Rudy Giuliani has always been a very angry man. His legendary theatrical performances in New York City transformed a wannabe into a mini-star in a country that produces them by the load, places them on pedestals and tears their hearts out in a New York Second. On Monday, Giuliani displayed his ugliness at the Republican National Convention, which has turned out to be neither Republican nor National nor even a Convention. It progressed, instead, into a fear-fest that displayed unprecedented anger where the delusional vented nightmarish irrationality, which seldom made anything or anyone “great again”.
In a classic moment, Giuliani warned terrorists, “We’re coming to get you,” while former Navy seal Marcus Luttrell declared that “America is the light”, as both fed the narcissism that was perfected by Donald Trump throughout the past year. Of course, rhetorical pronouncements made for great television, but they were empty slogans that failed to protect peoples from harm. Yet, this was now common practice as angry Caucasian males rallied around the flag unaware that the days when one could abscond patriotism were in the past. The Republican Party nominee, nevertheless, embarked on what can only be described as a first-class deception bandwagon, as he channeled America’s anger.
Where Trump stumbled was his unabashed misunderstanding of democratising societies — to put it charitably — that operated under defined laws. Sadly, and because of United States President Barack Obama’s wasted presidency, race relations are now worse than when the first black man to hold that office came to power. Obama forgot to earn his Nobel Peace Prize and America stumbled. He rightfully condemned the killing of peace officers, but could not display the courage to deal with police brutality. Shooting black men by uber-mad policemen will mean trouble for years and decades to come, something that a putative President Trump will not be able to address through retaliation. Beyond eventual gun-control laws that will presumably end the cycle of violence, what is needed is an update of the second amendment to the American Constitution and, equally important, to enrol the entire country in anger-management classes.
It may be a good idea to start with Trump, who encouraged violence during what passed for a campaign, when he repeatedly said that he wanted to punch opponents. Psychiatrists and psychologists will long study his insults, though enamoured backers failed to see the real dangers that he presented.
Trump’s documented misogyny, which was summarised by one observer as “hateful musings about women ...”, is also projected among angry hordes, which may also require anger-management classes. Naturally, since everything for Trump is about winning, the Republican Party nominee wants the whole world to know why he treats women as “meat”. For Trump, to win means to crush and, in real life, superiority can only be achieved at someone else’s expense, including women. Long before his vulgar public comments to the journalist Megyn Kelly, Trump felt no compunction to humiliate women, as the New York Times columnist Gail Collins became “The Face of a Dog!”; Cher, Bette Midler, Angelina Jolie and Rosie O’Donnell were transformed into “slobs” and “extremely unattractive”; while Carly Fiorina was apparently disqualified from the presidency because of her facial appearance. Such comments are perfect illustrations of what is meant by the “candidate requires professional attention”.
Trump’s anger towards Latino immigrants, without whom America would have come to a standstill because Latinos fill most of the lower-end jobs, is equally legendary. Regrettably, some Americans share the view that the wall Trump proposes to build along the Mexican border “will be beautiful” — unaware of both human rights and economic consequences. In fact, the very idea of building a wall to further isolate America from “others” is a symbol of malaise that will only heal when human rights are, once again, on top of the agenda. Moreover, and this must be stated as clearly as possible, without migrant workers — most of whom are law-abiding residents — the overwhelming majority of American farmers will be forced to hire far more expensive help, which will jack-up food prices throughout the country. Few think how the fantasist candidate for office adds fuel to the fire as he denies millions not only of their human dignity but, in the words of a Guardian editorial, the insecurities of working-class Americans.
Remarkably, the Trump phenomenon highlights profound ethnic changes in a country that once was dominated by European settlers, as statistics indicate how America is increasingly becoming a multi-cultural society. Many are angry that their monopoly of power is on the wane, which is why Trump’s violations of civil rights — when he refuses to rent to Blacks, for example, or when he wants to deport Muslims — or many litigations that involve swindling innocents of their hard-earned dollars, can be so easily tolerated.
On Monday, the Republican Party nominee declared: “We are going to win so big” that, presumably, his consecration will temper America’s anger. Still, the fact that Trump has gotten so far does not bode well for America and the world, though on November 8, those who loathe bigotry will have the opportunity to teach him and those of his ilk a lesson they will not soon forget.
Dr Joseph A. Kechichian is the author of the just-published From Alliance to Union: Challenges Facing Gulf Cooperation Council States in the Twenty-First Century (Sussex: 2016).