Donald Trump Is the Mirror and Hillary Clinton Is the Mask
Donald Trump Is the Mirror and Hillary Clinton Is the Mask
If Donald Trump is the mirror we don’t want to look into, then Hillary Clinton offers us the mask we put on to avoid seeing our reflection.
By Chris Agnos / chrisagnos.com
Oct 16, 2016

Disclaimer: I do not support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president. I think the scope of the political debate is far too narrow for the kinds of actions that need to take place to prevent the extinction of most of the life on earth, including human beings. Stepping outside this narrow debate enables me to take a more objective stance when watching the circus that stands for presidential elections in America these days.

 

Self-identified liberals around the country have been in a state of shock and disbelief over the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.

“Oh my God! Did you see what he said? How could he actually be running for president?”

The problem is that the latter question is often a rhetorical one. Very little effort, if any, is spent trying to understand how such a !@$#%^& actually won the Republican nomination. But the truth is there is something rotten at the core of America, and Donald Trump is unknowingly trying to force us to look at it. Donald Trump is the mirror that we don’t want to look into.

Could Donald Trump be the mirror we don't want to look into?

Donald Trump Reflects Back To Us A Predatory Capitalist System Gone Horribly Wrong

Yes, there is a little piece of Donald Trump within all of us. It is the part of ourselves that we loathe and, therefore, want to rebuke and distance ourselves from. Many want to hide behind a new language of political correctness. We don’t want to understand how Donald Trump rose to such heights because the reason for it scares us. What scares us most is how much we actually share in common with the man.

Donald Trump is a product of a predatory capitalist system gone horribly wrong. Yes, Donald Trump is misogynistic, but look at the way business of all kinds use half-naked woman to sell products and services.  Yes, Donald Trump doesn’t care about anything but American interests, but neither does any American who condones the government spending trillions of dollars exporting war and chaos on to the rest of the world. Yes, Donald Trump doesn’t care about climate change, but neither does our economic system that only allows people to meet their needs through unsustainable products like factory farmed meat and Walmart. Yes, Donald Trump is an egomaniac that only cares about himself, but so is any American who believes in the idea of American exceptionalism, that Americans are somehow more special than the rest of the world.

I’m not trying to insult anyone or blame anyone for being this way. The truth is to function well in this predatory capitalist system gone horribly wrong, one must develop, or at the very least tolerate, many of these views. Do you call out every misogynistic comment in the workplace? Calling out your boss for his misogynistic comments may cost you your job. “Do you make the attempt to understand the needs and concerns of our so-called “enemies?” Probably not because doing so might have others label you a “terrorist sympathizer.” Are you making the necessary lifestyle changes and/or sacrifices required to reduce your carbon footprint, passing on that Hawaiian vacation to avoid the carbon emissions? It is one thing to believe in climate change and quite another to actually find out what you can do about it.

unit image

Donald Trump is not an isolated case for the values we despise.

The System Forces Us To Behave This Way

But it really isn’t our fault. This predatory capitalist system gone horribly wrong requires its participants to some degree to act predatory, or at least enforce inhumane practices. Imagine you work at a sandwich shop. You sell hundreds of sandwiches every day and then one homeless and hungry man walks into the shop and asks if there is anyway you can make him a sandwich even though he has no money. Here you are standing in a store surrounded by an abundance of sandwiches, so much abundance that every week you have to throw out a portion of the unsold food, and you have a high probability of losing your job if you gave the hungry man a sandwich.

It feels unnatural at every level of our being to deny access to food to someone in need of it, or deny access to medicine to those unable to pay for it, essentially telling people that you don’t deserve to live unless you are able to play a role in our economy focusing almost entirely on selling product. Anyone working at the intersection of Capitalism Road and People Avenue have to face this feeling daily. Some of us grow thick skin and create narratives that justify this systemic denial of physical and emotional needs, while others must find some other kind of coping mechanism, which can easily turn into an addiction to alcohol, drugs, shopping, or anything else that can get our minds off of this feeling.

unit image

Do you ever feel like what your mind is telling you to do and what you heart is telling you to do is ripping you apart at the seems?

If Donald Trump Is The Mirror, Then Hillary Clinton Is The Mask

Donald Trump is a mirror of these values, reflecting back to us the extreme version of this predatory capitalist system gone horribly wrong, providing us with an opportunity to look deep within the roots of it. But if Donald Trump is the mirror we don’t want to look into, then Hillary Clinton offers us the mask we put on to avoid seeing our reflection. She tells us that we are already great, repeating tired old mantras of American exceptionalism that help the majority of people to feel more powerful and overlook the daily atrocities committed both at home and overseas in our name.

