The people are not quite as stupid as they currently get credit for. They know when they are being talked down to and treated like chumps. A question you get asked as an Army Officer goes something like this. â€œWho is smarter, The Platoon Leader or the platoon?â€ The obvious wrong answer is to say the PL. Heâ€™s got the sheepskin and the officer training courses.
The correct answer is the platoon. Thereâ€™s anywhere from twenty to fifty of those guys and if you ever got them on the same sheet of music, they would have the equivalent IQ of a super-genius. This is used primarily to prevent shiny, new second Lieutenants from walking around post with too many delusions of adequacy. It is also useful to explain why republics and democracies tend to work when they actually do.
But what happens when the chorus loses that same sheet of music? What happens when the PL decides heâ€™s a whole lot better and smarter than the 20 to 50 guys in his platoon? Well, we get what is happening now in America, and it will ultimately lead to an overall failure in Democracy. This could, in turn lead to the rise of an autocratic dictator in what was once The American Republic.
This process of entropic decay ruins a democracy any time it sets in and isnâ€™t reversed. It is the reason Francis Fukuyama was magnificently wrong in his treatise to The End of History and the Last Man. Fukuyama posited that liberal democracy, comprised of free markets and socially-subsidized democratic states, would be the ultimate state of humanity and no further developments would follow: “What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government,” he bravely wrote.
Yet this implies that the institutions of democracy are easy to replicate and duralloy-powerful once ensconced in power. Neither statement is true. If you track American History starting at 1773 with the Boston Tea Party and going until you have the ratification and acceptance of the US Constitution by all 13 of the original colonies, you get a span of 17 years. Thatâ€™s how long it takes a relatively minor and benign societal upheaval to play itself out.
The second problem involves systemic entropy. Entropy attacks a democracy when not all parts of the constituted whole believe that the direction a society is headed towards is good or benign. We saw this process begin in America writ large in the 1960s. When Malcolm X gave his â€œBullet or The Ballot Speechâ€ in 1965, he explained how American Democracy had reached a crisis.
Whether you’re educated or illiterate, whether you live on the boulevard or in the alley, you’re going to catch hell just like I am. We’re all in the same boat and we all are going to catch the same hell from the same man… Now in speaking like this, it doesn’t mean that we’re anti-white, but it does mean we’re anti-exploitation, we’re anti-degradation, we’re anti-oppression. And if the white man doesn’t want us to be anti-him, let him stop oppressing and exploiting and degrading us. Whether we are Christians or Muslims or nationalists or agnostics or atheists, we must first learn to forget our differences. If we have differences, let us differ in the closet; when we come out in front, let us not have anything to argue about until we get finished arguing with the man. If the late President Kennedy could get together with Khrushchev and exchange some wheat, we certainly have more in common with each other than Kennedy and Khrushchev had with each other.
This pointed out three significant sources of friction that will split apart any unified group. 1) Malcolm X and his followers felt they were unjustly singled out for pain and opprobrium. 2) They were called to unify in opposition to the current system. 3) They saw the leaders in charge of the system having far more in common with foreign interests than they did their own people. Malcolm X expounds further on that last theme below.
I’m not a Democrat. I’m not a Republican, and I don’t even consider myself an American. If you and I were Americans, there’d be no problem. Those Honkies that just got off the boat, they’re already Americans; Polacks are already Americans; the Italian refugees are already Americans. Everything that came out of Europe, every blue-eyed thing, is already an American. And as long as you and I have been over here, we aren’t Americans yet. Well, I am one who doesn’t believe in deluding myself. I’m not going to sit at your table and watch you eat, with nothing on my plate, and call myself a diner. Sitting at the table doesn’t make you a diner, unless you eat some of what’s on that plate. Being here in America doesn’t make you an American. Being born here in America doesn’t make you an American.
And this brings us to why Donald Trump has caught political lightning in a bottle, resonated, and may well win the GOP nomination despite every machination the GOP establishment can come up with to stop him. An awful lot of very plain, very average and at least somewhat Conservative Americans no longer feel like Americans. They feel like a big, disrespected, utterly ignored reserve army of the unemployed. The current stage of the American journey could well be described as the denigration of the people.
Become active in the political arena and the people who run things will ridicule you and use you. The anti-war movement was useful to the Democrats right up until Mid-January 2006. Listen to Eric Cantor discuss the Tea Party in 2015. Raise your voice against the current zeitgeist and it will be aggressively gagged. And your professional life is in no way guaranteed even if you behave. They can replace you tomorrow and like rubbing your nose in it good and hard.
So Donald Trump can latch on to a hot button issue like immigration and ride it long and hard. It strikes a resonant chord with these masses because they sense the dehumanizing contempt emanating from the corner office at work, the TV newscast, the pulpit, and yes, from their favorite political party of the day. The current fad in America is to tell The Little People just how short they are of measuring up. All The Donald is doing is suggesting that you tell those who run you down to STFU. Just give the masses a reason to march and a sheet of music to sing off.
The GOP establishment can wring their hands for 24-7 over how they intend to blunt Donald Trumpâ€™s momentum. They wonâ€™t succeed unless Trump Trumps himself. People are tired. They are sick and tired. They are reaching the same point Malcolm X reached. â€œI’m not a Democrat. I’m not a Republican, and I don’t even consider myself an American… Being here in America doesn’t make you an American. Being born here in America doesn’t make you an American.â€ The entire issue is lit up like a Christmas Tree when someone speaks out on the abuses surrounding our immigration system.
Until we change some minds and more importantly change some hearts, there is always going to be â€œHope and Change.â€ Someone with no clue how to do anything other than leach will always promise to â€œMake America Great Again.â€ Unless, one day, somebody smarter and vastly more evil comes along. Then, as the Dead Kennedys famously sang, itâ€™s bedtime for Democracy.