Americans can be remarkably self-centered. We have a unique ability to be overly concerned about our own interests while showing absolutely no compassion for the interest of anyone else. Often, the only reason we give a damn about issues that affect others is when they just happen to coincide with our own interests.
We also love to be lied to by politicians. We really, really love that.
The past few years have illuminated this reality more glaringly than at possibly any other time in our history.
During the 2016 campaign, donald trump catapulted to the GOP forefront when he told right-wing voters that Mexican immigrants were rapists. It was like tossing a large slab of raw meat into a pen of squealing hyenas. The right-wing base went wild.
At that moment, trump knew exactly how he was going to win the election—by appealing to the basest ideas held within the right. From then, he continued making ridiculously outrageous claims from stating he was going to ban all Muslims from coming into our country to bragging that he would end crime in Chicago in his first week.
There are two things that help explain why such an absurd strategy proved to be so popular among right-wing voters. First, the comments were hateful, and second, they targeted everybody but those who trump believed made up his strongest base of support. It is that second point that is coming back to bite trump’s supporters right on the same ass they pull their logic from.
My assertion, here, is that right-wingers love it when bad things are happen to “other” people. If you doubt this, just go to any comments section anywhere on the Internet in the days immediately following someone being murdered by an on-duty cop, or in the aftermath of a disaster befalling some developing nation somewhere in the world.
During the campaign, there was a man who showed up at trump rallies singing country songs that paid homage to donald trump. He became known as the “trump troubadour.” This man’s son died of a drug overdose a few years ago, and he believed that if his son had access to affordable treatment, perhaps his son would still be alive. He supported trump mainly because trump promised to maintain a strong health care affordability system.
trump even went so far as to call that man out during a trump rally and embrace him. The trump troubadour was so moved by the candidate’s compassion that he sold most of his belongings in order to finance a Grateful-Deadesque odyssey to follow the candidate around the nation and happily acted as trump’s unpaid bard.
This “troubadour”, however, seemed unconcerned by trump’s derisive comments about Mexicans, or Muslims, or the disabled, or women, or short people, or POWs, or the media, or Iowans, or….
All this man cared about was the fact that trump didn’t demonize his group, and that trump promised to do something that would benefit him directly.
Then, trump got elected and before the raindrops could dry from his wool coat, trump abandoned his former comments about what kind of healthcare coverage he thought Americans should have. The trump troubadour cried foul.
“I always kind of figured trump would only fuck over people who deserved it—you know, the blacks and the Mexicans and the women who won’t shut up about equal rights. But now he wants to fuck me over, too? That just ain’t right,” is what I imagine the trump troubadour must have said upon learning that trump is just as committed to fucking over the people who voted for him as he is to fucking over the people the trump troubadour enjoyed seeing getting fucked over.
Now, some may argue that it’s unfair or cruel to go after someone who lost a family member to addiction, and normally I would agree. But that’s not why I’m going after the trump troubadour. I’m going after the trump troubadour because people like him, who vote with a sense of self-centered tunnel vision, end up fucking over the entire nation. I’m going after the trump troubadour because he thought that his demographic should be safe from political targeting while being perfectly content to let every other demographic be sacrificed at the altar of American Self-Centeredness. I’m going after him because he’s indicative of everything that is wrong with the American voter, and because the trump troubadour is now a public-enough figure to be featured in the media for his revoking his support for donald tump.
Perhaps if people like the trump troubadour had been a little less selfish in November, we’d all be better off right about now.