Parliament is debating banning him from entering The United Kingdom. A six billion dollar “golf community” being built in Dubai has taken his name off of the project and the Trump brand is taking a beating world wide. Obviously, the man wants the most powerful office in the world and he is willing to take a few hits to his bloated portfolio. The GOP may be facing a brokered convention for the first time in many decades.
If Trump is the GOP nominee, his winning the White House seems remote at best. If candidates of Trump’s caustic and offensive rank continue to thrive though, The United States will soon be unrecognizable to itself in any mirror. If we are not a nation of laws but only a nation of fear based prejudice, then we cannot govern, we will not be governed and we will have no business being called a free nation, let alone a free nation that wants to lead the world. When Sarah Palin rode shotgun during John McCain’s failed bid for the Oval Office, she was the Know Nothing who stood one heart beat away. Donald Trump is a spike shouldered narcissist who could actually win the GOP nomination.
What do you intend to do about it?