Over the past year President Trump has been challenged with a non-stop tsunami of political and media generated reports that have only one goal, it demonize and de-legitimize the Trump electoral success and the current Republican administration. The daily onslaught of accusations and smear campaign tactics have gone after not only the President, but also his family, administration officials such as the White House Spokesperson Sarah Elizabeth Huckabee Sanders, and other political allies associated with the President. Exposing this slanderous campaign has had negligible success in convincing the general public that as consumers of information, they are being fed a steady diet of conspiracy, chaos, and what has developed into a politics of rage.
For us in Israel, all this is “nothing new under the sun”. The American experience of the unprecedented demonization and de-legitimization of a democratically elected head of State has been with us for the past two decades in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been repeatedly re-elected time after time, despite the oppositions and media generated smear campaigns that are aired daily. For years we have had to endure a lynch atmosphere in which all of the media seem like an endless series of firing squads all aimed in the direction of Benjamin Netanyahu. What is it that has created this relentless politics of rage and hatred? What can explain this “kill the beast” atmosphere in our streets among demonstrators? How can one explain that regular upstanding citizens who normally exhibit normative behaviors have been transformed in a vicious mob who fan the flames of rage and hatred against a democratically elected leader, his wife, and his children? Political pundits have been unable to sufficiently explain this deep primal hatred that has permeated the public discourse trampling every accepted norm and the basic concept of fairness and the democratic idea of innocent until proven guilty.
The answer my friend is not ‘blowing in the wind’, but can be better understood by examining the psychological roots of rage and anger. First a few examples: Johnny Depp’s “joke” about it being time to assassinate a president again; Actor Corey Stoll calls his participation in a “Julius Caesar” adaptation that leaves the Trump-like leader soaked in stage blood his method of “resistance.”; Kathy Griffin thought it would be amusing to hold up a fake Trump head covered in blood, duplicating a horrific ISIS-style propaganda video; Madonna shared how she considered blowing up the White House shortly after President Trump took office; Director Rob Reiner called for an “all out war” on Twitter to “resist” the Trump administration. The common thread in these examples is the primal hatred and need to dispose of the “head” of the extended American family nation.
Oedipal rage according to Freud, represents a deep feeling of aggression and desire to dispose of a parental figure. In today’s politically charged atmosphere, rage and aggression have become acceptable forms for expressing opposition and the desire to replace the “head” of a nation. Little if any effort is made towards clarifying the destructive aspects of this and the inevitable spillover into our daily routine. Not only do I want to dispose of the “head” of the nation, but this destructive primal rage also encompasses those that support him, those that represent ideas and values different than my own, and lastly those that are unlike myself. This rage, this hatred of President Trump or Prime Minister Netanyahu permits us to keep alive the idea that everything is really much more simple, if only these leaders would go way either voluntarily or if necessary by force This rage allows us to convince ourselves that if only we yell louder, and beat up on our heads of state a little harder, if we break their political bones than everything would revert back to the falsely intoxicating effect of the Obama period when we were inundated with reports that gave us the feeling that the spread of radical Islamic ideology was nothing more than an extension of the American civil rights movement and that the regressive and largely dysfunctional economic performance of the Obama administration was good for America. This intoxicating taste had become nothing more than a drunken stupor blurring reality and the real successes of the first year of the Trump Presidency that in an objective analysis would be undeniable.
The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has lead Israel to become a world leader of innovation, a nation at peace with the majority of the Muslim Sunni nations, a country where the life expectancy is one of the world’s longest, and affordable healthcare and education for average citizens. In America, after the first year of a totally unexpected Trump Presidency; domestically, the passage of the tax reform bill is already resulting in increased economic activity and the repatriation of companies, reserves and jobs, just as promised during the election. The burden of regulation, vastly increased under Obama, is being steadily lightened. The Trump administration is anything but politically correct, and that is a good thing, considering the damage done by political correctness over the preceding Obama years. As far as foreign policies; rather than attacking friends and allies and supporting enemies, the reverse is now the situation. The global community understands that America is the leader of the free world, and should be recognized as such.
President Trump understands that to succeed you must resonate strength, and defend your turf and principles. No level of primal rage by the Democratic Party, the media, and progressive opponents will change the direction of the Trump Presidency. Those that continue to be immersed in a politics of anger, in a politics of rage will slowly find themselves representing no one but themselves. They will cease to be relevant to the American public.