‘MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN ‘and’BUILD THE WALL ENFORCE THE LAW ‘are two of the many prints on t-shirts you can purchase in a Donald Trump t-shirts-shop on e-bay. US-American politics and campaigning differ a lot from the Europeans. In Germany before the wake of the refugee crises you hardly found the polarising battles of popularity American Presidents and candidates pursue. Donald Trump- Currently the republican candidate for presidency in the Unites States of America – is being hailed as a hero people pin their hopes on, hopes and ideals projected on a man who suffers from delusions of grandeur. In terms of popularity and projection Barack Obama winning the White House in 2008 was in the same boat Donald Trump is in today. The ocean lanes of the boat clearly diverge and so do the people who want to hop on it. What part of civilization supports these important men and women -like Hilary Clinton, the democratic presidential candidate- who aim for the ‘highest office’: becoming the American chairman- and what do their ideals consist of?
Obama was the first and has for now been the last Afro-American aspirant for holding this office in a 232 year-long history of the United States of America and succeeded in his aspiration. You might wonder how such a seemingly momentous step toward emancipation and against racism- one way of interpreting Obamas’ election- has turned into populist and racist body of thought printed on t-shirts worn by far too many American citizens. Citizens more or less aware of using their bodies as a screen that projects dangerous ideas nurtured by fear and anger. Clearly Trump has woken up the sleeping dragon of xenophobic populism – the social democratic electorate has little in common with the enthusiasts of Donald Trump. They lack what citizens who back Trump must have: strong inclination towards sensationalism, strong pleasure in reading crude headlines in the newspaper and the strong wish to have a common ‘enemy’ to fight – just for believing in a solution to their own and almost always economic and social burden.
I am taking a step further back and crossing the ocean: In 1933 (Nazi-Germany) most people in Germany were a lot like that. Fortunately things have changed, the majority of people matured and many citizens of todays’ Germany have decided not to let such historic and human catastrophe happen again. Nevertheless it is up for debate if part of Germanys’ bureaucracy and politics are repeating same old mistakes in a newer variation concerning the refugee crises and groups like ‘PEGIDA’ suggest that the rise of the right wing is happening in Germany too. Of course USA and Germany are two different places, politically, geographically and historically speaking, but you can see parallels in the instrumentalisation of emotion by so called ‘populist’ parties.
Returning to the United States of America we are now facing the end of 2016 . American history is short compared to the European. National Socialism has influenced The United States, for a noteworthy number of fugitives migrated to the U.S.A during WWII. Still the experience Europeans have had -of War and its’ aftermath- was and still is so meaningful that you can hardly compare it with the Americans’. Us fearing, us thinking we know what populism leads to, does not stop others from seeking out their very own experience of it. In this case sadly, in others a gift. When will people learn from past failures and turn their knowledge into action? We get the chance to foster learning once having failed, right?
If Trump should be elected – which I find improbable- gaining power through the American populist movement, desperate ex-miners and many others, U.S- citizens will be too late in realising the graveness of their election. What can truly safe the planet: from politics ruled by leaders like Donald Trump?