What the hell happened?

A man diagnosed as being a malignant narcissist was elected president.
The country is perhaps more divided than it’s ever been since the Civil War.
Hate groups, anarchists, gender battles, homophobia, racism.
We’ve got a President who spews vile hate to the world via his Twitter account, attacks the FBI and law enforcement agencies, bashes the media, and is a demonstrated non-stop liar.

Social media and the online disinhibition effect have worsened the poisonous atmosphere.

How did he ever get elected (by the electoral college)? It’s not like there was nothing there to warn us. His history of bankruptcies, cheating contractors, hiring undocumented immigrants, and lying were there to see.

People are fed up, angry, and Trump gave them false hope, playing on their misery and disgust.

In my opinion, the public’s mood is attributable to several factors: Corporate media and its never-ending quest for clicks gave Trump something like a billion dollar’s worth of free publicity. Then there’s politically-biased media, politicians, and political hacks. All of them combined can easily influence the ill-informed and the gullible.

People are motivated to vote when they’re angry. Politicians know that and consciously undertake efforts to get people pissed off at “them” (liberals, conservatives).

Human nature is also a factor. We are drawn to the aberrant, the different, the emotion-arousing. So that’s what the media and politicians feed us. Trump, in his never-ending quest for attention, is one of the best examples.

As for what voters want, look at who’s been getting attention: Trump, Bernie, and, lately, Alexandria Occasio-Cortez. They’ve struck a nerve with the public, a public fed up with income inequality; unaffordable health care and medicines; rich crooks who are not punished for their misdeeds (Wall Street, 2008); the rich and the connected who enjoy a different justice system than the rest of us; a generation that, for the first time, doesn’t believe its children will do better than them.

Politicians and political parties (especially the duopoly) have become experts at manipulating and influencing us (see “Manufacturing Consent“). The duopoly gives us mediocre (or corrupt) candidates and tell us to pick the least worst

Americans are woefully misinformed and deceived.

Our only hope is that they are finally fed up the Trump experience and will do some honest research into candidates’ records and actions.

Hopefully, the Trump presidency will have provided the motivation for voters to do that.

“Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.”
― Noam Chomsky

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