Donald Trump Is Not the Problem

During the months that have passed since Donald Trump commenced his churlish Presidency, millions of Americans (as well as millions of other people, around the world, who are not Americans) have gone out of their way to express, repeatedly and clamorously, their extreme loathing of him. It seems that directing vehement avowals of hatred toward Donald Trump has, in the general flow of current discourse, become the latest craze. Because he offers such an enormous target, each spiteful arrow of half-baked scorn that is aimed at him easily finds its mark.

Unfortunately, those arrows of scorn result from an erroneous line of thought. Hating Donald Trump is, for the most part, a useless activity. It serves no greater good, and it changes nothing. We all know that Donald Trump is an imprudent fool. (One even suspects that he knows it himself.) Being an imprudent fool is what he does best, as he has proven again and again, but he is no more impudent, and no more prone to foolishness, than the American citizenry as a whole.

Donald Trump is mere evidence of the problem, not the problem itself. The problem is capitalism and its inequitable effects. The problem is a brutish mentality in which the constant pursuit of money is put above every other consideration. The problem is a widespread acceptance of malign devices that control their users with oppressive technology. The problem is too many weapons and too many wars. The problem is a nation of servile consumers who have lost the ability to think and act in accordance with the essential demands of reason.

No, Donald Trump is not the problem. In the extended view, he can be seen as no more than a shallow distraction, the brainless star of a cheap sideshow, whose main purpose is to divert the masses from the urgent necessity of coming to grips with the true import of their collective situation. Given the quickness with which the American mainstream flits from one fad to another nowadays, how long will it be until Donald Trump's peevish enemies require a new distraction?