The Fish Is Rotting From the Head

A Native American. Picture: Anne Marie Rowley

A Native American. Picture: Anne Marie Rowley

So here we are, it’s Wednesday in Europe. The day that will probably be remembered as one of the darkest days in American history since it was taken from the Natives.

This is not supposed to be yet another analysis on politics and how things could have gone wrong, no, this is just a simple reflection on life and how we as humans treat it. When Trump started getting increased media attention all over the world in the beginning of the year, people still considered it as a joke. When I talked to my friends who study politics, they just said, “No way this person will ever make it far enough to become president – let them make fun of him.”

I never studied politics. I have a rough understanding of what is happening in U.S. politics and how their president is elected. I don’t know the motivation behind politicians’ strategies and who exactly would benefit most from having a puppet in the lead, someone who is easy to steer and to manipulate. I haven’t read into conspiracy theories, and I don’t want to because most probably, there’s a bit of a truth to each of them.

But what I understand is how angry humans work. It is happening not only in the U.S., it is happening everywhere. In my country, Germany. In my country of choice, Finland. The “small” man is angry because he feels treated unfairly. And he’s right. We live in a dog-eat-dog society where only the strongest win, but when becoming strong depends on so many factors you cannot influence yourself that fairness is a theoretical concept that Disney movies like to adapt. And the worst (and most dangerous) thing is that we don’t even notice. We might be hard-working, hard-studying, thinking that we deserve this because we earned it, because we fought for it, ourselves.

But think back to that one slow kid in your class in elementary school, or the other one with the seven siblings, or the one that never seemed to understand what was going on. Other kids made fun of them because they were slow. These kids’ answer was anger. Back then, there was no need to worry about it. Kids fight. It’s normal.

And then every day, school ends, and all the kids go home, and while you get a warm lunch and are monitored to do your math homework, maybe even assisted, these kids go home and watch TV. Or worse. Their parents don’t care, or maybe they are working double shifts to afford the rent. And no one cooks for them, but maybe they find some junk food from their older brother who also shows them how to smoke a cigarette.

You were prepped to be privileged from the start, that’s why you read this article now in a language that probably isn’t your mother tongue, and because you like to reflect on things and like to understand the reasons behind occurrences.
Donald Trump. Picture: Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump. Picture: Gage Skidmore

Life is not fair. You think a seven-year-old kid knows that when it grows up, it will earn less, have fewer chances because it is less educated, and understand less if it doesn’t change something now? You were prepped to be privileged from the start, that’s why you read this article now in a language that probably isn’t your mother tongue, and because you like to reflect on things and like to understand the reasons behind occurrences.

But you are not the majority. The majority has fewer chances and will end up with less education. Less understanding of things. It is easy for you to make fun of angry ‘dumb’ people because you see deeper, wider; but it won’t change anything. It will only make them angrier.

Ignorance is the biggest punishment we can treat someone with, and as long as we keep on ignoring those who are less privileged than ourselves, we will pay the price in the end altogether because we share this planet. If people feel discontent but they lack the capability of understanding what let them into this situation, they develop anger and try to find someone to blame.

So if a loud, raging guy (in my country, a loud, raging woman is at the top of the populist-anger-parties) comes and starts pointing fingers, of course, they will love him. They will feel heard, finally, and finally, someone seems to be wanting to take care of their needs. They don’t understand that what he claims does not make sense. Is not feasible.

Showing clips of Trump’s speeches that make no sense only make no sense to those who understand more.

They have a problem, and Trump promises a solution. And that’s all that counts. And suddenly even the people that had not heard of him before, will. Because by being made fun of, his media presence is just emphasized. Showing clips of Trump’s speeches that make no sense only make no sense to those who understand more. Those who understand less might not have seen the speeches up to that point – but now they do, and they like it. Maybe, if Trump had been ignored just as much as the minority elite ignores the needs of their counterparts, he wouldn’t have won today. Or maybe he would have nevertheless.

Perhaps he is just another one of the less privileged people who failed to invest in his own education. Perhaps, if he was less “white trash,” and a bit more literate instead, he would not create anger and hate, point fingers and talk nonsense the entire day. But we will never know what is going on in his head (after all, this could just be a strategy).

Yet there is one thing we know for sure: as long as we behave like a two (or more)-class-system that feeds a small group at the top and kicks down to the mass at the bottom, we will have to lie in the bed we made ourselves. The fish is rotting from the head.

 

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