Clinton tells us there is no need to look into that mirror, that there is nothing wrong with our economic system and the problem is a result of bad characters like Donald Trump. Nothing could be further from the truth. For decades now, American politics have operated in a realm of its own with a completely different set of logic and procedures than the rest of the world. That’s because a predatory capitalist system gone horribly wrong requires a different set of logic to maintain it. Common sense actions, such as using the precautionary principle in both the public and private sectors, are disregarded as politically infeasible because they challenge the money interests of a capitalist class. This class of billionaires have gotten extraordinarily proficient at using their wealth to compromise government to maintain their control and unrivaled access to everything the world has to offer. Agricultural subsidy practices, militarization, spying on citizens, imprisoning non-violent crimes like drug use, arming rebel groups, supporting oppressive regimes: all of these actions defy common sense if our goal is to promote peace and prosperity as Clinton’s narrative tells us but are deemed not only necessary, but logical in the realm of American politics.

 

unit image

Hillary Clinton enables people to live in the fantasy that America is a force for peace in the world.

Where Is The Truth?

More than ever, both liberals and conservatives know that their government has been bought by corporations and the elite who have essentially legalized corruption and rigged the entire economy to favor a small minority. The people are beginning to wake up to the increasing gap between what politicians say they will support and what they actually do support. As Hillary Clinton said in a recently released WikiLeaks e-mail, “You need to have a public position and a private position on every issue,” essentially saying that she wears one mask when she speaks to the people and a different mask when she talks to the business interests that fund her campaign. Let the truth be damned.

Americans want to think they are the good guys. But are we? We like this feel good narrative. But if we really looked at what role we play in the world, are we more like Luke Skywalker and the rebels or Darth Vader and the evil empire? For the longest time, American political leaders have been telling us that “we are the good guys,” that “we stand for promoting freedom and democracy around the world,” that “we stand up against injustice.” But the values of predatory capitalist system gone horribly wrong are the antithesis of these ideals and Donald Trump is doing us all a favor by showing us our own reflection. If we resist the desire to put on that mask and instead allow ourselves to look in the mirror and see our economic system as what it really is – a planetary death star hellbent on converting all of the natural world into a gigantic pile of money – perhaps we have a small chance to realign our values with our actions and create a new kind of economics that allows all beings in the world a chance for peace and prosperity.

unit image

Is the sun setting on speaking the truth?

4.8 ·
9
Trending Today
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 9,865 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
The Corporation (2003)
145 min · 9,573 views today · The Corporation is today's dominant institution, creating great wealth but also great harm. This 26 award-winning documentary examines the nature, evolution, impacts and future...
Why It's Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
Bethany Webster · 7,348 views today · The issue at the core of women’s empowerment is the mother wound
Watch How Europeans Carved Up African Land They Never Owned
56 min · 5,566 views today · Watch how Europeans gave away African land they never owned, then expressed anger when Africans resisted. The film is called Africa: A Voyage of Discovery, Episode 6: The...
Coping With Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the White House
N Ziehl · 2,036 views today · I want to talk a little about narcissistic personality disorder. I’ve unfortunately had a great deal of experience with it, and I’m feeling badly for those of you who are...
Before He Was Assassinated, MLK Jr. Was Advocating For An End To Income Inequality
10 min · 1,850 views today · We can honor MLK Jr. by pursuing the causes he was advocating for before he was killed.  ​​ Part 2: The Basic Income, A New Human Right (3 minutes) MLK's idea of a basic...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 1,396 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 783 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
The Comprehensive Activist Guide to Dismantling Neoliberalism
Drew Serres · 630 views today · “The creation of today’s market society was not the result of a sequence of spontaneous events but rather of state interference and violence.” – Naomi Klein in The Shock...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 594 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
22 Documentaries That Tell the Truth About How Government Really Works
Tim Hjersted · 586 views today · And 6 that show how people are responding.
#ReclaimMLK Seeks to Combat the Sanitizing of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy
Danielle C. Belton · 430 views today · Martin Luther King Jr. had more than “a dream,” but you might not notice that on Monday during observances for his birthday. Somewhere between his assassination and today...
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine · 377 views today · “…everyone but an idiot knows that the lower classes must be kept poor, or they will never be industrious.” —Arthur Young; 1771 Our popular economic wisdom says that...
This Woman Gets No Applause...Why? They Are Too Creeped Out...
7 min · 376 views today · Think you aren't being fooled by advertising tricks? Take a look at this so-called expert revealing food marketing's secret weapon. No amount of marketing makes factory farming...
Positive Thinking in a Dark Age: A Guide to Gracefully Losing Faith in a Collapsing Dominant Culture
Jim Tull · 374 views today · I recall a Buddhist parable involving a stick that appears from a distance to be a snake, causing fear to rise in the perceiver. As the perception shifts upon closer...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 342 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Live Before You Die
6 min · 289 views today · Travelling the length of the country and back again with a pair of horses and gypsy caravan, Live Before You Die is the ultimate horse-drawn road movie, following a band of...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 279 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
The Age of Anxiety
Grace Blakeley · 252 views today · I began to experience the crippling power of anxiety in my third year of university. The panic attacks were one thing, but the most horrifying thing about anxiety, the thing...
One "Piece of the Oppressor" That I Have Discovered Within Myself
Tim Hjersted · 250 views today · One "piece of the oppressor" that I have found in myself during my inner activist journeys is my use of shame as a method of engaging with the world's problems. Having learned...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
Donald Trump Is the Mirror and Hillary Clinton Is the Mask