Updated: Apr 10
Of course, the majority of people who voted for trimp did it DESPITΕ his ignorance, racism, misogyny, manifest dishonesty, obscene immaturity, and overall vileness. (The bulk of THOSE did that for “religious” reasons...).
What should be just as alarming, is that a large minority of those voters (and current “dead-ender” supporters) are for trimp precisely BECAUSE of his racism and misogyny. Tragically, they do what they do mostly BECAUSE of his outrageous propensity to wreak havoc and spread dismay by undermining the fragile rule of law and the tenuous norms of civil discourse even if it‘s only for the purposes of pursuing both venial and mortally corrupt ends. This is “The Joker” mentality.
The ”Joker Mentality” is a mindset that has despaired of the idea of making sense of the world. It lives in an anaerobic hall of distortion mirrors where sense and sensibility is rejected for the seductions of sensation and futility. It is especially allergic to the strenuous and frustrating work of building habits of mind and institutions that might be able to limit the dangers of tyranny and exploitation. It rejects all meaning--or the possibility of such.
Many who succumb to the Joker Mentality have long felt acutely marginalized and alienated from our bewildering and rapidly changing culture. Many have been subject to unconscionable abuse themselves whether or not, in their thrashing reactions to insults, betrayals, and violations, they have sometimes (or often) found themselves brutalizing others.
Yes, this mentality is turbocharged by anguish, resentment, bewilderment, and a desire to “spread the pain”. Sometimes, it is also bolstered by outlandish fantasies of absolute domination and mastery. Other times, the ability to spread confusion and undermine meaning has become habitually subsumed into a useful strategy for achieving selfish (idiotic and psychopathic) ends.
Some of us who occasionally succumb to the Joker Mentality are capable of shame and self correction. Others may have inured themselves to any semblance of influence from any possible “better angels of our nature.”
trimp, himself, is likely one of those who MAY, for all ”practical purposes” be ”irredeemable”. But THAT might only be part of their (his/our) sick fantasy. To view anybody as “irredeemable” is, in a true sense, to grant them another futile, self stimulating victory.
One of the many overwhelming tasks of our civilization, if it survives the throes of climate change and avoids the holocaust of nuclear war, is to examine (and try to correct for) how it creates the conditions that lead so many to succumb to this mentality and then perhaps to act out in irresponsible ways relating to racism, misogyny, and various forms of cultural vandalism--or physical violence. There is, after all, much to be learned from these tortured souls especially in their caustic reactions to so called “norms” that are too often, in themselves, sleazy manifestations of aggression, domination, neglect, and exploitation.
Hitler never won more than 40% of the votes of those who bothered to turn out.
But that was more than enough.
Attention must be paid.