Every job I have ever had has entailed dealing with, “That Guy,” at some point. In my experience he has always been an overweight, middle aged white guy who spends more time bloviating than working. He’s the time-sink that ambles door to door, holding forth on the topics of the day with the arrogant assurance of his position’s righteousness. The few times I’ve met “That Guy”, and his life has been interesting, it’s usually because it’s a dumpster fire of failed relationships.
He’s equal parts Cliff Claven, ol’ Gil, and that uncle you always hope can’t make it to Thanksgiving. Only without their warmth, likability, and charisma. Invariably, he’s close enough to retirement that people endure him because it’s ultimately easier than suffering through a conflict. He also tends to talk considerably about work ethic, “his generation,” and how busy he is; though he’s only rarely actually working. He considers himself a stalwart of the office, but nothing of importance has likely to have crossed his desk in a decade or more. Indeed he is wholly incapable of even accepting his mistakes, and always has a ready excuse or scapegoat to blame for his shortcomings. He is to Dunning-Kruger what bread is to a toaster.
And then, finally, we get to the content of his comments, as they tend to skirt the line of appropriateness; edging ever closer to it as his audience gets older, whiter, and more male. While it’s clear he has either been spoken to by HR, or has just enough awareness to avoid saying anything that would out and out get him fired, it’s also clear he is filtering his actual thoughts. It’s all too easy to imagine what those would be, but his dependency on his job at least nominally restrains him from sharing them.
Most often his profundities follow tribalistic themes, and in context it is easy to see why. He needs others to stand with him to feel any semblance of power, and has only his immutable characteristics from which to draw. I am sure you have encountered someone similar in your own career, if not your neighborhood, and have used up a life time of tight smiles and calming breathes while hoping to curtail his ignorant ramblings. But, imagine him not shuffled off to a non-critical admin, management, or support role, but as a “billionaire”… running for president.
Not only is there no filter required, but it’s not even desired. Stadiums fill with crowds even more ignorant than he, lapping up his bilious logorrhea of hate. It is a convention of people who have stood in the way of improving society because deep down they know full well their own obsolescence. They project their own feelings of desperate inadequacy on others, while living sad, forgettable lives bounded by decisions steeped in fear. Who else could possibly rally around a slogan so panderingly hollow as, “Make America Great Again?”
They have crowned Drumpf as their King because he is one of them. Without a literal million dollar gift Drumpf would be just another aging nobody. His numerous business failures, bankruptcies and bald faced lies are testament enough to that. Give any of his followers the same start and they could have “achieved” as much. Even in a system stacked for the rich, he has struggled, only making his millions through the expenditure of tens of millions. Other people’s tens of millions. TO him that latter is considered success.
Drumpf and his followers are easy to mock as their ignorance, fear, and insecurities are obvious to all but themselves. But it is those with delusions of entitlement living lives with only a modicum of power that become the most petty. They are the ones who would destroy what others have built simply out of spite. They are not driven to make the world a better place, nor even “America Great” (AGAIN!), so much as to feel superior wherever, and whenever, they can. They don’t care about Drumpf’s myriad of little lies because they’re already clinging to the larger one: that if Drumpf becomes King, they will be his Lords.
Such a scenario isn’t just as far from a “Great America” as can be realistically conceived, it’s a nightmare come to life. It is the boorish and unimaginative tearing down the decades of hard work and struggle that have made America great, simply because they blame their wallowing mediocrity on everyone but themselves. And, worst of all, is the harsh, unsettling reality that even when Drumpf ultimately fails, his self selected sycophants will still be waging a crusade to rot our country from within.
However scary a prospect that may be, I have seen enough of America’s greatness to know that neither Drumpf, nor his legions of suck, can defeat it in the end. What they can do though, is deny that greatness to as many people as they can for a generation or more. While voting is the easiest and most obvious, way to stop them, it is supporting those they would persecute which will do the most.