Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is being fuelled by the fire of American anger. Voters are furious—about immigration, about the so called “impotence” of their elected officials, at Barrack Obama…. In their anger, voters are drawn to the attractive bravado of a billionaire who promises to take America to the height it was at in the 90s.
The way in which anger is motivating voters to follow a false idol perfectly reflects the nature of the human mind.
When angry we seek an immediate outlet for our anger. When done wrong (as American voters feel they have been) we seek revenge, or at the very least an equalisation. American voters feel they’ve been done wrong by their own politicians, and can’t understand why America, the supposed “greatest country on Earth”, has been led to its current state of relatively weak power. And so they are drawn to the bravado of a false idol, Donald Trump, who promises everything the American people desire.
But as American voters are being duped, so too are we all duped at times of anger. Imagine you feel you’ve been done wrong by your boss. Then imagine some hot shot promises you power and fortune if you’ll just do as he says. Feeling angry you’re inclined to follow that hot shot, simply because you’re craving an outlet for your anger.
And of course, if you listen to your anger and you do as your anger bids, you’re liable to suffer in the long run. Listening to anger leads to unwise decisions that seem justifiable at the time but ultimately lead to dire consequences.
And so it is with America. American voters are listening to Donald Trump, the billionaire who is promising to satiate their anger and to make right the wrongs they think they’ve been done.
Listen to anger and you’re liable to fall. And if America listens to anger and votes in Donald Trump… God help us.
But of course it is not just anger that Donald Trump is playing off of. He is also playing off of patriotism, which you might call “National Egotism”. Americans have been led to believe that America is the greatest nation on Earth (despite the glaring errors of a country that won’t help those dying in floods but will spend millions to send people to war). The average American mentality is essentially one of ego.
Ego, of course, is the great deceiver. An overinflated ego, the idea that one is better than others, is the most corrosive of all mind tricks. The notion that America is the undisputed best country in the world is one reason why unenlightened Americans are likely to vote for a Donald Trump who promises to make America the strongest country on Earth (thereby echoing Hitler’s campaigning).
As patriotism (or “National Ego”) may lead a voters to make the wrong choice, personal ego will do likewise. Think yourself too good to work a regular job, for instance, and you may find that you’re soon impoverished and on the street. A little humility, however, would go a long way. And if Americans listen to their “national ego” and vote for Donald Trump, America could soon find that the powerful and wealthy America he promises turns out to be a ravaged echo of a once great nation.
However, I do have faith in the American people to do the right thing in the long run. It can be easy to listen to anger in a moment of heated feelings, such as America is currently experiencing. But wise people ultimately make wise decisions, and indeed the fact that Ted Cruz is now ahead of Donald Trump on polls suggests Americans are now listening to wisdom, not anger.