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We in the U.S. have deserved someone like Donald Trump as our president for some time. Until now, by a string of luck, we had mostly centrist presidents, both Republican and Democratic, some with only a modicum of intelligence and humanity. With Donald Trump, however, we finally ran out of luck and he is our sitting president. Now, the spotlight is focused on him, but we easily forget that he is, after all, a product of his own society. Trump's rise to power owes itself to its own social-historical circumstances: For decades now America's Consumer Society had prepared the American voters, mostly White, to find someone like Trump as their leader, by supplying them with around-the-clock distractions that made them feel good, happy and falsely powerful. Trump's ascendancy could not be possible without our consumption of daily entertainment which makes us selfish, childish and idiotic human beings. Such minds are easily affected by anxiety, anger and vengefulness. In our daily sea of popular entertainment of mass circulation, we have become trash cans--Mental Trash Cans--that exist just to process trash that enters and leaves our minds almost at the same time. This wasted mind, America's most celebrated symbol of success that is created by its best and brightest, keeps us away from one another as we become privatized citizens and neighbors in our individual cocoons, lonely, scared, dumbed down, living and dying our solitary unconnected lives. Into this vacuum of intelligence and humanity, enter Donald Trump, the entertainer-billionaire, now the President, who, with his brand of populist Fascism, challenges the powers of entrenched Corporate America and all of its mind-captivating arsenal. He successfully conquered White Americans by separating them from non-whites, thus revealing America's nationalism and racism, hitherto papered over in its Liberal-Capital consumer paradise. The common Americans, whether White or non-white, possess two prized items that Corporate and Political America covets and wants to take from them, the dollar and the vote: The American Masses, now as garbage-fed children, are neither smart nor united enough to protect the two critical weapons of their democracy. Trump's presidency proves it.
Jon Huer is Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland University College. He has written over a dozen books of social criticism in the tradition of Thorstein Veblen and C. Wright Mills. His books include The Wages of Sin, Tenure for Socrates, Call from the Cave, American Paradise whose Arabic Language Edition has just been released, and The Dead End, which TIME called "an important and often brilliant book." His website, jonhuer.com, offers a picture book entitled Our Savage Nation which combines words and images.