Here Come The Barbarians

It used to be that to succeed in this world you’d need to have at least one of the following good luck charms: a higher education, parents who raised you with a strong work ethic, a benefactor who’d open doors of opportunity to you, or an abundance of good looks and charm. It also used to be that higher levels of success would come first and foremost to men.

Largely, success can come to anyone these days, but there’s a known consequence for disrupting the order of things. As more women outperform men in the classroom and workplace, more men are miffed at being knocked off their pedestal. This is why a majority of men will choose Donald Trump over Nikki Haley, just as they chose him over Hillary in 2016.

I get it. Some men resent bright women who dare to cross into their turf. Think 12-year-old boys huddled in their tree houses, a wood sign hanging over the entry: No girls allowed!

Sexism aside, when Trump ascended to power, it became clear that the only thing needed to succeed in today’s world is your own eye-grabbing circus act with a head-spinning, Felliniesque cast of characters. Bake in the art of crudity and buffoonery, and you’ll be on your way. The more outrageous you are, or immoral, the sooner your clicks, likes, and shares will skyrocket. Whether you’re a teenager skateboarding off a cliff, or a president throwing the nation off the cliff, all eyes will be riveted on you.

This was confirmed to me the other day when I saw a news clip of a few black men explaining why they would vote for Trump. They didn’t only like Trump, they were enamored with him—much to my dismay. For them, he was a showstopper. One of the gentlemen admitted he and others wanted to be just like Trump. They liked that he could say and do all those outrageous things and still rise to the top. That meant they, too, could possibly attain more success…as if Trump had been just another underdog, a brother who successfully overcame the prejudices of the established order.

Certainly there are better people in this world than Trump. But, for his most fanatic admirers, his vulgar act is seductive like porn and addictive as heroine: his bragging about grabbing, and women liking it…or shooting someone and not losing a vote...or bullying his opponents…or comparing himself to Jesus—the other big lie. But, newsflash, he is nothing like Jesus because he is not preaching a gospel of love.

If you still love Trump, be forewarned. Should he win, all the over-his-head political affairs will be promptly pushed off to the Republican elite while he takes the helm socially and culturally in front of the cameras, as usual. As a social magnet and cult figure, he will stand in the public square and erect a public monument to the worst of human nature.

He’ll devour the last of the leftovers of American decency and proclaim that the madman in you is permissible, even desirable, perhaps a requirement for success. “If you want to do it, go ahead because people will love it” will be the monument’s engraved slogan. Children will stand in awe of him and emulate him because having no guardrails is liberating, fun, and now acceptable. But more than that, they’ll learn that bad behavior is what it takes to rise, succeed, and be glorified as Trump is.

Bad behavior has already gone viral over the last few years because it’s easier than restraint or holding yourself to a higher standard. It’s easy to be a porch pirate, a phone scammer, a sexual assailant, a bully, a liar, or a vindictive “dictator on day one,” especially if there are few if any consequences. If Trump can grab, I can too, right?

The new culture of smash and grab is Trumpian in its very nature. Bring your clubs, hit hard, and grab what you can. Smash and grab the truth, say it’s all lies. Smash and grab voting machines, say the votes are rigged. Smash and grab election workers, say they cheated. Smash and grab Mike Pence, say he’s a wimp. Smash and grab Nancy Pelosi’s husband, say he deserved it. Smash and grab the White House, say he only needs 11,780 more votes.

If this was a child, he’d be expelled from school by now. If this were Barack Obama he’d be in jail by now. If this were Mike Pence, Trump would have dispatched a firing squad.

And, yet, he’s our presumed Republican presidential nominee. Why? I can only assume it’s all entertainment now—not a quest for a more perfect union, or a better America. I don’t mean entertainment like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, I mean more of a horror film like Barbarian. So grab your seats, ladies and gentlemen, the show’s about to begin.

Desert State

As always, your posts are brilliant!
I wish I had half your talent.
We can only pray that we hold back the Barbarians at the Gate of the White House. I am holding on to my optimism, but it fails me at times.
How so many have fallen under the spell of what only can be described as an Antichrist is beyond comprehension.

Evangel

I certainly don’t see my posts as anything close to that, but thank you for the high compliment. And I think you DO have a ton of talent based on your last post!

Keep praying and holding on to your optimism! It’s a healthier and more powerful energy that can positively influence others and spark real change.

Present Valley

WOW...this is certainly an attention getter as well as a call to higher consciousness.

Your knowledge is so vast and your post so completely describes the chaos we are living in.

Reading this, I am reminded how every day in my little circle of influence I want to make sure I am not falling under the spell of any of those behaviors in any small way.

I think as humans we get seduced so easily and complacent. We stop being as kind to each other as we could, maybe tell a white lie or two and say its not a big deal because it's only a white lie (what is that really!!!), maybe not take responsibility for something we did or did not do, not hold ourselves accountable. As creative human beings we have a zillion excuses for why we excuse bad behavior...ours and others. Yet, I so much believe in the innate goodness of humanity and the ability to rise above all this.

Thank you for taking the time to put together all of this reality.

Evangel

Thanks for this comment. You’re so right for recognizing the parallel and power you have in your own circle of influence, and for seeing this as a call to higher consciousness. It is.

It’s also a call to action, during this time of social upheaval, to be our most powerful selves by doing all we can to stand up to one sour man who continues to belittle our nation to falsely aggrandize himself.

Slipstream

Your article is spot on as are the comments. I can't think of anything to add other than, "May the Lord bless us and keep us..." Thank you!