“The chronically guilty mind (it is believed) becomes attached to guilt as a badge of inherent superiority,” writes the psychoanalyst Deborah Tyler in The American Thinker where she examines the psychodynamics of Obama and Hillary Clinton’s politics.
It was fatal for them. In general, recognizing one’s own faults and therefore one’s limits is a springboard for overcoming problems caused not only by ourselves, but also by others.
Trump, a man quite devoted to self-admiration and to the glorification of his actions, make us feel a little worried when he points his finger at Hispanics, immigrants, Islamic terrorists… And yet this was one of the basic tenets of his presidential campaign to move away from the guilt propagated by the Obama administration as the basis of American policy, which imbued its internal and external ethics.
Guilty, responsible, sons and fathers who all share the blame: Americans couldn’t stomach feeling this any longer, geez, given the multitude of troubles they already have.
We are all accustomed to fustigating ourselves: the war? We cynically chose it. Drone strikes? We don’t know if they kill innocent civilians. Immigrants? They’re the result of our imperialist policy. Islamic terrorism? A result of the ideological and social discrimination called Islamophobia that we’ve directed at Muslims; Racial and ethnic inequality, especially between whites and diverse groups? The effect of our racism that always in turn leads to discrimination, violence, and police brutality; sexism and homophobia? These are all vices of capitalist society vis-à-vis a peaceful and innocent world, a left wing world that doesn’t harbor prejudices (and the reverse is true); pollution, climate change, and adulterated foods? The upshot of fierce exploitative policies, including refrigerators, heating, longer life expectancy and a general improvement with regard to living conditions.
Whatever kind of president Donald Trump will be, there are many social and cultural reasons that have decreed an end to the control of the democratic elite associated with Obama’s Chicago-style politics. That said, we must consider the explosion of anger that people wanted to express while sweating, working, fuming and hearing over and over that they are guilty, plus all the dogmas of a political correctness that crucifies them to historical slavery, which forces them to consider themselves responsible for all the troubles of the world, a public danger, a colonial invader instead of that great American friend who runs to the rescue back when it defeated Nazism and many other evils at the cost of so many lives.
And what the heck! Can the leading thinker be Oliver Stone, who has rewritten America’s history by claiming that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed for futile reasons, that Truman was insane because of his unresolved “gender issues,” that Kennedy was killed by the Republicans because he wouldn’t go to war with the USSR… Gradually, we arrive up to the 9/11 attacks as self-inflicted by America upon itself.
Obama and Clinton are in the eyes of those who voted for Trump, symbols of an apologetic America that has no right to exist. President Obama didn’t know how to explain to the mother of a boy killed by Islamic terrorism how he died, while refusing to use the expression “Islamic terrorism”. Moreover, while advocating the importance of dialogue in his travels to Saudi Arabia and so many parts of the world, he has wiped out their responsibility and underlined forever those of the United States.
Domestically, he has downplayed race-related incidents, even when five Dallas police officers were shot, and actually explained that “they were killed during a peaceful protest in response to the killing of Alon Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile of Minnesota” and that “police conduct was the subject of the protest.”
Again, self-accusation with regard to a very tough ethnic issue prevails, even when blacks have been implicated during riots and in killings. But assigning blame is always greater than the will to resolve the problem, greater than addressing the problem itself, like saying that terrorism is “random,” casual, and psychopathological.
The American people could no longerbear feeling guilty as the Democrats wanted, and as Obama described them. And Clinton, for that matter, has shown that one can be an advocate for social issues while belonging to an insolent and very wealthy elite.
Translation by Amy K. Rosenthal
This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (November 10, 2016)