It is disturbing enough to see 2300 defenseless children removed from their parents’ custody. What is worse are the reports that many of these children may never be reunited with their parents again. Never. As of this writing, the government reports that a little more than 500 have been reunited. The recordkeeping was so bad that border agents simply uprooted the families willy-nilly based upon the stroke of Donald Trump’s pen to destroy the lives of children who cannot even spout the words “Make America Great Again.” Children in one area and “offending parents” in the other. The psychological pain and torture for these children are beyond comprehension. It is downright disgusting and inhumane. It is easy to blame President Trump for this mess; instead we should all be blaming ourselves. And these types of stories will continue as long as we prefer to think in terms of ourselves (Americans) in an isolated world where fantasies of our own making (call us a seriously flawed Fantasy Island) rule in our heads. We would like to think of our country as 1950s Eisenhower Era of post-World War II where anything we do requires no consent by the rest of the world. This is the way Republicans view our world and they want us to go along for the ride. This is not the 1950s; it is 2018. We are to blame—not Trump, Republicans, Fox News– because we passively sit here accepting their pathetic propaganda like it is a reality show called The Apprentice and we are the contestants vying for an attaboy. As of today, Donald Trump still garners 41 percent of the support of the American people!
Did we not see this coming? Do we not see more crises under Trump? This is a man who appeared on an international stage in a debate against Hillary Clinton, did not prepare for that debate, scoffed at her preparation, bragged that he didn’t prepare, mocked others in a childish way (and still does), and stated that he goes by his “gut instinct.” He belittled Clinton for her professionalism, as if his charm alone was acceptable presidential material. On one occasion he even bragged that he could shoot someone and still not lose his support. Now we have a president who has little understanding of our government, even less understanding of international diplomacy and who rants constantly about how “other people” stand in his way. He is impetuous, reckless, and the scariest part is that he does not realize any of his limitations on any level: scientific, economic, social, historical, or political. With a leader who is so unpredictable and void of any intellectual reasoning, these types of events are likely to worsen.
This story of immigrant xenophobia sounds like it is coming from a third world country with a despot leader from the 1970s who cares nothing about other people; he cares only about his own preservation of power. He will kill, maim, decapitate, starve, separate, and intimidate others to continue his political onslaught. Sound familiar? I could imagine Amin, Stalin, Hitler, Mugabe, Putin, or Gaddafi doing these things; but doing this in the USA today. Are we kidding? Why do we let King Trump rule our world?
I blame all of us Americans for this problem, because we have ignored our most cherished asset: our Constitution. Our Constitution is designed to protect us against tyranny and promote fundamental human rights. However, the nation-state as we know it is now dying. Why? As I point out in my book, The Supercivilization: Survival in the Era of Human Versus Human none of us identify anymore as American citizens first. We care most about our wealth, how best to attain wealth, how to preserve our wealth, and less about the human condition or rules of law. This type of materialism has resulted in a dichotomy: those who believe the individual is responsible for promoting personal wealth (Republicans) and those who feel the institutions surrounding us help the individual to achieve (Democrats). This narrow view of reality is killing us as a country.
Our major problem now is that we think in this black and white scenario. Us versus them. American versus foreigner. Rich (us) versus poor (foreigners). Wealth is only one part of our well-being. Whether we like it or not, humanity has become a Supercivilization. We cannot reverse course and go backwards in time: remove the Internet, remove the 787 Dreamliner, remove Facebook and Twitter. We have become globalized and this is a Pandora’s box that can never be reversed. Now our likes and dislikes are predicated on propaganda that has subtly forced us into a corner: buy, buy, buy, consume, consume, consume, survive, survive, survive. Our allegiance is to corporations and not to our Constitution. Most of us fail to realize that it is the Constitution that created our wealth, not the corporation. The corporation is merely a byproduct of our Constitution. The success of our economy is dependent upon the greatness of our country and its liberal democracy, not upon the corporatocracy seeking a sizeable profit.
The current situation in this country is complex and I have pointed out in previous writings, particularly my work in The Supercivilization, why someone like Mr. Trump is so potentially dangerous and why we need a permanent fix. Mr. Trump, a clear-cut demagogue, has been able to masterfully construct his rise through control of the media. From his iconic business empire to his own show on NBC (The Apprentice) to his relationship with the owner of the National Enquirer to his convenient relationship with Sean Hannity and Fox, he has been masterful at promoting himself. Why? Because we are a Supercivilization now: we have interconnectedness that allows the demagogue to take advantage of this reality. As I first pointed out in 2015, the 21st century is a new biosociophysical era of humanity: The Era of Human Versus Human. Applying 20th century principles for a political solution is simply wrong. It is beyond counterproductive: it is potentially lethal for all of us. Our major problems are social and not natural. This means that infighting and resolving social problems becomes not a major problem, but THE problem. All of our major problems no longer involve natural causes but are controlled by us as humans. The end result is that while we have profound interconnectedness, a declining resource base, and increasing disparities in wealth, we have no ability to create cohesion amongst ourselves. Natural problems that we faced as a species unified us; nation-states were created centuries ago because the interconnectedness was low and cultures were relatively isolated giving that institution profound advantages for all of us. That continued until the end of the 20th century before interconnectedness exploded.
As the 21st century has become exponentially more interconnected, our isolated cultural differences are no longer present. The nation-state as was defined in the 20th century is no longer effective. Immigration is only getting worse, because these people see themselves as “us” not as Mexican or Nicaraguan or Panamanian. They come here because they admire us, our wealth, and our Constitution. Everyone relates to America and trying to isolate ourselves is only making our human predicament worse. As most of our problems become human-induced, we divide over our potential solutions (unlike natural problems that unify us) and create a terrifying reality: individuals, such as Mr. Trump, can exploit this growing divide. We now have set ourselves up for disaster in which one person has more power to end our world than ever before. Even though an individual has a seemingly inconsequential and smaller share of the world’s population (1/7.5 billionth) in the history of humanity, each individual has never had more power to affect the lives of all of humanity. Each of us can move 7.5 billion people quickly and efficiently like never before given the right circumstances. I call this the paradox of individual power. It is real and it is here.
The permanent fix for demagogues like Trump isn’t to merely get rid of them one by one; it is to create a far more advantageous institution to protect us all from ourselves and these demagogues. Instinctively, humans seek power and some of us possess greater skills and opportunities to obtain that power. The Constitution was specifically devised to limit those powers and disburse it, but its applications today are limited: it is limited to a fraction (325 million of 7.5 billion) of the world’s people and needs to account for our interconnectedness today. The current structure of the world (an us versus them world) is unacceptable. We are headed for a die-off if things do not change and Mr. Trump is only the canary in the coal mine.
It is not shocking to me that the “Make America First” campaign has led to one of the most indignant, despicable, and easily avoidable crises in the history of the world. While 2300 kids torn from their parents doesn’t sound like six million Jews exterminated in the 1940s (and certainly is not), give this intolerance some time. Given the power Mr. Trump now possesses and given his xenophobia (Mr. Trump has called illegal immigrants an “infestation”), not a mere 6 million are at risk now: in the event of nuclear war we are all at risk—all 7.5 billion people. As long as we sit here allowing a President to twist facts for his benefit (and not ours) and manipulate our minds, we face a dire future.