In his classic novel, “A Tale of Two Cities,” Charles Dickens dramatically portrays the intertwined lives of people, living in London and Paris, during the turbulent times of the French Revolution. In analogous fashion, the voter results of the recent Presidential election were a confirmation that the narrative history of the so-called, “United,” States is, effectively, a tale of two Countries, each fundamentally differentiated in culture and perception. The advent of the pandemic resulting in substantial damage to our previously questionable economy and the consequent disruption of normal interaction, was a clear demonstration of the eternal nature of the distinct dichotomy between our two categories of voter.
One Nation of voters, based upon its observation of Trump’s demonstrated incapacity, serial mendacity, profoundly demonstrated ignorance, unconstitutional behavior, and widely publicized and unabashed moral misbehavior, fully expected a complete blow-out victory for the societally mainstream, former Vice-President, Joe Biden. Should such citizens be questioned as to Trump’s incapacity, moral failings, mendacity and ignorance, there would be no reasonable expectation of re-election. The very substantial voter support on the part of the other segment of the population, voting for Trump who, as President, never evinced any doctrinaire position, demonstrates, by logical elimination, a wide-spread “cultural” inclination, empirically unrelated to the subject of virtues of the candidate.
What virtues, in fact, are the millions of loyal Trump supporters voting for, is the compelling question to be posed by understandably perplexed observers. We will cautiously and modestly, venture our considered answer to that compelling question, based solely, and admittedly, upon our decades long, personal perception and understanding of human behavior and affairs.
In a previous mini essay, we attempted to comprehend and portray that large segment of the dual-faceted population who observably, support Donald Trump. As stated above, such support is not at all doctrinaire nor related to the demonstrated level of efficacy of his four- year term of office. In our view, such empirical considerations to Trump voters, are irrelevant; they vote upon their personal perception of who is perceived to be a member of their tribe, or, put another way, on the “home team.”
In addition to those pathological air polluting, industrial giants, who value mega-profits above human life, and thus oppose health regulations, the large segment of the Nation which supports Trump, sees him in one of several possible imaginary subjective contexts, conducive to its respective personal fantasies. Perhaps, as a “strong leader,” a heroic fighter against the “system,” in which the voter has experienced failure, an unabashed opponent of the elite or highly educated class, an opponent of “foreigners who take away jobs,” a champion of white supremacy and of “law and order,” an unorthodox opponent of societal propriety, a xenophobic patriot, protecting the Nation from foreigners and Socialism, a non-conformist outré, the champion and protector of masculine autocracy, the roadblock to liberal thinking in civil rights and immigration, the curator of an imaginary “ better old order,” the small- town common opponent of arrogant big cities, or some other abstract, neurotic or bizarre preconception.
The other segment of the Nation, clearly abhors the previous criteria and traditionally supports a Presidential candidate who demonstrates the expected, polar opposite of such enumerated characteristics ,such as capability, mature perception and demonstrated judgment, practical as well as academic knowledge, determined morality, ethical awareness, and rectitude in the proper application the Constitutional principles of equality and justice, viz., the “American Way.”
We have previously written on the subject of the death of civic amity, resulting, not only in the absence of amicable citizen debate, so very useful in a representative democracy and as expected by our Founding Fathers, but the total absence of (friendly) social interaction between citizens of disparate opinion. This unfortunate situation is responsible for that portion of the nation, properly concerned with standards of rectitude and capability, to erroneously and naively assume that every voter makes his selection based upon demonstrated merit, and not on fantasied, neurotic perceptions as outlined above. Accordingly, such citizen-voters may be, understandably, bewildered by the substantial numbers of voters supporting the lack of professional and societal values characterized by Trump.
We have always been of the empirical understanding that any election is, essentially, a contest between competing and disparate portions of the electorate, every bit as much (or perhaps, more) than the representative candidates standing for election.