The daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy was given the gift of prophecy by Apollo, who wanted to seduce her, but she refused him, and so, while he couldn’t take back his gift, he cursed her that no one would ever believe her prophecies, giving her a tragic existence and end.
I have felt much like Cassandra the last few weeks, ever since the end of the Republican National Convention, and most especially since Trump’s acceptance speech at the convention. Too many people are viewing him as a joke, and a complete aberration who will lead the Democrats to landslide victories nationwide.
What I heard was a dictator in waiting; what I envisioned was him holding a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House, declaring himself President for Life, much like brutal, genocidal dictators in Africa and other countries have done.
I’ve said this to friends and family, and when my husband threw me a birthday party last Sunday my best friend asked another close friend to talk me down. The friend said that in order to do that he would need to have the military on his side, among the first things he would need in order to do this. And it is true, all those other despots had the military on their side, and used them in horrific ways to support their agendas. By this time Trump had insulted and trivialized the grieving family of a Muslim Army Captain who was killed in combat in 2004. (Sorry, Fox News, President Obama was elected in 2008, and could not have been responsible for this honorable soldier’s death. But hang in there, enough people believe your anti-fact stories that you will get some spin from this latest lie.) Anyway, when Trump got blowback for insulting this man’s service, he turned on the captain’s parents. I learned last week that parents who have lost a child in battle are referred to as “Gold Star Families.” Instead of acknowledging the sacrifice of these families, he accused these parents of being involved in terrorist activities. So it calmed me a little to realize that the vast majority of the military have abandoned his campaign.
But of course, I had to be driving down the road this weekend it occurred to me that the greatest majority of Trump followers are so called “red neck” “hillbilly,” angry white men who DO love Trump’s bombast and pompous, distasteful, brash, thin skinned, hateful rhetoric who love their AR-15s and other guns, and all other types of violence. Hell, Trump has given them permission to let their racism and hatred shine aloud. They have beat up minorities who come to Trump rallies, they have threatened violence on anyone who is not like them, they love Trump’s racism and anti-immigrant rhetoric. So, historically, what happens when a small band of unsophisticated, rag-tag malcontents who are outgunned and out-manned by the greater government at large? They become terrorists. In the olden days they were called “guerrilla fighters.” It’s what the English called the American farmers, and “patriots” who fought for independence from the crown. It’s what the Viet Cong did to the Americans in the 1960s. It has been the way of the ‘little guy’ against the Big Man since time immemorial.
I must add for clarification that not all Trump supporters are ignorant rednecks. I had a conversation yesterday with a woman, who is highly educated, well informed, whose father retired from a high military rank, and she is as conservative as it is possible to be, and she is supporting Trump. That is something I cannot wrap my head around. Trump got himself LOTS of publicity by holding a fund raiser for “the troops,” but the money never got to the troops until he was challenged on it. His comments about the Khan family, the family of that dead Army Captain, and the captain himself, and Trump’s dalliance with an enemy president, his admiration for the worst dictators of the 20th century, more than border on treason (Vladimir Putin) , for which the right would be screeching for the death penalty if a democrat does it. But she said that her support is based on her “feelings, not the facts, and the closed borders that she believes the U.S. should have. I guess when the borders closed behind the white people who raped this country and murdered its native inhabitants it should have stayed closed, especially when the people who wish now to live a better life, and provide a better life for their children became brown. Oh, and of course, the darker skilled people who were brought here for only mercenary reasons, to build this country and not be paid for the effort, they get to stay, unless they want equal citizenship.