Is Trump responsible for the culture war?
Certainly his election catalyzed an already growing rift in our culture. In what sense is he responsible for this? Rather than parse responsibility I would prefer to consider counter-factual scenarios. That is, I would prefer to think about what would have happened otherwise if the event of his successful election hadn’t happened, since blame is always excessively reductive (for no one person is solely responsible for anything, especially at the level of society-wide changes).
So would we be having the same cultural conflict had Hilary won? I think it would have taken different forms. I don’t know if it would have been better in that alternate universe where Hilary won, but it is reasonable to think that the domestic scene would have been less tumultuous. Though from an astrological viewpoint, I think this year was going to be rough no matter what.
But I also think in that alternate world we would be further down the track of some much more serious problems, with four years into the TPP–which would have formed the legal ground for a rapid transfer of power from the national to the international level beyond any potential for democratic recapture. At least now with the intelligence community having to use biopolitical propaganda to convince state governments to attack their own local economies and autonomy, we have the potential to win some of that autonomy back through democratic process if people can wake up to the con.There also is the consideration of the wars Hilary would have gotten us into by now, with hostility towards Russia being a possible nuclear war scenario.
So yeah, it is sad to see people so scared their neighbor is going to kill them by breathing, with people fighting over masks, over different narratives about race and culture, etc. But I am not sure this would have been that different without Trump. Some things would have been different, racial tensions might have had less insanity. I am not sure there would have been the need for a pandemic narrative, but it is likely they were going to try it at some point but probably later than they did (I think they rushed it to get Trump out of office.)
Certainly Trump’s rhetoric contributes to polarization as does FOX news, as well as the liberal media. I make no apologies for him as a person–one of my personal passions is critiquing the kind of melodramatic rhetoric he has made into a dark art. But next to possible nuclear war and a loss of all semblance of national, local and personal sovereignty with the TPP, I think a little domestic tension is a small price for us to pay after subjecting the rest of the world to our insane empire building.
But I could be wrong. Maybe the intelligence community and “deep state” is trying to consolidate power so quickly because they know something we don’t about the necessities of global government, and maybe the nationalists slowing that down are risking a catastrophic collapse, say if new energy technologies come out too quickly that crash the fossil fuel economy and send the world into a deep and chaotic depression. It is reasonable to think this might be the case, that they are trying to mitigate disaster, but their strategies are very questionable. What I question most basically is anyone that thinks they know what is going on with so much certainty that it justifies thinking one side of the elite is good and the other evil, and by proxy, that one side of this political divide is a victim or perpetrator of propagandized ideology and they are free of it. That is the real “cause” of culture war.