In many ways, Trump is the symptom not the cure. When there is lack of genuine leadership and a loss of meaning at the heart of culture hypocrisy can become a collective illness. An old idea suggests that hypocrisy on the part of powerful people is more dangerous than other crimes; but self-deception on the part of common people is more dangerous than hypocrisy. There is some hope in the fact that recent polls show that a growing majority of people, including Independents and Republicans, feel that Trump is both untruthful and untrustworthy
And here is the dilemma we face as a civilization. We march collectively toward self-annihilation. Corporate capitalism, if left unchecked, will kill us. Yet we refuse, because we cannot think and no longer listen to those who do think, to see what is about to happen to us. We have created entertaining mechanisms to obscure and silence the harsh truths, from climate change to the collapse of globalization to our enslavement to corporate power, that will mean our self-destruction. If we can do nothing else we must, even as individuals, nurture the private dialogue and the solitude that make thought possible. It is better to be an outcast, a stranger in one’s own country, than an outcast from one’s self. It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.